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LuckyGuy's avatar

Does your plastic mayonaisse container have ridges running around its middle underneath the label?

Asked by LuckyGuy (43787points) September 17th, 2014

Mine does. There are 4 indented rings spaced about 2 cm (~½ inch) apart . Why are they there? At first I thought it was to better grip the container but I noticed that the label covers them.
I use a spatula to get spreadable food, (mayo, jelly, peanut butter) out of containers. It does a better job than a knife or spoon and, in general, gets it all so there is no waste. The ridges on the Mayo container prevent the spatula from reaching the entire surface. Is this clever packaging?
I did a test to see how much was left in the jar after doing the best job I could do with the spatula. The result was 17.6 grams left behind out of an 800 gram container (roughly 30 oz.) That is 2.2% wasted. Is that intentional? The mayo manufacturer sells 2.2% more mayo. Customers need to buy it 2.2% more frequently. The retailer sells 2.2% more than needed.
It seems everyone benefits except the garbage collector on a fixed fee schedule and the consumer who loses about 7 cents for every $3.00 jar.
Why do you think the ridges there? Do you try to get all the mayo out before recycling the container?
Do you realize that over a period of 10 years we are throwing out about $2.50!

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25 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is funny! I imagine the ridges are there as part of the molding process. Maybe it’s where the mold grips it or something.

But yes. I try to get all of the mayo out in the end! I hope that $2.50 / decade doesn’t adversely affect my retirement. ;)

JLeslie's avatar

If you buy the plastic why not just buy the squeezable container? I don’t like to risk someone sticking their dirty knife into the mayo or mustard jar so I buy both packaged in the squeeze containers when possible.

Almost zero waste because everything I buy has a flat top and you can put it upside down and the last use I pull of the top and use a knife for the last bits.

The container might cost more though, I never really scrutinized it, because I don’t use a ton of mayo, so if I buy a big jar it would go to waste anyway, because it all would not get used before I had to throw it out, and with mustard I only buy National Deli now, so whatever it is it is.

canidmajor's avatar

I make my own, so I store it in a straight sided glass jar.
You might like it. It’s very easy to do, doesn’t take much time, tastes as you like it, costs less, and you control the quality of the ingredients. :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is your recipe, @canidmajor?

canidmajor's avatar

I use 1 egg yolk, pinch of salt, ¾ cup of sunflower oil, 1tsp apple cider vinegar, 2tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp mustard.
Begin by whisking the salt and a couple tablespoons of oil. Once the mixture starts to stiffen you can then add all the remaining ingredients except the remaining oil. Take one tablespoon at a time of the remaining oil and add to the mixture, continue to whisk as you keep adding the oil to the main mixture until all is mixed together. Whisk it to the consistency you like.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sounds good. But it doesn’t make very much at a time, does it?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I hope you realize I wrote this with my tongue firmly in my cheek.
I honestly don’t see a purpose for the ridges in the blow molding process. It adds cost – a miniscule amount but still an add.

The numbers I posted are real. Hey, $2.50 per decade here, $2.50 per decade there and the next thing you know, come retirement, you can’t afford that trip to Tahiti.

I like that recipe. I’ll give it a try. I am just so lazy. When I want mayo, I want it now!

canidmajor's avatar

So double the recipe. I think I originally halved it, as I don’t use much.

@LuckyGuy , you’re the guy who eats every bean from a decades old bag of dried beans. I figured the $2.50 per decade was a potent concern. :-P

This REALLY does well with egg salad. :-)

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, I realized you weren’t seriously concerned. I still hold to my suggestion of a squeeze bottle. The jars are gross.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@canidmajor Note that I lived to tell about it! I still have one of the cooked lentil packages in the freezer. They will be perfect for some Indian food.

I am starting to think there is no incentive for the companies to make the sides smooth. They really do benefit from the increased sales.

I’ve noticed some spray cleaners have dip tubes that fall short of the bottom. Hopefully people take the top off and use it until the last drop.

canidmajor's avatar

@LuckyGuy: my family calls me “cheap”, I consider myself mindful. I mostly make my own cleaning products, and a lot of personal care stuff like mouthwash, bug spray, cooling spray so I don’t use AC; and I freeze everything and have so little food waste as to be noted.
OK, I’m cheap. I don’t live completely green, but I’m closer than many, and I enjoy the process.
I’ve got a thing I do with curry and dal and coconut milk for soup. Have me over when you decant those lentils!

