The History of Pepsi’s Bottle Evolution


© History Oasis

Tracing the winding history of the Pepsi bottle's evolution in design across over a century, we encounter insight into shifting consumer ergonomics, manufacturing innovations, visual branding, and touchstone styling reflecting the ethos of each era.

Spanning from the inaugural 1906 "Patent" bottle to 2023's "Globe Bottle," the storied Pepsi container chronicles industrial progress and visual culture blocking out defining milestones in silhouette, functional form and weightless materials.

At once sculptural artifact and ergonomic tool, the Pepsi bottle transforming profile through successive generations crystallizes its identity as a time capsule to not just cola, but the spirit of the times.


the original Pepsi-Cola bottle
Source: PepsiCo

The introduction of Pepsi's "Patent Bottle" in 1906 marked a pivotal innovation in beverage packaging and branding.

With its distinctive hobble-skirt silhouette, this bottle established iconic visual elements that would remain quintessential to Pepsi's identity for over a century to follow.

Its wider base provided stability on early vending machines and tabletops, while the tailored pinch around the neck enabled easy gripping and pouring without compromising the aesthetics.

The ingenious shape prevented tipping and spillage, critical for consumability and safety.

By unifying form and function in one groundbreaking design, the Patent Bottle created an archetype that would influence beverage packaging and visual branding long after its 1906 debut.

Its legacy-defining design cues continue to shape the public's recognition of Pepsi to this day.


Pepsi bottle (1916)
Source: PepsiCo

The introduction of the "Blow-off Bottle" in 1916 built upon the preceding Patent Bottle's innovative packaging.

With its wider bottle neck and shorter shoulder, this new iteration further improved functionality to better serve the era's growth in mass bottling and distribution.

The more accommodating opening eased filling procedures, while the abbreviated taper to the shoulder augmented ergonomics for consumers opening the bottle.

In simplifying and optimizing the opening and pouring experience for both ends of the supply chain, the engineering of the Blow-off Bottle advanced accessibility and affordability amid booming post-WWI demand.

Its enhancements to a decade-old design fueled expanded reach and cementing market presence for the burgeoning beverage company in an increasingly competitive domain.

The blow-off supplies yet another critical stepping stone in the bottling legacy that still characterizes Pepsi products.


The classic pepsi bottle
Source: PepsiCo

The launch of Pepsi's "Classic Bottle" design in 1940 signifies Pepsi's breakthrough into truly iconic branding.

With its sleek, streamlined silhouette featuring ribbed embossing and a flat base, this bottle encapsulates visual identity nearly synonymous with Pepsi itself.

Unlike preceding packaging, primarily focused on functionality and production value, the Classic Bottle strategically markets its aesthetics as much as its contents.

Its stylized shape effortlessly captures public attention with no need to see the logo or label. The unified curves and modern contours reflect dynamic spirit and energy consistent with Pepsi advertising themes for decades after.

Standing out through recession and war, this classic bottle achieves household name recognition across the nation by becoming intrinsically and emotively tied to the very perception of the Pepsi brand.

Its timeless design persists as the definitive bottle representation associated with Pepsi products worldwide nearly a century later.


the swirl pepsi bottle
Source: PepsiCo

Pepsi unveiled a captivating new bottle design innovation with the "Swirl Bottle" in 1958.

Featuring an intricate twisting motif wrapping around the neck, this stylistic bottle immediately captures consumer attention on grocery shelves.

The embossed texture creates an eye-catching play of light while enhancing grip ergonomics with its grooved shape.

Building brand recognition through identifiable silhouettes and motifs, Pepsi bottles thus gain three-dimensional branding by incorporating logo elements into the vessels themselves.

The Swirl Bottle also suggests dynamism and movement, with its ascending helix pattern representing Pepsi’s own rapid ascent as a market leader.

In showcasing both form and function, this 1958 bottle displays savvy marketing strategy and artistic commercial design that appeals to modern sensitivities.

Its unique ornamentation foreshadows even bolder sculptural bottle forms for Pepsi in the impending decades.


the dimple Pepsi bottle
Source: PepsiCo

Pepsi introduced the "Dimple Bottle" in 1973, displaying a modern take on ergonomic form meeting aesthetic function.

Featuring a singular dimpled indentation at its base, this bottle innovation provides easier gripping and handling for the increasingly on-the-go Pepsi drinker.

