The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, marked its 125th anniversary with a weekend of special events and new package releases. The first Coca-Cola was served on May 8, 1886, and this year, the company plans to express its appreciation with special events, including a 26-story video “Thank You” card. In addition, Coca-Cola announced the release of 8-ounce commemorative bottles and the debut of a 1.25-liter bottle.

The new 1.25-liter package has Coca-Cola’s signature contour shape and will begin rolling out this month in the Southeastern United States. The 1.25-liter bottle will be available for less than $1 and will be available in Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite and Fanta varieties.

As a way of sharing their appreciation with fans, Coca-Cola debuted a special “Thank You” card projected onto its 26-story headquarter office building in Atlanta. The building is wrapped on all four sides in a scrim that provides a screen for a video presentation featuring the contour bottle, scenes from famous Coca-Cola advertisements and photos from the brand’s Facebook fans. The video will be shown every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening in May. The “Thank You” card also will be updated during the month featuring new fan photos and surprise architectural effect elements, the company says. (For photos from the event, visit Beverage Industry’s Facebook page,

“We would not have reached this milestone without those who love our brands, because everyone who has enjoyed a Coca-Cola in the past 125 years has played a part in helping us refresh the world,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Co., in a statement. “Throughout this year, we want to celebrate by thanking the people around the globe who have made the brand what it is today. To our associates, customers, partners and everyone who loves Coca-Cola, we thank you.”

Coca-Cola hosted a festival for employees and families and a 125th Anniversary Celebration Concert last weekend in Atlanta. The company also is planning events and programs worldwide, including a series of days of service for company associates globally, the grand opening of a World of Coca-Cola exhibition in Russia and the launch of its Live Positively sustainability campaign in Vietnam.

Beverage Industry will feature complete coverage on Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary and an update on the company’s 2020 vision in the June 2011 issue.