The Reason Folgers Coffee Was Once Sold In Glass Jars

Coffee is not just a staple in American households, it's a necessity. Without that first cup of Joe, many just can't get their day started. If you count yourself among this demographic, you are not alone. According to the National Coffee Association, 62% of Americans drink coffee every day, and those who do tend to drink three cups of it. Surprisingly, PBS reports that coffee drinkers in New York drink seven times the amount as those in any other city. 

Coffee became an important beverage for the United States after the Boston Tea Party when drinking coffee became patriotic. Fast forward to today, and coffee is the most popular drink in the world. Before there was Starbucks and its beloved pumpkin spice latte or Peet's coffee and its black tie, there was Folgers. 

This DIY brew was first a consumer favorite back in the 1960s, per the Folgers website. This mountain-grown coffee was initially sold in metal canisters; however, that wasn't always an option. The "best part of waking up" coffee began selling in glass jars for a rather interesting reason. 

The U.S. military needed the steel

According to Folgers Coffee website, while coffee was more popular than ever during World War II, it couldn't be sold in those original metal containers. Steel wasn't readily available for such luxuries during this time, and with a shortage of this much-in-demand metal, the coffee company had to forego steel and opt for glass jars to hold those beautiful coffee grounds. But why was so much steel needed? 

Steel was in high demand to make tanks and ships, and consumers were strongly encouraged to give the government their scrap metal — even seemingly small scrapes like the lining of toothpaste tubes (via Steel Specialties, Inc). Americans were happy to do their part, and every sacrifice was necessary because a single tank might take 18 tons of metal to produce.

Instant coffee brands rose in popularity after the war, and Folgers tried to jump on that wave but couldn't find the right instant coffee formula to keep customers buzzing. In 1958, Folgers finally found a winning instant coffee recipe to go alongside its ground coffee. Today, you can still buy Folgers ground coffee in the original metal canisters and its instant coffee in their post-war glass jars.