The Unexpected Reason Martinelli's Apple Juice Went Viral

Of the stories that came out of 2020, few would have thought that the words "apple juice" and "TikTok" would still have us smiling today. It started with an unexpected effect of Martinelli's plastic apple juice bottles. John Martinelli, chairman of the board at S. Martinelli & Company, reflected on the 153-year-old apple juice brand after the shift from their classic glass bottles to newer plastic bottles suddenly went viral on social media. "We sold [the plastic bottles] for a whole bunch of years, and nothing ever happened until this. It's kind of funny because that was the first time I learned what an influencer was," reflects Martinelli (via SF Gate).

The influencers were participating in the #AppleJuiceChallenge, which has been viewed over 316 million times on TikTok (via Martinelli's). The challenge all comes down to the special plastic bottle. When someone bites down on it, it sounds exactly like someone biting into a crisp, fresh apple. Don't believe us? Check it out for yourself! People across the nation went "apple crunch crazy" during our pandemic lockdowns (via BuzzFeed). Even superstar Lizzo tried her own experiment with this viral apple juice crunch (via Facebook).

Fans fell in love and apple juice sales soared, but how does it work? 

It really sounds like biting into an apple

The trick is to first drink some of the apple juice, then reseal it with the cap. After that, it's time to crunch. Many have compared the sound of the bottles with actual apples, like the Font Family on YouTube. The crunching sound is created due to multiple layers of plastic in the bottle, as shared by investigators on TikTok. John Martinelli confirmed that the effect is caused by the bottle's layers plus oxygen when he told SF Gate, "In our bottle, we have two layers of [plastic] with an oxygen barrier in between." Martinelli was quick to admit that the feature is accidental but the company absolutely loves it.

As one fan, Gautham S., described the effect, "Someone has managed to make a way to get the feeling sound and taste of an apple all in one package, an alternative to just eating an apple lmao" (via YouTube). User Kinda_Crazy can't get enough and said, "You just slapped my existence into another dimension." 

The TikTok trend brought new life to a struggling brand, introducing millions of first-time customers to this classic product and bringing others back. Martinelli shared that the most memorable part of this challenge was the smiles, laughter, and shock on all the experimenters' faces. It's a case where social media started something that continues to amuse audiences and support a brand with a long history.