One of the most famous shapes in the world is the iconic contour fluted lines of the Coca-Cola bottle.
Renowned as a design classic and described by noted industrial designer Raymond Loewy as the “perfect liquid wrapper,” the bottle has been celebrated in art, music and advertising. And in 2015, this distinctive bottle is celebrating its first 100 years of existence.
Here in the Yucatan Peninsula, the Coca-Cola Bottler, Bepensa Beverage, is also nearing a major historic milestone of 70 years. Founded in 1946 as Embotelladora Peninsular S.A., Bepensa owns the franchise to bottle and distribute Coca-Cola throughout southeastern Mexico.
Bepensa now operates three soft drink plants in the region, along with 22 plants for bottling water. The company serves more than 77,000 customers in Mexico and is also very active in the Dominican Republic. In addition to Coca-Cola, Bepensa bottles and distributes beverages with 32 other well-known brand names, including Cristal, Fanta, FUZE Tea, Del Valle and many more.
Bepensa’s distribution service covers over 1,500 routes, allowing the company to be present in the most remote villages of southeastern Mexico and help quench the thirst of all its customers and friends with its many non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages.
Today the Coca-Cola bottle is one of the most recognizable containers in the world, but a century ago nearly all soda bottles looked the same. To distinguish its product from competitors, the Coca-Cola Company launched a competition among glassmakers in 1915 to design a new bottle that was distinctive in both look and feel.
The original bottle was designed by the Root Glass Company in Terra Haute, Indiana, nearly 30 years after the product was launched in 1886. Root won a contest where participants were challenged to develop a container recognizable by consumers even if broken on the ground or touched in the dark.
The winning design, patented by Root, sought inspiration from two Coca-Cola ingredients: the coca leaf and kola nut. However, the bottle’s fluted contour shape was mistakenly modeled after the cacao pod, the main ingredient in chocolate.
The Coca-Cola Company adopted the Root Glass Company’s bottle design in 1916, but the original prototype was never manufactured because it was top-heavy and unstable. The first commercial “Coke” bottles debuted with a wider base and slimmed-down, contoured shape.
The celebration of the bottle includes an ad campaign in more than 100 countries featuring Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Ray Charles, and an exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta called “The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100.” The exhibit will include more than 100 objects, including more than 15 works of art by Andy Warhol and more than 40 photographs inspired by or featuring the bottle.
You can find more information about the inconic Coca-Cola bottle’s 100th anniverary at http://www.coca-colacompany.com/cokebottle100.
For more information about Bepensa, please visit http://www.bepensa.com
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