Here’s the second installment in a two-part Q&A in which Ron Vandenberg gives his perspective on the creative process behind our new rectangular bottle. Ron is co-founder of the crack design firm Berkeley Merchant, in Berkeley, Calif. Our CEO, Gregg Kelley, and I worked many hours with Ron and Kim Caruana of Berkeley Merchant to develop the new bottle. (Click here to read the first part of the Q&A.)
When we talked to people at California Olive Ranch who grow the olives and make the oil, they told us clear bottles are the worst thing you can store olive oil in. Light harms olive oil. Yet every single bottle from Europe we looked at was clear. While retailers might say that consumers want to see the olive oil, we wanted to do what’s best for the oil. So we chose green. Also, green seems to equate with fresh, natural, and sustainable.
How did you come up with the idea for the olive-shaped finger grips on the bottle’s side?
We realized that nobody had thought of the idea of putting finger grips on the bottle. When you use the finger grips on the California Olive Ranch bottle, the bottle tips perfectly for pouring. People also tell us they like the grips because they make it easier to hold the bottle and avoid dropping it.
Is there any particular scene that stands out during the entire creative process for the new bottle?
I remember the four of us being in a room, all saying: ‘We know what we want to do. Are we going to have the courage of our convictions to do it?’ Looking back on all that, now that it’s been a big success, you could say: ‘Of course we should make the bottle green and have a totally different shape and swim completely against the stream.’ But it wasn’t such an easy decision. I give Gregg and Claude full credit for deciding to buck the tide.
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch