[CH] Re: Consumer opinion - Hot sauce selection

Ashkenaz, Scott (Scott.Ashkenaz@kla-tencor.com)
Thu, 21 May 1998 20:13:12 -0700

When I am choosing sauces, I usually have several main criteria which I

First of all, I look at the top. I prefer screw-on lids which are small
and easily gripped between the thumb and forefinger. (Tabasco is an
example of this, although maybe a little on the small side.) I also
prefer that the cover have some sort of ridges which allow a good grip.
(Again Tabasco is pretty good with its flats which make it into a
polygon, although I do prefer more ridges.) The cover should have a
clear, but symmetrical, manufacturing nipple. The color of the cover
should complement the shelf upon which it sits. (I bring color swatches
from my kitchen for comparison.) 

Next, I look at the label, and notice its shape. Many are just
rectangular, and do not have an interesting shape. On these, I inspect
the corners to make sure that they are neat, well-squared, and do not
have any nicks. For more interestingly-shaped labels, I check the edge
of the paper to see that it is smooth and free of tears, and that the
cut is smooth. These flaws often indicate a lack of quality or a poor
attention to detail, which will likely reflect on the whole product.

The material of the label is also important. It should be glossy, but
not the type which is likely to smear or pucker if the label gets wet.
After several uses, I still want the label to be in good shape. (I
really avoid paper which looks as though it was made from paper bags,
such as "Pain is Good.") If it is possible to see it, I also look at the
pattern which was used to smear the glue onto the back of the label. In
some cases, there may only be a small dab at the corners, but I prefer
the labels which look like the glue was spread with a serrated knife.
This usually indicates a better holding power.

The bottom of the bottle is very important. The bottle should sit level
on the table. The rim of the base should be lightly roughened to limit
any sliding or slipping. The punt (the concave depression on the bottom
which domes into the bottle) should be proportional to the base, and
should be neither too flat nor too arched. The manufacturer's code
should be stamped into the bottle, and be clearly legible, indicating
pride in their product.

Next, I look at the place where the sauce was manufactured. Ideally, the
city should have between seven and eleven letters, not counting the
"St." It is best if it starts with a vowel, since people from these
cities tend to be friendlier, and care more about detail. The IUPAC
barcode should have six numbers, with at least one repeated digit. The
label should not include printing quality test marks - these should be
removed before the mounting. Of course, colors must be perfectly
registered, although, upon occasion, if the colors are symmetrically
misplaced around the black ink, the bottle could become a collector's

I hope that this helps.