Why are the Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce stickers upside down?

Perhaps one of Thanksgiving’s greatest mysteries is cranberry sauce — and we’re not talking about why people eat it: Why are the labels on Ocean Spray cans upside down?

Observant consumers note that the labels on cans of cranberry sauce are upside down, which means that the rounded edge typically found at the bottom of most canned goods is on top of Ocean Spray cans of cranberry sauce.

According to Ocean Spray, this is intended: It creates a seamless rendering experience.

A spokesperson for Ocean Spray told CNN Business that the cans are “filled and marked upside down with the round tip on top and the sharp, case-like edge on the bottom to keep the gel whole.” This creates an air bubble on the rounded side (also known as the top) so customers can “pass the edge of the can with a knife to break open and it will pull the log out easily.”

This process has been in use since the early 2000s.

Adweek, which recently reported this important one can warn, noted that about 67 million cans are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

But like other Thanksgiving staples, canned cranberry sauce can be hard to come by. The sauce is available at 79% across national retailers, down from 89% in the same period, according to IRI, the market research firm that tracks US retail sales.

“Consumers can sometimes experience availability issues on a variety of cranberry products,” said Ocean Spray, a farmers’ cooperative that makes cranberry sauce and sells bagged cranberries, due to supply chain issues. The cooperative noted that it does not expect “significant impacts” on the availability of its products.

The shopping shortage and price hikes are expected to continue during the holiday season

CNN Business’s Danielle Wiener Brunner contributed to this report.


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