Olive Oil Jones

Solving an age-old packaging problem for the world’s freshest olive oil
Olive Oil Jones delivers fresh, geographically specific olive oils harvested from all over the Mediterranean. To keep the oil as fresh as possible before delivery, Olive Oil Jones doesn’t bottle the oil until the customer orders it. Zenpack worked with the company to develop a clever and sustainable system that not only prevents the bottles from breaking while in transit, but also saves time and money.
The Problem
As customers finally realized how real, fresh olive oil should taste, the company was experiencing a sharp rise in demand. Their packaging, however, was holding them back. After bottling the oils, the small operation would wrap each bottle in a single-sheet of open-flute corrugated cardboard. This process was time-consuming, and too many bottles were breaking in transit. And as the company gained in popularity, they wanted packaging that was aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to open.
The Outcome
Balancing protection and presentation, the new system elevates the products to their rightful stage. Sound structural engineering leads the way as cardboard layers with strategic air pockets cradle the glass bottles in transit. Olive Oil Jones saved money on materials and fulfillment, allowing them to focus on delivering a premium culinary experience.
Challenges
Packaging engineers can relate: What’s the most efficient and sustainable way to ship a glass bottle using nothing but cardboard? It’s the quintessential packaging design challenge; there are even competitions for the best glass bottle box. Due to the company’s specific situation and requirements, Olive Oil Jones presented Zenpack with a unique opportunity to design compact and durable boxes for multiple bottle sizes.

Olive Oil Jones needed packaging for a 4-bottle tasting set, a 1-liter bottle, a 2-liter bottle, and mailers for single-bottle 4-packs. Molded pulp clamshell inserts presented a straightforward solution, but for these to be cost-effective, the company needed to sell considerably higher volumes. Molded pulp manufacturing molds can be quite expensive. Clamshells also occupy a lot of interior space, which leads to higher volumes of packaging and mailer cardboard, and thus higher costs.
Even though Olive Oil Jones ships thousands of liters per month, the team is small. They would need a package that would cut down on the fulfillment process; something so simple to assemble and pack that a single person could fulfill an order in just a few minutes.

The challenge became quite clear: Zenpack needed to design an ISTA-tested, folded corrugated structure that could handle multiple bottle weights and sizes while keeping the entire packaging compact, cost-effective, and easy-to-assemble. Sounds easy, right?
Solution
After multiple iterations and ISTA safety tests, we developed two main corrugated features specifically designed for glass bottles filled with olive oil or vinegar. To our surprise, the ISTA tests revealed that vinegar caused the bottles to break more often than olive oil. The 1- and 2-liter packages slide into a corrugated mailer while the 4-bottle tasting set doubles as the package and mailer.

Due to the design parameters and the company’s desire to avoid plastic, we focused on using sustainable materials. The packages are constructed with only corrugated cardboard, white glue, soy-based ink, and cotton cloth handles.
During the initial design phase for the 1- and 2-liter bottles, we were first inclined to secure them by the long neck and bottom, though we quickly realized the neck was the most vulnerable part of the bottle. Many iterations and tests later, we came up with a triangular structure that would secure the bottle without putting too much pressure on a specific area. The structure also has corrugated layers at the top and bottom with circular cut air pockets, just enough for slight vertical movement and even weight distribution.

For the tasting set, we used the same materials with a different approach. The set provides customers an opportunity to sample a variety of olive oils and vinegars in 250 milliliter bottles. Presentation was key, as the bottles offer a mini culinary tour of the Mediterranean. To keep the labels facing upwards, we cut bottle-shaped inserts inside layers of corrugated cardboard. The neck area is cut shallow for additional support, and once the bottles are placed inside, two loose corrugated layers keep the bottles secure. Compact and eco-friendly, the package-mailer combo is a utilitarian solution for a company that wants to focus on the flavors.
Result
We examined every factor related to the Olive Oil Jones bottom line, resulting in a packaging system that’s compact, efficient, and innovative. The packages support the company’s current operation, allowing them to save on fulfillment costs in their mission to educate the world about the life-enriching benefits of olive oil.
Back
Next
Aura