How long does a can of coca-cola last? Like a case of them, sitting in a room-temperature room. There is a date on the bottom (MAR1411), but what does that mean?
I have a can with the World Cup on it, and I just became really curious.
It lasts indefinitely. The date you are seeing should be viewed as a "best before" date. Over time the soda can become flat and the flavor will degrade, but it will still be drinkable as long as the can was not compromised.
Based on looking at some Coke I recently purchased, it appears that the date is likely 1 year in the future from when it was canned. The cans in my fridge have a date of
JUN1711; I bought these in late July.
Plastic bottles. on the other hand, have a much shorter "best before" window. This is because the plastic bottle leaks the carbonation much quicker than an aluminum can does. I don't have any bottles on hand, but if I recall correctly they typically have a date only 3 months out.
Diet drinks such as Diet Coke have a much shorter shelf life since the artificial sweetener degrades rapidly. I believe the expiration date is on the order of three months for cans. Not too much longer after that they taste pretty bad.
The corn-syrup based soft drinks I usually see are undated or carry a coded date depending on the brand.
How and whether soft drinks are dated varies by brand and possibly by bottler within a brand.
If you're keeping the can as a collectible, be aware that the can will probably eventually develop a pinhole and the contents will be lost. Bottle collectors never empty the bottles since that adversely affects the value.
btw: Heat changes nutrisweet - so there is a change in flavor that is unpleasant. I see stores putting the boxes of diet coke outside in the sun - When I see this I wonder how often the soda is stored in a very hot warehouse or truck! For years I have bought 12 packs of canned diet coke when they are on sale at holidays. All of a sudden - I quit drinking them after being addicted to them for years. I have 3 12 packs that are approaching one year old - I guess I will have to open one to see if it is worth giving to a relative.