A bottle is a rigid container with a neck that is narrower than the body; so we thought, until we started to design our own ketchup bottles.

Some years ago, I heard that some Italian car designers used to draw inspiration from the most natural of ‘bodies’: the beautiful waist line of well-proportioned women. With an entirely professional interest, of course, we looked at naked women and combined a multitude of enticing waist lines into a single silhouette.

That is how we derived the design of our new 350ml bottle: a stylistic mixture of a roman oil jar and a modern carafe. To prevent delays in the traditionally male-dominated engineering department, we removed the backround images and sent our design off to the manufacturer.

img_3296A few weeks later our bottles went into production in some far away factory, were loaded onto a ship and travelled a few thousand miles until they landed at the port of Genoa last week. That was an exciting moment and the beginning of a big headache.

Since the moment our bottles arrived in Italy, we learned very quickly that our bottles are not just a bulk of glass, but a highly interesting matter to the Italian authorities. A moronic number of declarations and fees, that by far exceed the cargo’s monetary value, were necessary to convince customs that our bottles are … just bottles.

In a few days, hopefully, the customs office will acknowledge that they are not looking at weapons or narcotics but “rigid containers with a neck that is narrower than the body” – more precisely: Curtice Brothers Ketchup Bottles.

Keep your fingers crossed!