In an effort to help our customers, I will be posting a series of memos to help each of you better understand the answers to several popular questions you may have asked as it regards to Oakridge BBQ and our products. The first question I’ll tackle in Memo #1 is the oldie but goody: “Why don’t they use spice shaker bottles?” or alternately “When is Oakridge BBQ going to start using normal spice shaker bottles?“
Oakridge BBQ was a pioneer in the blended spice industry as the VERY FIRST manufacturer to use high-barrier flexible packaging as our standard and only means in which to package our spices. We used stand-up bags before anyone else, even before the big boys like McCormick, Tones, Spice Island, etc. We didn’t know exactly how the public would receive them, but for reasons I’ll outline below, high-barrier flexible packaging was the only packaging capable of fulfilling our business model of creating the highest quality product available in the market today, or tomorrow, or the next day…
Spices are merely dehydrated organic plant matter, which when fresh, retain much of their original volatile oils and resins (the parts that make them smell and taste good). However, as spices are exposed to moisture, oxygen or light, these volatile compounds start to decompose very rapidly. Therefore, the container in which they are packaged in is critically important to the longevity and potency of the spices contained inside. Think about it, how many times have you found old spice bottles on your shelves that have been setting around a little too long, and maybe they were near an open window or fluorescent bulb, and now the contents have bleached out significantly? This is just one example of how important good barrier packaging is for spices. Unknown to most consumers, clear PET bottles, typical of most all spice bottles used in the industry today, not only let light in like an open window, they also allow oxygen and moisture to actually pass through the walls of the container. In the packaging industry, there are fancy scientific tests they perform on all different kinds of materials used in packaging food products. Here’s some basic cliff notes:
For Oxygen transmission; Clear PET bottles are 1,530 TIMES more porous than our multi-layer high-barrier flexible packaging.¹
For Moisture transmission; Clear PET bottles are 54 TIMES more porous than our multi-layer high-barrier flexible packaging.¹
For Light transmission; on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest amount of light transmission, Clear PET bottles are a 9.8 and our multi-layer high-barrier flexible packaging is a 0.¹
The slightly milky spice bottles (HDPE) are even worse, by a factor of 100’s of times worse.¹
These are actual industry tested statistics, and they don’t even address the ingress of oxygen and moisture through leaky PSA lid seals, which leak exponentially more than the container material itself! Conversely, our packaging will not only guarantee factory-freshness for two years after they’ve been opened; once factory sealed, our packaging will actually keep our spices fresh for upwards of 10+ years!
Resilient, flexible form factor:
Rigid clear PET spice bottles are far more likely to become damaged at some point during transit, display or storage. When it comes to damage from an unexpected impact, such as a fall or crushing accident, flexible packaging is more resilient, resulting in less damage to the exterior artwork as well as the contents inside and the packaging itself. This means that businesses see fewer returns and complaints from their customers due to damaged packaging and the possible compromise of its contents.² In addition to taking up less space than rigid packaging during shipping, flexible packaging is also much lighter.²
In a saturated market space, you need a look that sets you apart. Our packaging easily tells our story of hand-made, small batch, ultra high quality, premium luxury without ever saying a word.
Ease of use:
Open the zipper, orient the male side of the zipper so it’s down (this prevents spices from clogging the female side of the zipper), gently squeeze the open mouth of the package until it forms a spout, then slowly shake your wrist side to side. It’s just that easy. Then, when you’re done, squeeze the air out of the package and zip it shut.
So, when will we use “standard spice shaker bottles”?
Hopefully, the answer is already clear… Never. And now, you know why.