Whether you are producing preserves for personal use, to give as a gift or commercially, you need to choose a jar which satisfy some very specific requirements. Use the shape, labelling and closure of the jars you choose to present a distinct and unique brand image when selling your produce, or choose a decorative jar to elevate a home made gift to something special with a personal touch.
The easy storage jar
If you are producing on a large scale for your own use, your main requirements probably focus around ease of use – storage and cleaning are two obvious points.
Unless you are lucky enough to have one of those huge, old fashioned walk in larders as seen in the likes of Downton Abbey, you need to think about how you can accommodate large numbers of jars. You may be happy to have them hanging around on your worktop for ages but really you need to be able to store jams, chutneys and sauces in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard. Larger jars can be an efficient use of space but are not suitable for products with a short shelf life once open. Square jars can fit neatly into most cupboards and you need to consider the potential for stacking jars on top of each other.
Jars for commercial use
The jar in which you present your produce will be what customers see before they get to taste what’s inside, therefore it’s important that the packaging accurately represents your brand image. If you are aiming for a traditional approach then the classic jam jar should fit the bill, but you will need to devote some thought to labelling and other packaging to make your product stand out from the crowd. Unusual shapes or decorative jars can give your product a premium look while funky shapes can lend a modern look to a classic product.
The method of closure you select can hugely influence the overall image presented. Clip tops allow easy opening and present a traditional, even rustic appearance, while simply changing the colour of a screw top lid can dramatically alter the overall appearance of the product.
Presenting produce in a wide range of jar sizes makes your operation look professional, but remember standard size jars tend to become that for a reason – which is usually that they are the most convenient and logical option for the function in question. Using miniature vessels to give away samples can be very clever marketing, convincing potential customers to buy.