PepsiCo, Inc. was founded by Donald M. Kendall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pepsi-Cola and Herman W. Lay, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Frito-Lay, through the merger of the two companies. Pepsi-Cola was created in the late 1890s by Caleb Bradham, a New Bern, North Carolina pharmacist. Frito-Lay, Inc. was formed by the 1961 merger of the Frito Company, founded by Elmer Doolin in 1932, and the H. W. Lay Company, founded by Herman W.Lay, also in 1932.
1966 - Doritos brand tortilla chips are introduced. They are destined to become the most popular snack chip in the U.S.
1969 - Mountain Dew changes its slogan to "Get That Barefoot Feelin’ Drinkin’ Mountain Dew."
1970 - Wilson Sporting Goods, a top name in sports equipment, joins PepsiCo. It is divested in 1985. W.C. Fritos is introduced as Frito-Lay’s new advertising mascot.
1972 - Mountain Dew, acquired by Pepsi-Cola in 1964, switches its advertising and package graphics from hillbillies to action-oriented scenes. Sales climb and Mountain Dew will become one of the 10 best-selling soft drinks in the United States.
1973 - Individualism flourishes, Pepsi advertising picks up on the movement, plays it back as "Join the Pepsi people, feelin’ free."
1974 - Pepsi-Cola becomes the first American consumer product to be produced, marketed and sold in the former Soviet Union.
1976 - The Pepsi Challenge, introduced in Dallas, Texas in 1975, becomes a national campaign. Around the nation, consumers select Pepsi-Cola as the best tasting cola.
1977 - PepsiCo acquires Pizza Hut, Inc. Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 by Dan and Frank Carney. It is spun off along with Taco Bell (acquired in 1978) and KFC (acquired in 1986) businesses as Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc. in 1997.
1982 - Pepsi Free and Diet Pepsi Free, the first major brand caffeine-free colas, are introduced.
1984 - Pepsi-Cola makes advertising history as Michael Jackson and his brothers usher in a new generation of Pepsi-Cola advertising in two of the most eagerly-awaited television commercials featuring music marketing. Pepsi becomes "The Choice of a New Generation."
1986 - Chester Cheetah makes his prime-time television debut for Frito-Lay with a fully animated commercial for Chee•tos cheese flavored snacks. Michael Jackson is signed to a second contract to appear in Pepsi advertising, this time as a solo performer. Diet Pepsi's "Apartment 10G," starring Michael J. Fox, is the commercial of the year and an instant classic.
1997 - Frito-Lay announces plans to buy the 104-year-old snack, Cracker Jack, a candy-coated mix of popcorn and peanuts from Borden Foods Corporation.
2000 - PepsiCo, Inc. and The Quaker Oats Company reached an agreement to merge.