1970: “Refrigerate after opening” becomes major marketing innovation

Refrigerate after opening

Marketing Moment chosen by Steve Diamond, executive creative director, R2C Group

I feel a mixture of deep admiration and profound antipathy for this marketing innovation: refrigerate after opening.

The consumer psychology is ingenious; it’s a near perfect way to convert doubt straight into dollars. Americans throw away over 35m tons of food every year. That’s nearly three times what we discarded in 1960.

The sad part is, much of that food is perfectly ne. One of the many factors behind the trend is the increased use of ‘sell by’ dates and the simple statement, ‘refrigerate after opening’. Merely raising the idea that an item could someday go bad causing people to toss and replace it. ‘When in doubt, throw it out.’

But does ketchup go bad? Vinegar? What about Grenadine Syrup? Just to be safe, I’ll buy a new one. Cha-ching.

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