“Starting out without a marketing budget and no pedigree in the food space, we knew that the package would have to work hard for us in order for the product to get attention,” explains Scott Norton, cofounder of Sir Kensington’s.“Our goal was a package that had more of an organic shape.We wanted it to feel as if it came from nature.”
The New York-based company decided to create a British character, Sir Kensington, to support its premium product line. Having previously launched the condiment line in glass, and then high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the company discovered that in order to grow its retail business, it wanted to move away from the HDPE bottle and into a clear, inverted 20-oz PET barrier container that stands on its closure. The goal was to create a container that would provide shelf-life attributes as well as squeezability and enhanced shelf presence. (With an “all-natural ingredients” product formulation, the container needs to provide barrier properties that help minimize oxygen migration, which shortens shelf life.) Pretium Packaging became the supplier of the PET container that the firm sought.
“It can be very difficult to find somebody willing to work with you if you are not in the million-plus unit range. Pretium, on the other hand, welcomed us to their plant with open arms.We also like to move very quickly and frequently get push-back from vendors. Pretium also showed a willingness to work with our timeline,” says Dan Barber, Kensington’s Vice President of Operations.
The company wanted a proprietary bottle that was more organic than architectural.It also wanted softer, sleeker geometries as opposed to sharper angles. The bottle also needed to be shaped in such a way that a 20-oz size would easily fit into hands of various sizes so that both kids and adults could use it easily.Finally, it needed to be wide enough so that the brand’s unique label could provide excellent shelf billboarding for differentiation.
The journey began with a cell phone photo that Sir Kensington’s sent to Pretium. Less than six months later, a qualification bottle was produced. In between, there were multiple revisions, prototypes, and mold qualifications.Two months after that, the first Sir Kensington’s 20-oz ketchup bottles started hitting retail shelves in two flavors—classic and spicy. The stretch blow molded, multilayer PET/nylon/PET bottle is topped by a 33-mm flip-top closurefor dispensing ease. It also features the Sir Kensington’s name embossed on the shoulder for additional brand support and indented label panels to eliminate scuffing during transport.
Throughout the PET ketchup bottle timeline, Pretium and Kensington also worked on a new mustard bottle. The directive was to create similarly-shaped containers in various sizes to expand the condiment line and create a family look. The full-bodied yellow mustard—also recently commercialized—comes in a 12-oz multilayer PET bottle with a 38-400 neck finish.The line has further been extended by using the 20-oz bottle to also market mayonnaise.
“Partnering with Pretium enabled us to meet our aggressive timeline goals with a custom package. Further, the feedback we have gotten from buyers is that they love the appearance and squeezability of the new bottle.We have also seen children easily interact with it, which met our ease-of-use objective for different-sized hands,” says Norton. “After all, what good would the bottle be if it couldn’t be used by ketchup’s biggest fans?”