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Hiballin’: It’s All About the Glass

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Hiball Energy Water Found at Fresh Market in Kenwood, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Most discussions about Hiball sparkling energy drinks focus on the caffeine content of the beverage. (With 7.5 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce, a 10 oz. bottle has 75 mg total and, per ounce, it has less caffeine than a Starbucks Double Shot, but, per item, more than a can of Coca-Cola Classic or a Hershey’s Special Dark Bar.)

What’s more compelling about this product is its bottle. It’s glass. And Hiball is proud of choosing glass instead of plastic. On the “About” page of their popping website (click on “Why glass?” on the bottom left), designed by Steve Holmes of Energi Design, they’ve included a link to a list of reasons why glass is more sustainable and healthier than PET. This is a message other brands might want to note. Not only is glass more sustainable, it’s also nontoxic, impermeable, nonporous, has a longer shelf life, more attractive, and it’s retro. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sarah Froelich

August 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

The Chippery: I wish it were a Kroger in-house package design

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The Chippery stamped chip bag

I’ve been waiting for a packaging upgrade for Kroger brand products in Cincinnati, and I was very excited to see this bag of The Chippery chips with the Kroger stamp at the Beechmont Ave. Kroger Marketplace. Alas, it turns out that The Chippery is responsible for this great look.

Maybe new designs are still coming? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sarah Froelich

May 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Sun Shines Here: 8th Continent Soymilk

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8th Continent Soymilk found at Foodtown in Sunnyside, Queens

When I saw 8th Continent Soymilk in the dairy aisle of my local supermarket, I was overjoyed, especially since I had already seen a brief post about this packaging design on lovelypackage. The jolly-faced sun on the front and the worn heart on the side recall my obsession for Alexander Girard’s work. This is the perfect culmination of folk art and white space for the kitchen and this packaging creates exactly the kind of feeling a consumer product should; it evokes emotion.

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Written by Sarah Froelich

July 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Luxe or Lazy? Herr’s Ketchup Potato Chips

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Herr's Ketchup Potato Chips found @ Foodtown in Sunnyside, Queens, NY

This concept is new to me, but ketchup flavored potato chips have had a few manifestations. Frito-Lay and Old Dutch Foods Ltd. have produced them, and according to Wikipedia, Serbians favor the ketchup flavor. Even though at first it sounds too tangy and too salty, it makes perfect sense to dip chips in ketchup, because they’re a variation on french fries, only round and crispier. These chips, produced by Herr’s of Nottingham, Pennsylvania, have paired up with Heinz to simulate this chips-and-ketchup experience. My question: are we just too lazy to dip our chips in ketchup?
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Written by Sarah Froelich

June 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Posted in chips, Heinz, ketchup

Name That Produce!

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? Found in a Supermarket on Curaçao

The answer is…kòmkòmber chiki, a.k.a. cucumber native to Curaçao. This name is Papiamentu, the local language of Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire, and this fruit is often stewed with chicken, pork, braised goat meat, and even iguana meat. Select this link for a recipe (scroll a little more than half way down the page).

n.b. This version of cucumber is not like the cucumber used in salads. A good substitute would be green papaya or green beans.

Hello! It’s time to play another round and this episode is brought to you from the Caribbean. Each of these are about an inch and a half long and about an inch in diameter. Leave your guess in the comment area above.

Written by Sarah Froelich

May 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Name that Produce!

Fresh Code

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Fresh Code

It is truly frustrating to buy produce, bring it home, and find that it is either rotten or tastes old. Fresh Code is a barcode sticker system, designed by Sisi Yuan, Yiwu Qiu, Lei Zhao, Qiulei Huang, Lijun Zhang & Weihang Shu, that uses the barcode to indicate freshness. The best feature: if the produce is too old, the barcode has disappeared and it can’t be scanned and therefore can’t be sold. Questionable feature: a freshness barcode based on time, like a water filter timer, may not be accurate for all kinds of products.

