Aside from puberty, it’s the deepest childhood trauma. You open a delicious jar of peanut butter. Roasted umami hits your nose like a hug. As you reach the knife into the jar, you feel, not the velvety pillow of nuts ground with palm oil, but the harsh clank of metal on glass. Oh no. Innocence is lost. Life becomes pain. Saddled with the emotional scar tissue from your bruised and buttered knuckles, lunchtime is never the same again.
What if I told you, it doesn’t need to be this way? Jar with a Twist, created by a team of NC State University entrepreneurs, reimagines the peanut butter experience without the lesson in the general disappointment of human existence.
"The solution didn’t come right at first, but somehow or another we jumped to deodorant-style peanut butter jars," explains developer Steve Smith. "It sounded crazy, but we thought it just might work."
The team began prototyping through the school’s 3-D printers. And what they developed was a jar that twists on the bottom, slowly screwing its way up, pushing the peanut sediment toward the container’s surface (just like deodorant). As for its ecological impact, Smith describes the container as "a normal peanut butter jar plus one more lid," with a materials cost that would increase packaging from an average of $0.10 to $0.13. But the team believes that the convenience factor can equate to a 30-40 cent increase on the store shelf, and there is something to be said for every consumer being able to eat 100% of the peanut butter rather than throwing scrapings away.
Jar with a Twist can even work for other annoyingly scrape-centric products like salsa and queso dip. It’s such a good idea that you’ll wonder why you didn’t come up with it first. But like any idea, it’s hard enough to implement that you may be happy that you didn’t.
"While the idea is simple and we often hear ‘I could have thought of that,’ there is a lot to be said for the six months of prototyping and testing we have conducted," Smith says. "We believe we are putting in the effort to make this product consumer-ready."
[Hat tip: Gizmodo]