The spheroid cavity allows fingers to curl securely despite condensation or precipitation, enabling reliable portability.

Simultaneously, the golf ball-like indent visually arrests consumer focus toward the familiar Pepsi logo and brand identifiers without impeding their prominence.

The dimple doubles utility without compromising iconic trade dress. Building on preceding highly stylized bottle engineering, Pepsi aptly responds to a mobile consumer market, delivering facets that serve both branding visibility and usage practicality.

The Dimple Bottle’s concave contours at once facilitate grip, foreground logo display, and visually punctuate the bottle’s form with added dimensional detail typical of 70s design.


the Pepsi 2L Pepsi bottle
Source: PepsiCo

The advent of the PET plastic 2-liter bottle in 1978 stood to revolutionize the entire beverage industry, lending game-changing packaging scalability to soda giants Pepsi and Coca-Cola alike.

With PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic engineered for optimum impact resistance and minimal weight, these translucent bottles could hold previously unattainable volumes while slashing transportation costs and materials.

Their lightweight construction shattered traditional glass bottling limitations to enable regular domestic supply of soda by the gallon.

Quickly finding their way into everyday fridges nationwide, the 2-liter vessel’s shatterproof nature and resealable cap introduced convenient portability and storage to high-volume soda purchasing.

This barrier-blow molding breakthrough wholly transformed accessibility and affordability economics around soda, driving mass consumer adoption that secured the 2-liter’s ubiquity since.

The vessel's launch critically redefined single-use beverage distribution scales.


the Crystal Pepsi Bottle
Source: PepsiCo

Pepsi unveiled a bold, transparency-centered bottle design with its clear plastic "Crystal Pepsi" vessel in 1992. Made from transparent PET plastic rather than traditionally opaque materials, this bottle's crystal-like clarity reflects late 20th-century premium branding focused on visibility and purity.

Enabled by earlier plastic molding advances, the see-through form invites consumers to witness the cola within, stirring visual intrigue while literally spotlighting the beverage at point of purchase.

The clear bottle also implies notions of unadulterated ingredients and refreshed frankness in an increasingly health-conscious era.

Standing apart from Coca Cola's red cans and carotene hues, Crystal Pepsi's limpid container reflects the “clear craze” sweeping grocery aisles worldwide.

While the product itself proved short-lived, its glass-evocative bottle modernized soda's brand imaging toward transparency, simplicity and cleanliness for decades to follow across the industry.


the Pepsi Spire Bottle
Source: PepsiCo

Pepsi unveiled its streamlined "Spire Bottle" design in 2008 to bring beverage packaging sleek, contemporary aesthetics into the 21st century seascape.

Featuring a minimalist profile with a tapered base, this angular bottle presents an aviation-inspired silhouette that conveys dynamism through its towering, ascending form.

The sharp, pointer bottom not only visually propels the eye upward, but functionally grips surfaces to resist tipping.

The sleek surface patterns erase former embossing for a smoother, aerodynamic physique inspired by modern architectural and automotive streamlining design.

The Spire Bottle ultimately supplants the traditional contour bottle with a dimensional, mathematically optimized form that expresses themes of progression, futurism and cutting-edge style true to early 21st-century design.

Its angularity and matte, metallic style reflects contemporary trends toward precision and technology advancing into an increasingly modern age.


the modern Pepsi Globe bottle
Source: PepsiCo

Pepsi unveils its "Globe Bottle" design in 2023, bridging the brand's emblem directly into the packaging's sculptural form with spherical embellishment.

Featuring the Pepsi globe logo prominently embossed into the front spherical contour, this bottle intertwines visual branding and utilitarian vessel into one cohesive, world-spanning statement.

Its planetary shaping and branding conjures themes of environmentalism and global connection highly relevant to contemporary sensitivities focused on sustainability.

The round, worldly swelling of the bottle’s midsection further improves gripping ergonomics in the hand or bag.

After preceding decades of angular, pointed designs, the Globe Bottle’s full-circle, planetary shaping returns Pepsi’s packaging to more traditional rounded aesthetics last employed in 1973’s dimpled contouring.

Thus blending past and future, the 2023 Globe Bottle synthesizes emblem, ecology and ergonomics into one orb-shaped encapsulation readily recognizable worldwide as uniquely Pepsi.