March 9, 2021

Annoying Squeeze Bottles

“Empty” Bottle of Kraft Tartar Sauce
“Empty” bottle of Kraft Tartar Sauce

Many products are packaged in squeeze bottles—ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, barbecue sauce, dishwashing liquid, among other products. There is a certain convenience in this packaging, but squeeze bottles are not always ideal, and some are annoyingly inadequate.

On the positive side, squeeze bottles allow the dispensing of the product in a convenient manner without the need to employ any special implement. (In former times, this would have been seen as uncouth in the case of food products, but these times are less formal.)

The most obvious problem with the squeeze bottle arises from the viscosity of the product. Vinaigrette salad dressing or dishwashing liquid is easily dispensed from such a container because the contents flows freely. In fact, squeezing isn’t even really necessary. Mustard or ketchup is dispensed with more difficulty because the product is thicker. (Heinz once described its ketchup as “slow good” because it came out of a glass bottle slowly.) Mustard or ketchup is easily obtained from a fresh bottle, but, as the bottle empties, it takes longer and longer to get condiment out of the bottle. And, when little product is left, it is hard to extract the last few drops of your mustard or ketchup.

When the condiment in the squeeze bottle is tartar sauce, dispensing is even more problematic. Because tartar sauce is quite viscous, even trying to get it out of a full bottle can be troublesome. One tends to get a large dollop, followed by nothing at all as the sauce flows leisurely toward the cap. Moreover, that dollop exits its package almost explosively, not landing on your plate quite where you intended. Tartar sauce should not come in squeeze bottles.

Finally, the shape of some squeeze bottles seems designed to frustrate the consumer. Kraft Tartar Sauce is not the only product sold in a bottle similar to that pictured above, a bottle with a narrow mouth and a body that widens, narrows, and widens again. Because tartar sauce flows with such difficulty—it is both viscous and inhomogeneous—after squeezing and hammering the bottle on the table, some sauce stubbornly remains in the bottle. Just try to get it out! The mouth is too narrow to insert any normal-sized spoon, and, even if you manage to insert some implement into the bottle, the irregular shape assures the impossibility of removing everything inside. In fact, the packaging is so horribly dysfunctional, that one wonders whether KraftHeinz designed it so that customers must buy replacement bottles sooner than they would were the packaging more user-friendly. Tartar sauce should be sold in glass or plastic jars with wide mouths and straight sides.

Would that manufacturers selling products in squeeze bottles took customer usability more seriously. Not every product sold in a squeeze bottle should be in a squeeze bottle.

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