When I was a kid in the 1980s, my parents would go to the supermarket once a month on Saturday mornings. Having been a regular viewer of Saturday morning cartoons, this would upset me as I had to go with them and miss out on all those shows. The supermarket? Pathmark.
While there, I would spend most of my time in the toy aisle. The toys were cheap and… limited, but it was something for me to look at. However, there was one aisle I didn’t mind going down, because of how odd it looked. From front of the aisle to the rear, all I could see were white labels on soda cans, apple sauce, pet food, etc.. This was the no frills aisle. I remember this fondly as this was the go to place to get everything we needed for vacations. The no frills soda cans were a staple in the cooler for those trips. I can’t remember how the cola tasted, but I do remember how the can looked. It was like watching a Looney Tunes cartoon, but instead of Acme products, it was no frills.
Looking for baking soda, don’t look for Arm & Hammer, get BAKING SODA. Looking for cola soda, don’t look for Pepsi, get COLA. Same goes for BEER and CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP. Something about the uniformity of this aisle made me smile. Do you remember Pathmark’s No Frills products? Did you have a similar experience?
Every once in a while, I see an image that demands more attention from me than the usual cursory glance. The Pepsi-Cola World image above is one such image. I had an idea that this might have been a cover for the PepsiCo in-house magazine and a quick search later, confirmed this.
I’m a sucker for magazine cover art, especially when it is this exuberant! The designers during the 50’s and 60’s for this publication created some very striking imagery.
The design company at the time was CHERMAYEFF & GEISMAR and there is a nice post about their work for Pepsi at the Container List website.
In honor of the landing of the last Space Shuttle (moment of silence), prolific Retroist Image Pool member, Neato Coolville, has posted images of the commemorative can that Pepsi put out to honor the 1st Space Shuttle Landing. As you can see, the Space Shuttle Pepsi Can is pretty spectacular.
My family was a Coca-Cola family, but when special cans appeared, I was all over them. I remember this can from when I was a kid for two things. The graphic of course, but also the words at the bottom. Edwards A.F.B. CA Spring 1981 I am not sure why, but I would fixate on those words.
Another thing I probably find endearing about this can is how it reminds me of when the Cola Wars went into space. Back in the early eighties, Coke was working on a can that astronauts could use in space. Pepsi heard about this development and made their own can. From what I remember, neither of the cans were very received by astronauts aboard STS 51-F mission. NASA concluded that carbonated beverages might not be worthwhile to haul into space. The Smithsonian has wonderful photos of the Pepsi can. It is an impressive apparatus and pretty different than the Coke can they sent up.
I cannot find footage of the cans in action, but did find this wonderful Space Shuttle themed Pepsi commercial from the era. Sadly it does not feature the Space Shuttle Pepsi Can.