Since having received and enjoyed a 12-piece DAVIDs TEA brand tea sampler pack as a gift during the recent holidays, I have become fond of the packaging as much as of the tea itself. Marketed by the Montreal-based specialty tea boutique of the same name, the organic loose-leaf blends come in individual metal portion containers with clear see-through lids that allow consumers to see and compare the contents of all the different flavors. Each tin houses 12.5 grams of tea—enough to brew two to three cups—with the tins nestled inside a sturdy card- board box attractively labeled with the elegant brand logo and contents information. As a tireless proponent of repurposing and reusing things whenever possible, I’m already thinking about what spices, lip balm or other products I’ll be putting inside the small tins once I’ve completely plundered its contents.
The 200-ml standup pouches of the Patak’s Original Cooking Sauce for 2 from the U.K.-based AB World Foods Ltd are a blessing for home chefs looking to serve up some savory exotic Southwest Asian cuisine at home without working too hard to replicate the fairly intricate recipes often requiring a lot of fairly exotic ingredients. Featuring easy-open perforated tear strip on top and easy-to-follow recipes on the back panel, these flexible pouches eliminate the need to use large-sized jars and inevitable dilemmas of what to do with the leftovers by offering perfectly measured portion control, enhanced with clear and highly legible labeling and the use of varying numbers of chili graphics to denote the level of spiciness for each of the many available recipes, ranging from Butter Chicken to Tandoori and Tikka Masala.
Not just strictly for your grandmother’s canned peaches any more, Mason jars have been making a comeback over the past year or so. A good case in point is the Loblaw’s private-label From Our Chef’s’ Collection brand of desserts that includes the irresistible English Style Trifle. Packaged in the wide-mouth, Canadian-made Bernardin Mason glass jar enclosed in a paperboard sleeve with plenty of cutout space to admire the lovely creamy creation inside. With no permanent proprietary product labeling on the jar itself, one can easily remove a few jars from the sleeves and bring them along to your next extended family dinner or a soirée with friends—letting everyone think you actually created this little bit of inspired dessert magic from scratch.
Anyone harboring fond childhood memories of peanut butter on crackers will be delighted with the new Nutella & Go! + Pretzels from Ferrero Canada Ltd., which offers a great new way to get a hearty Nutella fix anywhere, any time. Shaped to resemble the distinct-shaped jar of the famed sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread, the 54-gram, semi-circular plastic container easily fits into just about any lunchbox, backpack or purse for on-the-go enjoyment, while its inner compartments keep the pretzel sticks separate from the spread until you’re ready to dip them into the sticky-sweet concoction. A non-resealable inner foil lid underneath the cap is easily peeled with a large pull-tab to reveal the contents and have you all set up to enjoy.
A gift of packaging this past Christmas—namely the Lug Cargo 5 piece packing kit—has me looking forward to the next family road trip with great anticipation. The kit offers a variety of sizes to pack your clothing essentials—including one large, one small, and two medium zippered packing squares and one large packing drawstring tube for the shoes—with all squares outfitted with see-through mesh panels to help you remember where you packed your stuff, while allowing air to circulate around the contents. When not in use, all the squares easily roll up inside one medium-sized square to take up minimal storage space between trips, and the nested bags are protected with seemingly indestructible outer wrapping held together with Velcro in one neat, tidy, no-waste package.
Shannon Kaupp is a licensed doctor of naturapathic medicine living and practicing in Toronto.