Our drinks have a history spanning more than 130 years, so it’s no wonder there’s a treasure trove of trivia about our brands just waiting to be discovered. Quench your thirst for knowledge with our next instalment of weird and wonderful Coca-Cola facts…

Last month we served up the first in a series of articles bringing to light little-known facts about our drinks. We’ve dug deep into the Coca-Cola archives again this month to put together a fresh selection of morsels to feast your grey cells on.

From world records to water use, and recipes to recycling, we’ve got something to satisfy even the most knowledgeable Coca-Cola fact fanatic.  

Fact 1: Sparkling drinks count towards your daily recommended water intake

We all know we need to drink plenty of fluids each day to stay healthy; 6-8 glasses to be precise, if you’re following Food Standards Agency recommendations.

You may not have realised, though, that soft drinks – including sparkling drinks and drinks containing caffeine – count towards your daily recommended intake of water. Our reduced sugar and ‘no sugar, no calories’ drinks contain up to 99% water, which is good news for your hydration levels!

Bonus fact: because water is the main ingredient in all our drinks, we’re serious about our responsibility to use this precious resource carefully. It’s why we replenish every drop of water we use by working with 248 community water partnership projects around the world – in 71 countries and over 2,000 communities.

Fact 2: The handwritten secret recipe for Coca-Cola is kept in a high security vault

The formula for Coca-Cola has been a closely-guarded secret since the drink was invented by Dr John S Pemberton in 1886.

But it wasn’t until 1919 that the recipe for the drink we all know and love was actually written down. The piece of paper the formula was handwritten on was kept under lock and key for almost 95 years, until it was moved to a high security vault at the World of Coca-Cola HQ in Atlanta, where visitors can now see the ‘Vault of the Secret Formula’ for themselves.

Now that you can enjoy our drinks in over 200 countries, our bottlers around the world tailor that famous Coca-Cola formula using slightly different ingredients to suit local tastes.

Fact 3: It takes just six weeks for our bottles to be recycled, filled and restocked in shops

Ever wondered what happens to our plastic drinks bottles once you pop them in the recycling bin? As all our bottles are 100% recyclable, once they’ve paid a visit to your local waste processing centre, they get sent on to a specialist recycling facility. Here, they are sorted by colour then shredded to make recycled plastic pellets.

These are mixed with new plastic pellets ready to be made into new bottles – currently, 25% of the material in every bottle we produce is recycled plastic, but we are working towards doubling that by 2020. Once these are filled with our delicious drinks, they’re boxed and sent out to shops, ready to quench the thirst of another customer. The whole process takes under two months.

Fact 4: The largest collection of soft drinks cans contains over 10,500 Coca-Cola cans

Built up over a period of more than 30 years, this impressive horde of Coca-Cola original taste and Diet Coke cans has earned its owner a Guinness World Records title. The collection features cans from 87 different countries – and no two designs are the same.

Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to work with an incredible line-up of fashion designers who’ve given our glass bottles and cans a limited-edition makeover in their signature style. From Matthew Williamson and Manolo Blahnik in the noughties, to Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs earlier this decade, our drinks have been dressed by some of the biggest names in the fashion world.

Fact 5: Sprite is named after a 1940s advertising character

In the early 1940s, an elf-like cartoon character named Sprite Boy started appearing in Coca-Cola magazine ads. He became synonymous with a campaign which aimed to associate the Coca-Cola brand with its now commonly used nickname, ‘Coke’.

Almost 20 years later – in 1961 – we launched our lemon and lime-flavoured soft drink, resurrecting the Sprite name long after Sprite Boy had retired from his advertising career.

On the hunt for more trivia? Check out last month’s five flavourful factoids.