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Why Are The Labels On Cranberry Sauce Upside Down?

With Thanksgiving in the US happening tomorrow, families and loved ones will be gathered around the table, enjoying the traditional turkey and all the trimmings.  One traditional trimming they will be enjoying is that of cranberry sauce.  It pretty much makes the holiday meal what it is.

However, when shopping for your cranberry sauce, have you ever noticed that the label is upside down the can and wondered to yourself why that is?  Consumers noticed long ago that the labels were flipped upside down, which meant that the round edges typically on the bottom of any canned good were on the top of cans of cranberry sauce.

Image: ABC7

Believe it or not, at it turns out, this is not a mistake or an oversight—it is intentional.  Ocean Spray says that having the can upside down, as it were, creates “a seamless serving experience.”

The most popular manufacturer of the sauce went on to say that the reason for this done is so: “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.”

By filling the can upside down, the air bubble is on the side with the round edge or the top.  Customers need only open the can, swipe a knife around the edges to release the vacuum, and the jelly log will slide out effortlessly. The process for filling the can upside down has been around since the early 2000s, as it turns out.

Image: Tornado Studios

Ocean Spray has issued a warning for their cranberry sauce this holiday season: “consumers may experience some availability issues at times on a variety of cranberry products,” including cranberry sauce.  It seems like everything else there will be complications in delivery to the stores due to the ongoing supply chain issues.

However, Ocean Spray was quick to point out that they do not anticipate a “significant” impact on families enjoying the traditional holiday dinner trimming.