Drink "Baikal" - our answer "Pepsi"

More than half a century ago, or, to be more precise, on July 24, 1959, the head of the Soviet state, Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, tasted the outlandish overseas drink Pepsi-Cola. On this day, the opening of the first US National Exhibition took place in Moscow. The ceremony was attended by the leaders of the two world powers - Khrushchev and Nixon.

Nikita Sergeevich examined foreign goods with interest, especially since the Soviet market at that time was not spoiled by imports. Once at the stand with the Pepsiko products, Khrushchev tasted a dark brown carbonated drink. It was impossible to think of a better advertisement for the manufacturer. A photograph of Khrushchev with a red and blue glass in his hands flew around the world. Western journalists even joked that after trying Pepsi-Cola, the Soviet leader became more sociable and benevolent.

The Pepsiko company announced its plans to establish beverage bottling facilities in the Soviet Union. True, the process dragged on for many years. It was only in 1972 that Pepsi production lines appeared in our country in Moscow, Leningrad, Novorossiysk, Kiev, Tashkent and Tallinn. Manufacturers kept the recipe in strict confidence. Sealed containers with beverage concentrate came to the USSR.

A little time passed, and Pepsi became a very popular and scarce drink in the Soviet Union. In order not to lower the honor of the domestic producer, the USSR began to develop a "retaliatory strike" - it was required to start making its own drink, not inferior to Pepsi in taste, but more beneficial to the health of the consumer.

Soon, the new product was officially registered and put on sale. The new drink was named "Baikal". In addition to water, it included citric acid, sugar, carbon dioxide, natural essential oils and a whole bunch of herbal extracts. "Baikal", indeed, turned out to be not only tasty, but also useful, in contrast to its overseas competitor.

This was confirmed by the fact that a number of foreign companies, including Pepsico, acquired a license to manufacture it. In the Soviet Union, the owner of the production rights and the Baikal trademark was the All-Russian Research Institute of the Brewing, Non-alcoholic and Wine Industry.

By the way, the inventor of Pepsi-Cola Caleb Bradham did not even suspect that he had become the developer of a new popular carbonated drink. The American pharmacist in the late 19th century was just working on a remedy to relieve stomach pain.