I understand that when Coca-Cola introduced the aluminum can as a means of shipping their product, people continued to prefer the bottles. I know I did. I, like many others, thought the drink tasted better out of the bottle than it did from the can. The experience wasn’t the same, and we were loathe to change to cans because we were convinced that the can degraded the product.

Nevertheless, the bottles were being phased out, but along the Mexican border, I’m told that people would buy bottled Coca-Cola in Mexico and bring it north across the border so that they wouldn’t have to drink from the cans available locally. Coca-Cola executives were a bit baffled by all of this. Some years later, the plastic bottle was introduced, and I don’t know for certain, but suspect that its adoption was much easier than was the change to aluminum cans… which are still available in any event. The plastic bottle was closer to the trademarked shape of the original Coca-Cola bottle, and it somehow felt to me more like a return to its roots than a new evolution.

The sad truth? The taste isn’t any different. I’m sure I could taste the difference, and maybe you could as well… but there genuinely isn’t one. Pour them both in a glass so that the experience of the drink becomes the same, and it will quickly be evident that there is, really and truly, no difference.

It’s just that we didn’t like change, and were convinced that change in the package changed the product. We were wrong. I wonder if it’s possible that we could be wrong about the packaging of other things as well — bigger, more important things?


That was my evil grin. What do you think? Is my metaphor clear enough?

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