Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Two Liter Bottle

It's curious that carbonated soft drinks in two-liter bottles are so well-accepted in American life, while milk, orange juice, gasoline, etc., are still sold in quarts and gallons. I wonder why that is.

Apparently Pepsi-Cola was the first to introduce the two-liter bottle. It may be relevant that Pepsi portrayed itself as "the Choice of a New Generation," rather than associating itself with familiar tradition. But Coca-Cola responded with its own two-liter bottles rather than with, say, a half-gallon bottle.

4 Comments:

At 6:51 PM, April 07, 2006, Blogger Joe said...

Do you know when this happened? I've been wondering about this myself. I'm pretty sure two liters has been standard for my entire conscious life, but something I was reading made me wonder.

 
At 10:02 AM, April 08, 2006, Blogger Richard Mason said...

According to brief Internet search, Pepsi introduced two-liter bottles in 1970... Coke did not follow suit until 1978, later than I might have guessed.

 
At 7:46 PM, April 08, 2006, Blogger Jordan said...

I'd guess that it didn't have that big of a backlash because 1L is pretty close to a quart. If you can just think of "liter" as a fancy name for "quart," then there's no problem. But when you're converting unwieldy things like 0.621 miles ...

 
At 10:40 AM, April 09, 2006, Blogger Richard Mason said...

I guess the thing about breaking an industry measurement standard is that it makes it harder to compare the price-per-volume of your product to competitors. Therefore, if your product is judged almost entirely by price, as with gasoline and perhaps others, it's inadvisable to break the standard. (If you're on the losing end of pure price competition, you might benefit by confusing customers... but that hardly seems like a recipe for lasting business success.) Sodas have stronger brand differentiation than gasoline.

 

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