|Type||Private, wholly owned subsidiary|
|Founder(s)||Charles D. Little
Joe S. Foster
|Headquarters||Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States|
Jumbo fruit flavors line
Double-Dry Ginger Ale
|Revenue||$21.1 million (2003)|
|Parent||K.J. International, Inc.|
|Manufacturer||Double Cola Company|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Variants||Ski, Jumbo Orange, Jumbo Grape|
The company was originally founded in 1922 by former Chero-Cola employees Charles D. Little and Joe S. Foster as Good Grape Company, primarily to market the product Good Grape. With Little's creation of Marvel Cola in 1924, Good Grape Company changed its name to Seminole Flavor Company. Marvel Cola was reformulated and renamed Jumbo Cola. The Double Cola product was developed in 1933 and soon became the company's flagship product. It was soon followed by flavored Double-Orange, Double-Lemon, and Double-Grape and "Double-Dry" ginger ale.
During the 1930s, the vending machine market started to take off. Little had Westinghouse develop one which performed poorly in a key market for Seminole. Little basically pulled out of the vending market by not putting any more money into vending machines. Additionally, during World War II's sugar rationing, Seminole continued bottling Double-Cola in the larger bottles, which hurt production. PepsiCo was in the same position, and Little had a chance to buy them and refused as he preferred just going forward with the cola Seminole had. While Pepsi escaped bankruptcy and moved ahead of Seminole, Little changed the company's name to Double Cola Company in 1933. In 1956, the company developed Ski, a soda pop comparable to Sun Drop.
The year Diet Double Cola was launched, 1962, Little sold the company to Fairmont Foods, who drained the company of resources. It was purchased in 1980 by K.J. International, Inc., of London, England, from Canadian firm Pop Shops International, which acquired it from a consortium of private investors and remains wholly privately held. Pop Shops had allowed the company to flounder as they focused on their existing brands.
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Double Cola was formerly available in a somewhat wider area of the South. Yet Double Cola is a distinctive part of culture in Southern Indiana, especially around Evansville (for example, Double Cola Fields). It was once marketed as a lower-cost alternative to Coca-Cola and other soft drinks, but Double Cola is now marketed as a premium brand in that area, with the same or higher price than Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola. The company hopes to continue re-entry in all of its former U.S. markets, and expand into the Midwest, in the near future. Diet versions of both Double Cola and Ski have been developed in recent years, as has Cherry Ski, which tastes like Mountain Dew Code Red and was developed several years before. The "Jumbo" line of fruit-flavored drinks has been expanded to include peach, strawberry, pineapple, fruit punch, root beer, and blue creme soda. Some of these drinks are available only in very limited areas.
Speculation that expansion to Middle Eastern markets was at least in part a chance to exploit the company's low profile and consequent lack of political connotations now inherent in the Coke–Pepsi struggle. Though the Double Cola company's international sales are not as large as Coke or Pepsi, their presence in South Asia, South America, the Middle East and consumption in 17 nations comprises their international market. Their two other brands, Oranta orange drink and Chaser lemon-lime drink, are available only in the international markets, and represent the extent of the international product line other than Double Cola itself.
- "Double-Cola Co.-USA -- Company History". Funding Universe.com. 2003. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- Sauceman, Fred. "Ski: Lake weekend led to soft drink’s name". GoTriCities. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- Wolburg, Joyce M. (2003). "Double-Cola and Antitrust Issues: Staying Alive in the Soft Drink Wars.". Journal of Consumer Affairs 37. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
- Covell, Jeffrey (1999). "Double-Cola Co.-USA". International Directory of Company Histories 70. Findarticles.com. pp. 1–5. Retrieved 2008-06-25.