Treehugger.com says it all: “The Mason jar is a mainstay in every zero-waste, plastic-free, home-cooking, tree-hugging household these days. Beloved by hipsters for mixing cocktails and schlepping cappuccinos, by home canners for preserving garden produce, by DIYers and Pinterest fans for organizing and decorating, the Mason jar truly is a celebrity workhorse of the 21st century.” I mean, how can you argue with that statement?
Think about your last trip to the grocery store. How much of what you bought was sold in something that could be used only for that purpose? Single-serving yogurt containers, plastic bags holding deli meat, plastic clamshells for prepared salads, frozen-meal trays—that all went into the trash, or, hopefully, to recycling.
Eating out of Mason jars has been a thing for a long time. In the last eight years, this has really become more popular due to the growing buzz surrounding reducing waste and the hazards of eating out of plastic containers. Mason jars have been used for overnight oats, salads, soups, deconstructed sushi, cheesecake, shepherd’s pie, and worms (gummy) and dirt (chocolate pudding, thankfully)—just to name a few. Other than eating out of them and canning, how else can we use these jars?
Another search on Google serves up nearly 11 million results for “zero waste ideas for Mason jars.” While most of the ideas do revolve around food storage, cooking, using as a dish alternative, and crafting, there are a lot of other ideas as well, like candles, DIY products (e.g., lotions), lights, herb gardens, and even taking the jars to the store with you to fill up in the bulk section.
Through all the research on this blog, not one Mason jar blogger, store, or article said any other jar was generally better than the Ball Mason jar. Sure, some gave Anchor Hocking a nod for a smooth-sided jar, but that’s really splitting hairs. In fact, a search of “I hate Ball jars” brings up more than two million results of people complaining about the trend of drinking out of Mason jars, not the Ball jars being inferior.
In an effort to instill more community into the Ball brand, the team at Jarden (now Newell Brands) created FreshPreserving.com as a hub for recipes, canning tips, and crafting ideas. Through building this site, they have been able to tie their community together across social media in a user-friendly experience. Take a look at the numbers on their social accounts (this community is engaged):
Walt Disney once said, “Whatever you do, do it well.” The team working on the Ball brand is doing just that. Some companies may see success on a product line and think, “Hey! We can do that too!” and expand into products that they don’t really have the experience to win in (see Colgate Kitchen Entrees).
The Ball product line has extended into a variety of jar and lid styles, seasonings and sugars, and even canning appliances with a line called freshTECH. This line consists of three products, all meant to help make canning just a little bit easier. There is a jam-and-jelly maker, an electric water-bath canner, and a sauce maker.