Coca-Cola, Absolut Vodka, Toblerone and Chanel Nº5 top the list created by the Hispack show based on a survey of more than 200 prominent players in the international packaging sector to select the best packaging in history, which will be exhibited at the Pack exhibition. History, Memory and Culture of Packaging as part of the fair itself, from May 15 to 18 in Barcelona.
Old Coca-Cola bottles, Kellog’s boxes, Anís del Mono bottle, Chanel no. 5, Toblerone packages or Campbell’s Soup cans quickly suggest images to us. We do not understand these brands without their packaging because they are the Top Pack of our history: products that owe their greatest identity and universality to their packaging.
The Top Pack list strives to go beyond personal perception and is therefore prepared through unprecedented research, the largest conducted in the international field of packaging. More than 200 sector representatives were consulted: companies, associations, technological research centers, universities, design studios, specialized publications and professionals from all over the world. From their ratings comes the ranking of the 10 most famous containers that gave the product in which they are located greater identity and universality.
1. Coca-Cola: It was created in 1886 by a pharmacist and was initially sold as a medicine and began to be sold as a soft drink in 1894 with a flat bottle that was very easy to imitate. In 1915, the brand decided to stand out with a new design. Root-Glass, the company that received the order, looked for inspiration in the components of the soft drink, but confused coke with cocoa. Not noticing the mistake, he designed a bottle wrinkled like a cocoa bean and the company accepted the prototype. The most famous vessel in the world, the contour bottle, redesigned several times, is today a reference in the world of design and is exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
2. Absolut vodka: Åhus, a town in southern Sweden, is the birthplace of one of the best-selling vodkas in the world. Lars Olsson Smith started marketing it in 1879, and the Carlsson and Broman agency proposed an innovative solution: a transparent bottle, without a label and with engraved letters that can be seen, just like the medicinal syrup bottles of that time. With silver details and a photo of the founder. This is how one of the great designs in history was born, which will experience real success in 1980. In 1985, Andy Warhol asked to paint a magical medicine bottle, and after him, hundreds of artists designed advertisements for the brand.
3. Toblerone: Swiss chocolate, known all over the world for its prism-shaped container with a triangular base, was created in Bern by Theodor Tobler and his cousin Emil Baumann, and began to be marketed in 1908. Different legends try to explain its origin: there are those who claim that the shape reproduces a mountain Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps; Another theory claims that Tobler was inspired by the dancers at the Folies Bergères in Paris, lined up in a pyramid shape. And the third hypothesis claims that the chocolatier chose the pyramid as a symbol of Freemasonry? Over the years, the packaging has featured eagles, bears and flags, but it has never lost the prismatic shape that made it unique.
4. Chanel no. 5: Its packaging and aroma made it the most famous perfume in history, and it was immortalized by Marilyn Monroe when she said: “I just put a few drops of Chanel Nº5 on before I go to bed.” Its history goes back to 1920, when Coco Chanel went on vacation to the Cote d’Azur, heard about the perfumer Ernest Beaux and ordered a new fragrance from him. Beaux created 10 samples and she chose 5. After seeing the success of the perfume, she will be tasked with creating a timeless packaging that reflects the sober elegance of Chanel no. 5.
5. Marlboro: In 1924, Philip Morris created the Marlboro brand, taking the name of the street in New Jersey where he had his factory. These were filter cigarettes that were originally aimed at a female audience; It wasn’t until 1954 that the company started advertising for men. It was the campaign designed by Leo Burnett, starring a cowboy with a horse and a cigarette, that popularized the brand and brought it to leadership, making its logo the most recognizable in the sector worldwide. The classic red and white Marlboro packaging, one of the most famous and universal packaging of the 20th century, would also be responsible for building the identity of the product, its brand.
6. Campbell’s soup: It was Andy Warhol who turned the ‘Campbell’ tomato soup can into a true icon of art and consumer society. It seems that the artist wanted to paint a simple soup can as a symbol of mass production, to depict consumer society and mass culture. Since then, the soups invented by Joseph Campbell and tinsmith Abraham Anderson in 1860 are known all over the world, although they are not even sold in many countries.
7. Campari: Gaspare Campari invented a new liqueur called Rosa Campari in 1860: an infusion of herbs, aromatic plants and fruits macerated in alcohol and water. Therefore, he followed the tradition inherited from the European monks of the 16th century, who made alcoholic infusions to cleanse the body and soul. The drink was commercially launched at Café Campari in Milan, owned by the creator of the aperitif. Over the years, it would become one of the most famous drinks of the 20th century, thanks in part to Marcello Nizzoli’s advertising posters and the bottle design created by the futurist sculptor Fortunato Depero in 1932.
8. Jack Daniels: Jack Daniel’s perfected whiskey production in 1866 through the charcoal stilling process, an innovation that would give his brand an unparalleled smoothness and exceptionality. In 1904, he introduced his extraordinary whiskey Tennessee Old No.7, with a square bottle and a black label, at the World’s Fair in Missouri, where he received a gold medal that accredited him as the best whiskey in the world. Since then, the ‘Jack Daniel’s’ label has always kept its famous number 7, which some attribute to the seventh formula, and others to the simple notes of the warehouse manager.
9. Heineken: The history of ‘Heineken’ goes back to 1592, when the widow of a Dutch brewer decided to open the Haystack Brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. Three hundred years later, Gerard Adriaan Heineken, 22 years old, bought the bar and started selling his Pilsen beer. In 1884, he registered the trademark ‘Heineken’ with his green label and hired laboratories to find the formula for the perfect beer. This is how a team of experts discovered yeast-A, a turning point in the history of beer. After Prohibition, Heineken became the most consumed imported beer in the US, introducing its famous green bottle at the time.
10. Lucky Strike: When Dr. RA Patterson of Virginia created his chewing tobacco in 1871, he thought it would be a good idea to associate it with the California gold prospectors. That’s why he decided to call it “Lucky Strike”. In 1905, the American Tobacco Company bought Patterson’s company and in 1916 introduced Lucky Strike as a green pack of unfiltered cigarettes. Years later, the famous industrial designer Raymond Loewy changed the old cover image: he redesigned the logo and made it completely white. Its goal was to reduce costs, modernize the label and increase the attractiveness of the packaging among smokers.
After the 10 Top Pack, there are other brands on the list, such as Tanqueray (Geneva), Schweppes Heritage (Tonic), Pringles (Snack), Ketchup Heinz (Ketchup), Red Bull (Energy Drink), Maggi (Cube of broth), Kellog’s (Cereal Flakes), Anís del Mono (Anise), Apple iPod (Digital Audio Player), among others.
The most useful packaging for progress
The second list, the result of the same Hispack research, compiles the packaging that has contributed the most to the progress and quality of life of consumers.
Among the most crucial for progress, respondents choose, in this order: Tetra Pak and Tetra Brik; canned or glass cans; Cans; complex (multi-layer) plastic packaging; 100% recyclable plastic bottles; aerosol containers; compression tube and egg containers. As for materials, those selected for their contribution to progress are: plastic; corrugated cardboard; cardboard for packaging liquids; expanded polystyrene (cheap and highly insulating plastic material); polymeric materials and nanobribes.
Finally, the survey asks major packaging players about the techniques that have contributed most to improving the quality of life and progress of consumers. Those chosen by the experts are aseptic packaging, in-container food stabilization processes, pasteurization, vacuum packaging, vaporization, modified atmosphere, protected atmosphere, active packaging, and aseptic liquid systems.