Written by Sarah Froelich

April 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

Posted in design, packaging, produce

A Renewal for renu: bestgroceries Enters the Bathroom

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The new clear bottle of renu "fresh" multi-purpose solution

The new translucent bottle of renu multi-purpose solution

It’s about time for bestgroceries to get down and dirty, or clean and smooth, and take a look at some products that usually appear in the bathroom. First item today: Bausch + Lomb’s renewal of ReNu MultiPlus Solution, which is now renu multi-purpose solution.

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Written by Sarah Froelich

January 22, 2010 at 10:42 am

Findlay Market

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Findlay Market's masonry tower today, north façade

Findlay Market is my favorite place to find quality foods at unbelievably reasonable prices in Cincinnati, and it is also a mainstay in my (somewhat former) Cincinnati shopping routine. Beginning at  the age of four my mom took me to the market early on Saturday mornings to shop for produce and flowers and, before I moved to NYC, I lived just up the hill from the Market and would go down to shop about once every week or two, although I always felt I should have gone more often.

During my most recent visit to Cincinnati, I noticed the market had attracted Churchill’s Tea Room which was previously located at the 4th Street entrance of Carew Tower in the downtown business district. When I stopped in to visit Churchill’s new location in its new northwest side store front, proprietor Kathleen Kern mentioned how the Findlay Market community is noticeably more relaxed than the downtown mid-day lunch and shopping crowd. She also praised the ease and thrift of shopping at the market on a regular basis, comparing the cost of a great Findlay seafood dinner for six (under $10 for all fresh ingredients) versus a Chinese carry out meal that cost almost $60.

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Written by Sarah Froelich

January 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Name That Produce!

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? Found @ the Food Emporium Bridge Market, under the Queensboro Bridge, on the Manhattan side (next to the Conran Shop)

Happy 2010 from bestgroceries!

The answer is…as almost everyone guessed, Buddha’s Hand Citron, a.k.a. the five-fingered mandarin or the fragrant citron or fingered citron. Rumor has it that the Buddha prefers this fruit with the fingers bent inward, as if in prayer. Regardless of your form preference, this oddly-shaped (hybrid or mutant? you decide), lemon-like treat has come to symbolize happiness, wealth, and longevity; perfect for a New Year celebration. There is much lore surrounding the Buddha’s hand, some of which can be found here, as well as a few recipes. It is also useful as a room fragrance.

It’s about time I posted another entry of Name That Produce, eh? To play, write your comments to weigh in on what these fingery fruits might be. They are about the size of a small hand. Witty comments also acceptable.

Written by Sarah Froelich

November 28, 2009 at 11:35 am

The Silver Palate Thick + Rough Oatmeal

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Rough & Ready found @ Foodtown in Sunnyside, Queens

Thick & Rough Oatmeal found @ Foodtown in Sunnyside, Queens

At first glance, the burgundy-red box of The Silver Palate Oatmeal doesn’t seem very compelling. The front of the box includes the logo, the name of the product, a brief description, and a photo of The Silver Palate shop window, wrinkled awning included. All of this seems cluttered and unpolished, as if it has been on the grocery store shelf a little too long. The Silver Palate’s logo appears to be the only well-designed aspect of the composition, and it seems someone who was simply fond of the product, not specifically a designer, could have applied the rest of the images and text around the sides and back of the box.

Stop for a moment and consider that these qualities say something different than expected; these are marks of an honest product. This product must be so delicious and healthy that the company doesn’t need flashy fonts and graphics to sell it. The Silver Palate name is enough to speak to consumers who just want a good oatmeal, not the kind that comes in individual packet servings. This oatmeal seems untouched by the same level of industry as Quaker Oats or even Nature’s Path; it feels local and even traditional. Perhaps the likes of John Ruskin would eat this oatmeal (although he might gravitate toward McCann’s Irish Oatmeal first).

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Written by Sarah Froelich

October 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm