Aluminum is a soft and silvery metal that is nonmagnetic, durable and malleable. With chemical symbol Al, it is the most abundant metal and third most abundant element in Earth’s crust. The element comes from a natural rock or “ore” called Bauxite. Although the ores had been discovered in 1821, the aluminum itself wasn’t extracted until 1825 by Danish chemist and physicist Hans Christian Oersted. Oersted made nodules of the metal by heating potassium amalgam with aluminium. Soon, President of the French Republic, Napoleon III, began using aluminum plates during his reign from 1848-1852. In 1889, American inventor Charles Martin Hall came up with a process using an electrical current to isolate metallic aluminum from ores. This allowed aluminum to be an inexpensive commodity, and by the 1900s, the metal was used for houseware mass production. People discovered that aluminum pots and pans were lightweight, heated and cooled quickly and did not rust. By 1959, aluminum metal was introduced to canned drinks, with Coors introducing the first aluminum beer can. The popularity of cans was due to the fact that the beverages stored in them maintained carbonation very well and chilled the fastest.
History of the aluminum bottle (often called “bottle cans”) began in 1998, when Toyko’s Sapporo Breweries introduced the first aluminum bottle design which had the ability to use both crown or lug closure. The invention of PET plastic bottles with convenient, resealable caps had caused a decrease in aluminum can sales. However, with an aluminum bottle, one could have the same on-the-go convenience as plastic bottles without the sacrifice of flavor and shelf life. The high demand for aluminum bottles in Japan migrated to the United States in 2001 when Coca-Cola introduced the first U.S. aluminum bottle design for the Powerade brands at the NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Show. Then, in 2002, Snapple sold the first mainstream market aluminum bottle with its Mistic RE Energy Drink. After seeing a 30% rise in sales, Snapple decided to utilize the new packaging with other products in their beverage line. Despite the fact that aluminum bottles were more costly and difficult to produce, it seemed customers were willing to pay extra for their benefits.
Besides being resealable and able to hold all sorts of beverages, aluminum bottles are also durable, lightweight, and 100% recyclable. For every pound of aluminum recycled, 4 pounds of ore is saved. And because washing aluminum bottles is easy, consumers can even reuse them, making them a great fit for travelers. It also doesn’t hurt that they are aesthetically pleasing. Aluminum bottles could be shaped in any way soda companies choose, and labels printed directly onto them. In addition, aluminum bottle drinks chill much faster than those in plastic or glass bottles. A case study showed a drink in an aluminum container chills 50 minutes faster than one in glass, and also takes longer to get to room temperature when taken out of refrigeration.
Today, aluminum bottles are used for iced tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, and even reusable water bottles. Most beer or energy drink brands prefer their drinks in aluminum due to the shorter shelf life plastic offers. Carbonated drinks in plastic tend to last 3 - 4 months, while soft drinks in aluminum may last 9 months. In addition, water may last decades in aluminum packaging, but only 12 - 24 months in plastic. Popular brands with aluminum bottles include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Japan’s Sangaria sodas. Budweiser aluminum bottles were released in the 2000s with collectable red, white and blue colors. If you’re seeking specific bottle containers, no worries, our Specialty Sodas website should have options for you.