Fact is, Royal Crown Cola has had loyal fans throughout its more than 100-year history. But the number of RC drinkers could have been much, much higher. In an alternate universe, it would have given Coke and Pepsi a run for their money.
Given its long and pioneering history, RC deserved to be more than the middling soda brand it is today. In an industry that lives and dies by marketing, RC didn't do nearly enough. But its failure wasn't just due to lack of initiative. It was also a case of supremely bad luck, bad judgment, and a fateful ingredient known as cyclamate.