Despite being and feeling awfully busy, today’s consumers, single or as part of a family are cooking. Or what they call cooking, as it isn’t their grandmother’s way, but the contemporary way of “throwing” together prepared or semi-cooked pre-packaged items. What can be called the “composite dinner”. With most adults working and entire families feeling overscheduled, modern cooks don’t have another choice than simply and creatively combine pre-packaged, pre-marinated, pre-cooked foods and packaged fresh produce.
In recent times we have seen the creation and proper execution of the “semi-homemade” cooking concept, consisting of pre-packaged simmer sauces and soups with pre-cut, pre-washed vegetables and pre-skinned, boned and portioned meat, poultry and fish. That’s all very helpful in the kitchen, but every “amateur-chef” has his personal taste and likes to show off his culinary knowledge and love for the exotics to his friends during a dining-in. Consequently he will like to add some extra spices, herbs and other ingredients to emphasise his personal touch.
In this area we have seen some interesting packaging designs. Let’s start with olive oil.
As salads and horse d’oeuvres are an essential part of every lunch and dinner, olive oil is a very popular ingredient in the kitchen of the modern cook. It is a product which is almost exclusively brought to the consumer in (glass) bottles. Some with the most fantastic shapes and designs, but always outfitted with the simple aluminium screw cap or cork, so that the cook has to place a standard pourer on top of the bottle or accept an uncontrolled flow when pouring.
Apparently you can’t expect design agencies to think beyond the standard olive oil pourer. Practicability and functionality don’t belong to the thinking process of the designer. There are exceptions. Here are three.
Although the design of the packaging of olive oil, a winner of the Cormack Innovation Awards in Australia (the name of the student/designer isn’t known), is to specifically cater for those suffering from arthritis, it has a lot of advantages for any group of consumers.
The bottle is shaped ergonomically to allow for it to be easily picked up with one hand. The bottle cap has gone from the traditional aluminium screw cap to a hard plastic cap with a narrow spout, which prevents glugging and also can be closed by turning the nozzle. The large gripped tabs allow for the nozzle to be easily adjusted.
The nozzle allows for the olive oil to be poured out consistently, but in order to do so it must be aligned in the correct position in relation to the inner cap, which has a small opening to allow the liquid to flow out. By pivoting the outer cap to either side the flow to the nozzle is blocked.
The mechanism consists of parts which are snapped together. The snap fitted parts work as a rail system to allow the outer cap to be moved around the inner cap. The inner cap is threaded to the bottle neck. Both cap and bottle are made from HDPE, and easily recycled.
Atomising cooking oils
It always has been a frustration for me (and yes I am an enthusiastic “amateur-chef”) that there was no possibility to spray a fine layer of (olive) oil over a dish, whether it is a salad or a fish fillet. I know there are oil sprayers in the market, but unfortunately they don’t work properly and not for long anyway, as cooking oils are hard to spray, which is why the combination of pressurization and propellants within aerosols were so successful for so many years.
And so it was very interesting to learn that Delta Industries in cooperation with M&H Inc. created a packaging which has the ability to atomize cooking oils completely free of any aerosols.
M&H produced a custom 238ml shaped bottle designed by Michael Graves Design Group to complement the new Delta Evo Trigger Sprayer which provides a metered dose of liquid, allowing portion control and consistency.
The olive oil bottle with the Evo sprayer is an attractive design meant to be displayed in the kitchen. The bottle shape has been designed to be stable, and the elongated neck and ergonomic trigger make it easy to use. By spraying pure oils, the purity of the food is maintained, and the dangers of highly pressurized aerosols are eliminated from the kitchen.
Evo provides a handy funnel to help the consumer to re-fill the bottle. The funnel screws securely on to the bottle. The funnel has a moulded spout so that if the consumer overfills the Evo bottle, it’s easy to pour some oil back into the bulk oil jug.
Evo is a bit funny, but ingenious about labelling the bottle so that the consumer can know what type of oil is inside. Evo provides printed rubber bands so the name of the oil can be put right on the neck of the bottle.
M&H manufactured the distinctive PCTG 238ml bottle in transparent amber which immediately communicates the product content, and the bottle graphics were designed to reflect the unique shape and colour of the ergonomically designed trigger device.
Note: PCTG is an amorphous co-polyester. Because of its clarity, toughness and good melt strength, PCTG is useful in a number of applications. It has high gloss and is transparent. It is tough and resistant to stress whitening. It has fast forming cycles and is easy to form. PCTG is sterilisable by both gamma radiation and ethylene oxide (ETO) methods. Its scrap can be reused.
Delta’s newly-developed Evo Trigger Sprayer utilizes proprietary design components to achieve an aerosol free atomization of viscous products. The nozzle allows the Evo to spray in either a vertical fan or horizontal fan pattern that covers a large area.
As every kitchen deserves some beauty in its outfits, as it is one of the places where it has to be a joy to work, I found a beautifully designed and practical olive oil bottle.
The Ümit Ünal olive oil bottle
The bottle comes from Turkey and is designed by fashion designer Ümit Ünal for olive oil company Yudum Gida San. Ve Tic. A.S. It won an award in the national 2013 Crescent and Stars Competition for Packaging.
The packaging is a combination of glass and ceramics. Textures of ceramics and soil meet with glass in Yudum’s Limited Edition Extra Virgin Olive Oil bottle. I haven’t a lot of information about the bottle, as my knowledge of the Turkish language is at a same level (= zero) as Google’s. Try to use Google to translate the website of the company or the designer and you are facing an incomprehensible text.
But one thing is clear. The bottle has a very narrow neck and nozzle, which gives it the feature that the olive oil can be set on a dripping rhythm. The way olive oil is used in the Mediterranean area this dripping device is a very logical solution.
The glass part and all the writings has been designed and produced in the colour olive green.
This was a collection about olive oil bottles. But kitchen activities require also the handling of herbs and spices. The next article will show you some interesting innovations in packaging for this product category.