The 10 Coolest Things That Come in a Can


The humble can is making a comeback, and with good reason. When it comes to storing food, the aluminum can not only keeps out air, but also light, which can degrade the product within. It's also lightweight, and easier to recycle, with the average aluminum can containing three times more recycled content than either plastic or glass bottles (plastic bottles contain only 3% recycled materials). That all adds up to great sustainability, and less impact on the environment. So it's hardly surprising that so many cool things in cans are popping up on shelves. Here are 10 of the most noteworthy… which have you tried? (See also: 15 Delicious and Easy Ways to Enjoy Canned Peaches)

1. Wine

There was a time when only wine that came in a bottle, with a cork, was acceptable. Times have certainly changed. In fact, many wine experts now believe that wines that are meant to be consumed at an earlier age (drunk young) should be sealed with a screw top to prevent oxygen from entering the bottle. And boxed wine is no longer a stigma, either.

So, enter canned wine. It's a relatively new market, with sales of $16.4 million last year, but it's growing at a rapid rate. Americans in particular are jumping onto the canned wine trend, saying it is way easier to store, cool, transport, and hold. No more need for wineglasses, just grab a four-pack and share with friends. Next time you pop into the local liquor store, don't be surprised to see canned wine right next to the bottles on the shelf.

2. Bacon!

Yes… bacon. The smoky, delicious treat that comedians like Jim Gaffigan cannot get enough of. You've had bacon in the usual deli packaging, and in boxes ready to be microwaved. Now, bacon comes in a can, and it has a 10-year shelf life! For instance, you can opt for Yoder's Canned Bacon, a 9-oz can containing 50-60 fully cooked slices of bacon, for around $20. The price drops if you order a case of 12, but still, $20 for 50-60 slices of bacon is a bargain. Of course, the big question is: is it any good? With 64 customer reviews on Amazon, it's got a 4.5/5 rating. So, yeah, people seem to think so.

3. Spray-On Fabric

This is not simply a T-shirt or pair of boxer shorts in a cute little can. This is actually fabric that can be sprayed onto your body, out of an aerosol can, which then sets and becomes wearable fabric. It seems like the stuff of a science-fiction movie, but it's real, and it has many useful applications.

British company Fabrican states that the innovative spray-on fabric can be used in fashion, the medical field, spill management, the automotive industry, and anyplace else that requires the use of an instant fabric that molds to any surface. From casts and bandages, to T-shirts that cling precisely to your own curves, it's set to make a huge difference in many different industries. You could even cover your dashboard or car seats in a brand-new coat of fabric, and it will look like it was custom-made.

4. Whisky

If you thought wine was adventurous, wait until you get a load of canned whisky. A company called Scottish Spirits produces a three-year old single grain scotch whisky, and it's something of a bargain. The company website boasts that you will can buy a can of whisky for just $5, and it contains eight shots of a whisky that has been aged in oak casks. It's 80% proof, and the company is said to be working on a can that can also close after being opened. Check with your local liquor store for availability.

5. Snow

If you live in one of the colder parts of the nation, this is probably not all that cool for you (no pun intended). But if you live in warmer climates, and rarely, if ever, get to see snow, then this product may be just what you're looking for. Available on Amazon, and other online retailers, Instant Snow in a Can is just what it sounds like. You open the can, add water, and voilà — snow. In fact, as the description states, it's "white cold snow at your fingertips any time you want to add some sparkle. It doesn't melt or go soggy and can be hoovered away easily when it's finally time to clean up." The product description also states that it can be reused, but clearly not if it's inside the vacuum cleaner. You may have to buy a few cans to experiment, but at over $8 a pop, it's not exactly the bargain that real snow is.

6. Remote Controlled Cars

Cars in a can? Why not?! The craze for tiny remote-control cars (called micro-cars) caught on a few years ago, and someone decided to sell one in a can. These mini-racers come in many different varieties, and some (like this one) even come with a little set of traffic cones; very helpful for practicing your sick swerving skills. Even better, most are under $10 including shipping, which means you don't have to break the bank to have some miniature fun.

7. Fresh Herbs

The price of fresh herbs from the grocery store can often force you into the dried herbs and spices aisle. After all, fresh herbs quickly go bad, and that means waste. But if you pick them directly from a living plant, you never have to worry about that. That's why herbs in a can is such a great idea. At Back to the Roots, you can pick up a Garden-In-A-Can four-pack for under $24, featuring a can of basil, cilantro, sage, and dill. It comes with everything you need, including organic seeds and nutrient-rich soil. No drainage holes are needed. Just pop the top, add water, and wait.

8. Unicorn Meat!

And you thought unicorns didn't exist. Well, it's a gag gift brought to you by ThinkGeek, but as silly gifts go, it's really cool. Advertised as an "excellent source of sparkles," Unicorn Meat comes in a can that would be right at home next to Spam and vienna sausages. But don't worry, there's no actual meat inside. Instead, when you open it up, you get a mini stuffed unicorn that has been sliced into bite-sized inedible pieces. The can opens from the bottom, so it always looks new. If you've got a white elephant party coming up, bring a can of unicorn.

9. Uranium Ore

Planning to build your own nuclear reactor, or maybe a time machine like the one Doc Brown made in Back to the Future? Well, this won't get you very far, but it is genuine. The uranium in this can is called NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) and is useful for science labs, and for testing Geiger counters. As it has low radioactivity, it's safe, and gives off alpha, beta, and gamma radiation types. Once again, if you're looking to find a gift for someone who has everything, it's certainly unique.

10. Bread

No more panicked trips to the grocery store for bread next time bad weather is on the way. You can actually get bread in a can, and it will stay on the shelf for years. It's never going to take the place of a real loaf, but in a pinch it will do the job. Right now Amazon has a 12-pack on special for around $34, which works out at less than $3 a can. The reviews are great, although it's definitely more of a sweet bread than something you'd make a sandwich with.

Any other cool things come in a can? Share with us!

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