14 May 2016 | 4:00 pm
As a kid, I remember reading an issue of MAD magazine with a feature on “‘New -and-Improved’ products that really are new-and-improved.” Among them: an olive jar with a bottom shelf attached by a pillar to the lid, such that opening it brought the olives to the top for easy retrieval. They were right; it really was new and improved.
Since then, a cornucopia of similarly inspired product packaging has entered into service. Many of them really do seem like improvements, too. For example, ketchup in a squeeze bottle rather than a glass one. No more scooping knives. No more striking the bottom, only to see half the contents splurt onto the plate. (By the way, you should have been swatting the neck instead this whole time).
As time passed, the humble squeeze bottle evolved still further. Nowadays, it boasts a thick, flip-open nozzle on its bottom rather than on top. That way, the ketchup settles down toward the opening while at rest in the fridge or on the table, obviating the need even to remember the neck trick, let alone to use it. An American circa 2016 might face many challenges, but deploying condiments, at least, would not seem to be among them.
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