why do some foods, like pickels, still come in a glass jar, but most beverages, like milk, have migrated to waxed paper or plastic containers?


why do some foods, like pickels, still come in a glass jar, but most beverages, like milk, have migrated to waxed paper or plastic containers?

In: Chemistry

I wonder if it’s simply marketing.. pickles in a plastic bag doesn’t look sexy but milk is such a necessity that shoppers may not mind getting it in a less attractive and thus cheaper form

As far as I know (as a chemistry major) glass is safer for storing acidic foods because acidity can ease the leaching of plastic toxic compounds (like epoxy resins) into the food and that’s why many acidic foods are still sold in glass jars. But then again I have seen several brands of pickels sold in plastic containers, so maybe the amount of leaching is negligible or we have to sue the companies 😀

Pickles in glass jars are cooked in the jar to make them shelf stable. Pickles in plastic jars are fresh and must be refrigerated.

Milk is pasteurized before packaging, so it can be packed in whatever is cheapest and easiest to transport. Glass is heavy and thus more expensive to ship.

A lot of food marketing is in the packaging. Pickles look more appetizing in a glass than in a cardboard box. However, some people are also willing to pay more for a glass bottle of Coke so why is there a difference?

Well, you consume larger volumes of most beverages than you do of pickled products. Therefore there is much more money/resources to save on beverages.

Say you could save 10 cents per container by switching from glass to carton. If you buy a container of milk every two days you would save 1.50 dollars a month by choosing carton. If you buy a new container of pickles every ten days you would only save 30 cents.

EDIT: What was I downvoted for? If something in my explanation is incorrect please say so instead of just downvoting.

I buy pickles from the farm stores around here all the time in plastic containers. They’re not meant to be shelf stable, they’re not pasteurized, but as long as they remain refrigerated they’re fine for 6 weeks or so. If they needed to be shelf stable they’d need more durable packaging – glass works really well. Its non-reactive with the acids, won’t leach chemicals, and won’t mess with the flavor.

It’s mostly marketing. Glass jars are a little bit better at staying air tight over plastic but oxidation isn’t a major concern with pickles. Really pickles are cheap enough that the cost of a glass jar doesn’t raise the price of a jar of pickles past were it can be sold profitably. Packaging plays a huge part in people’s perception of quality with glass being seen as a sign of higher quality than plastic. So everyone shoves their pickles in glass jars so that people don’t think their product is inferior.

Pickles always show up to professional food service operations in plastic, either in 1 gallon jugs or 5 gallon buckets.

It is based on traditions and marketing. In eastern european contries you can often find pickles, beet roots and other pickled vegetables packed in plastic bags, they also have those in jars and cans. What surprised me, as I never saw it is sausages packed in jars, never seen it before I went to Germany. Since I am from Lithuania and every meat product is packed in plastic vacuum bags. A heard people from US is very surprised to see milk packed in plastic bags when they first visit eastern europe.

Pickles need canning jars, jars of milk. Easier to use material which is least likely to compose over hundreds of years.