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ATLANTA - Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world's biggest bottle of Coke, is introducing the "fridge pack," a slimmer, deeper 12-pack box designed to fit better in U.S. refrigerators, The Associated Press reports. They'll be sold in Chicago and Georgia first, joining two smaller Coke bottlers that have already made the change in several other Southern states.
The company hasn't said whether it will expand the "fridge pack" across the country, although officials have said such a move is likely at some point.
"That box hasn't changed in 25 years," said Gene Rackley, a spokesman for Coke Enterprises on Wednesday. "This is big stuff for us."
The fridge pack was invented two years ago in Australia, and tests did well, according to the AP. Last summer, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated of Charlotte, N.C., introduced the box in the Carolinas. Consolidated spokesman Lauren Steele said the fridge pack was credited for a third of the 3 percent sales growth the company had last year.
"It's one of those simple ideas that as soon as you see it, you go, 'Why didn't we do that before?'" Steele said.
Coca-Cola United of Birmingham, Ala., also is changing to the fridge pack, part of a trend officials at Coca-Cola North America expect to spread among the more than seven-dozen U.S. Coke bottlers.
The three bottlers together represent more than 80 percent of Coke's U.S. bottling capacity.
"The goal is for everyone to have a box that flies off the shelves," said Mart Martin, a spokesman for Coke North America. "The success that fridge pack has enjoyed, I think, is certainly going to get the attention of the bottling system."