The Genius Reason Some Cranberry Sauce Labels Are Upside Down

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If you’re like us and doing some down-to-the-wire Thanksgiving dinner shopping this week, you may have noticed a bit of an oddity in your grocery store hunt for cranberry sauce: upside down labels on Ocean Spray cranberry sauce cans.

Perhaps you didn’t notice this and now you’ll go do some investigating in your local shop. If you do, we’re sure you’ll find that the labels are in fact the “wrong way.” Why is this? Well, we’ve discovered the reasoning, courtesy of the brand itself.

An Ocean Spray spokesperson told CNN that each can of cranberry sauce is "filled and labeled upside down with the rounded edge on top and the sharp can-like edge on the bottom to keep the jelly whole." Doing so makes an air bubble on the rounded side, allowing customers to “swipe the edge of the can with a knife to break the vacuum” and allow for the cranberry log to “easily slide out."

We’re not saying Ocean Spray is brilliant, but we’re not not saying that, either. Also of note is that the company has been apparently doing this since the early 2000s. Unclear on how we missed this, but we’re very glad to have an answer as to why.

While this is exciting knowledge, it may not even matter because some Ocean Spray cranberry sauce cans have fallen victim to the ongoing supply-chain crisis. CEO Tom Hayes announced on Monday that the company was “forced to use different cans due to supply-chain woes, potentially causing a dearth of cranberries in parts of the country,” as per a report in Fortune.

Hayes said on Monday that people may have to “make cranberry sauce from fresh berries. If that is the case, luckily we’ve got a few recipes to get your cranberry sauce on the table no matter what.

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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