The Coca-Cola bottle is one of the most recognized packagings in the world.
Of course, it was not always like it. In the begging, the bottle was a straight-sided Hutchinson bottle with a metal stopper.
Going backwards the famous soft drink started as a soda fountain beverage, selling for 5 cents a glass. Was just until the creation of a strong bottling system that Coca Cola become the world-famous brand that we all today know.
It perfectly fits with one of the biggest tasks of packaging: Build the brand and generate recognition.
The story of the unique bottle starts from the necessity of differentiating the beverage from the others, following one statement that, in huge part, summarizes the importance of packaging: “We are not building Coca Cola alone for today; we are building Coca Cola forever.”
In 1915, 10 glass companies across the U.S. receive the challenge to develop “a bottle so distinct that you would recognize it by feels it in the dark, or laying broken on the ground.”
One of the companies, the Root Glass Company, received the task, and through the illustration of a cocoa bean, the distinctive shape of the bottle was born.
Since then, the bottle became famous. By 1961, the bottle was recognized as a trademark. Most importantly, by 1949, a study confirmed that 99% of Americans were able to identify the bottle just by its shape.
Beyond the market, the Coca Cola bottle is also part of the culture. Salvador Dali was one of the first famous painters to get inspiration from the bottle and includes it in his work, in the paint: Poetry of America in 1943.
The bottle was also part of fashion movements like the “Hobble-Skirt.” and as the description of famous icons like “Mae West.” the bottle was also part of the first commercial product to appear on the cover of the Times magazine.
The bottles have had many changes through the Coca-Cola story, coming in different presentations and adding features. Currently, the challenge is to make the packaging eco- friendly to avoid generating waste.
There is a lot to say about the incredible efficient marketing strategy of Coca-Cola’s company, but, without a doubt, the unique packaging had been in big part responsible for the success of the beverage.