O-I (Owens-Illinois) is testing a jar with a different shape of pouring spout which it claims is ‘unique in the sector’.
The VersaFlow jar eliminates the potential of mess caused by jars with rounded openings that lead to spills or food waste and firm said it could be commercially available in four to five months.
The jar, four years’ worth of development, can be adapted to a variety of shapes and sizes for the food and beverage industry.
It was rolled out for testing at the end of last month by packaging a marinara sauce in a partnership with a local grocer, with customers being asked for their feedback.
The test puts the jar on the shelves of the grocery chain and the Ohio-based firm said it hoped that it would turn into a continuous partnership with the grocer to show their new products.
The bottle manufacturer said the jar’s lid screws on like any normal jar, can be the same weight and size as a regular jar and potential uses include soups, sauces, olives and oil.
Stephanie Johnston, spokeswoman from O-I, told FoodProductionDaily.com the feedback so far had been significantly greater than expected.
“The simple designs are often the most effective. It is the simple design to impact the lives of the consumers that creates that a-ha moment.
“Consumers have said they can notice the difference between standard jars and the VersaFlow. We are looking to see what consumers like and what they don’t.”
Johnston added the shape and pouring spout makes it unique and eliminates the known-consumer hassle for brand owners and consumers of wasted product.
“It has been designed to give a smoother pour and less waste.
“The jar we are testing is basic but we will look at a variety of options depending on the feedback we get – the shape of the bottle could change.
“It externally looks the same when the lid is on but underneath you notice the difference.”
Johnston added the jar is the first in a range of innovations the firm are looking at.
“It is the first in a series, a platform that can revolutionise the sector. The Versa concepts are for functional packaging, aimed at minimising waste.”