Jar-Lid Real Estate

Fun at your fingertips.™

Yes, marketers continue to find new ways to use under-used spaces: in this case, jar-lid edges.

Fun is at your fingertips: lid from jar of olive

Guys. Get a grip. They’re olives.

But why am I even paying attention to jar lids and their edges? It all started because, although I routinely buy any brand’s medium salsa at home in Ottawa, it turns out that all medium salsa in Phoenix is too hot for me. Every. Single. Brand.

Now, in my long-ago marketing class I learned that formulations for supposedly standard national brands vary regionally; as one example cited back then, dry cereals sold in Quebec were the sweetest in North America. Maybe they still are. Certainly I later learned from my own rigorous and extensive taste-test trials that Diet Pepsi® is sweeter in Central Canada than in Western Canada or in the USA.

So it didn’t come as a big surprise that packaged southwestern foods would be hotter where people’s palates are used to heat. But while I have to drop back to mild, the Big Guy is made of tougher stuff: He enjoys the local medium. The result? Two bottles of salsa jostle in our fridge.

In the store, I check the label carefully, trying to discern the tiny “Mild” or “Medium” in the midst of all the other label information and graphics overload. At home, I double-check the jar before spooning anything onto my plate. Safety first.

Label from Pace Mild SalsaBut all that caution is so last month, before the happy day I noticed that one jar lid was green, and one was yellow. And it means exactly what it should mean in a perfectly colour-coded world. Mild has a green lid, which is like “Go ahead, eat it by the spoonful!” Medium has a yellow lid, which is like, “Whoa! Take it easy, buddy.”

The next trip to the store confirmed what I had inferred. Hot has a red lid, which is like, “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

Collage showing color-coding on salsa jar lids

Intuitive colour-coding: What a great idea! Now that I’m onto it, I buy this brand’s salsa with complete confidence, saving veritable and valuable nano-seconds at the store, and reducing my angst at the breakfast table.



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8 Responses to Jar-Lid Real Estate

  1. Alison Uhrbach says:

    A victory – albeit a small one?

  2. Tom Watson says:

    Where do they grow olives that large?

  3. Uh, oh. I would have thought the color-coded lids were for Southerners who can’t read but I must have failed to read the jar lids here. I will take this important question to the supermarket this very day!

  4. Judith Umbach says:

    Reduced angst is always good. Unless you are being chased by a bear or lion – which I doubt you will ever be.

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