Dutchess_III's avatar

May I ask where you live, in general? Do the temps ever break 100 degrees?

canidmajor's avatar

I live in an area where summer temps are often in the 90s, but more importantly the humidity is high, which really amps up the discomfort level. The spray I make keeps me from being uncomfortable, and an added advantage is that I stay acclimated so I can be outside more comfortably than if I was in AC all day.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I bask in AC when it’s really miserable, but not very often.

Coloma's avatar

Dude! I think you need to get back to your pond and frogs and fish. lol
I don’t know about my mayo jar, I shall look, but not this minute.
I do use the last of lotions, shampoos, and conditioners by adding a bit of water to thin out the remains that won’t come out.

I also have noticed the aerosol thing where the sprayer does not go all the way to the bottom. More annoying than anything else. You can’t really splash the last of the hairspray on your hair if the sprayer quits. haha

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here in Kansas I don’t turn on my AC until it hits 90, usually in July. But man, July and August can murderous!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Anyone notice we can’t get the lid off of our shampoo / conditioner to get water in there to use the last bit?

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes! I hate those bottles with the long, flat tops that don;t twist. I force them off anyway though. haha

CWOTUS's avatar

I suspect it’s partly a structural thing for the jar: aside from having the corrugation stiffen the sides of the jar somewhat – a minor amount, of course, as mayonnaise isn’t going to stress the plastic jar much – the bellows might also allow for slight expansion of the jar while the contents are hot. And that may not be insignificant. (Also, no one is going to want to buy mayo in plastic containers that are “bulging” in any way, but those bellows would allow for vertical growth or shrinkage without an objectionable deformity of the container.)

But there’s another aspect of the jar shape that may lead to additional minuscule savings for the producer: the ridged jar won’t need as much adhesive for the label, since there’s no area in the depressions for the adhesive to be applied to the jar – assuming it’s applied by some kind of planar or brushing process that only applies the adhesive to the raised ridges. Perhaps you can get back to us on the location of the label adhesive. (And this leads me to believe that the adhesive is applied to the jar, and not the label, because otherwise there would be a waste of adhesive.) Even if the cost of the adhesive saved is less than 0.01¢ per jar, that savings will add up for the producer, considering the flow of product through the plant.

But I don’t think my plastic mayonnaise containers (Hellman’s) are made that way. I’ll check next time I get up (I’m lazy, too), and maybe get back to you on that. (And since I always and only use clean utensils in my mayo, and I’m the only one using it, I have no need of newfangled squeeze containers. Those are for mustard.)

CWOTUS's avatar

Update:

Hellmann’s, and no, there are no ridges on my jar.

ibstubro's avatar

The Aldi’s brand mayo does not have ridges in the jar. The bottom and top are slightly fattened, but that’s for stability during the manufacturing process. Your ridges likely serve some similar function. Canned soup, for instance, is cooked in the can, traveling along twisted racks in a cooker larger than a semi trailer. The configuration of the cans is to facilitate filling, cooking, labeling and crating the cans. That’s the reason that most tin cans are no longer smooth sided, but rippled often causing it to be difficult to get the last bits out. Pop-top cans are a consumer driven convenience, but also make it difficult to get all the food from a can. Same for the one-piece can that stacks so nicely, but makes it impossible to remove all the food from the bottom.

As for shampoo bottles that you can get the top off? If shampoo can come out, water can go in. Squeeze the air out of the bottle then hold it under that tap and suck water in.

Spray bottles that the hose doesn’t go to the bottom? Buy a new bottle, use it a while, then pour the bottom into the top.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh God. Now I have to go check my mayonnaise jar! BRB.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Miracle Whip has an indention running around the outside of the jar, where the lable goes.

ibstubro's avatar

That’s the ‘slightly fattened’ bottom I was referring to, @Dutchess_III. The jar travels down a conveyor with rails the width of the middle of the jar, preventing most tipping. I expect that @LuckyGuy‘s ridges serve some similar purpose.

ibstubro's avatar

Sorry, I was in no way trying to imply that any jelly here has a “slightly fattened bottom”. Particularly the females, as I’m constantly wary of them.

;-D

I double-take every time I see ”+5 points for answering: That’s the ‘slightly fattened’ bottom I was referring…” in the Lurve column.

Thinking, “Cripes! I called someone a fat-ass??

Kardamom's avatar

I think the ridges are there simply for the manufacturing process, how the machines and rollers grip the jar so it won’t fall off the conveyor belts.

@LuckyGuy I think you might need some of These. Then you shall have mayonnaise at the ready any time you need it.

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