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Say goodbye to the old cap on McCormick spice bottles

McCormick, the top-selling maker of seasonings and spices, is giving its iconic red-cap bottles their first makeover in more than 40 years. Previous design (left) and the new design (right). (Photo by Courtesy McCormick via CNN)

(CNN) — McCormick, the top-selling maker of seasonings and spices, is giving its iconic red-cap bottles their first makeover in nearly 40 years.

Shoppers will soon see newly designed bottles that feature updated labeling and a new “snap” cap that the company says keeps spices and seasonings fresher compared to its previous design. McCormick’s new sleeker bottles, which have already begun rolling out in the United States, will first contain its most popular herbs and spices, including cinnamon, garlic powder and crushed red pepper.

The inside is getting a makeover, too. McCormick implemented a manufacturing change that pushes out air during the filling process that helps maintain freshness because consumers see that as a “key benefit” for purchasing, according to Nikki French, vice president of marketing for McCormick.

Allowing less oxygen in the bottle means that the product is “as fresh when the consumer opens it as the day it was packed,” French claimed to CNN, adding that home chefs will notice brighter herbs and spices and a stronger aroma that indicate freshness. A “best use by” date is also stamped on top of the lid.

McCormick is the top-selling US brand in spices and seasonings, but its market share has slightly dropped in recent years because customers are gravitating toward retailers’ in-house bands or competitors, like Simply Organic, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData.

“The problem is that consumers are not all that brand loyal in spices and seasonings and they quite easily switch between labels,” he told CNN, adding that the redesign may help McCormick products “stand out better on the shelf.”

There’s also new transparent labeling with updated graphics that show more of what’s inside the bottle because freshness is a “multisensorial” experience, French said.

McCormick, which was founded in 1889, also reworked the lids with a new “SnapTight” design so consumers can “hear the snap” that indicates the bottle closed tightly, she said, which “locks in a fresher product.”

The new bottles are made from 50% post-consumer recycled material, which is recycled plastic bottles, aluminum cans and other everyday items that are reprocessed and used to make new packaging. That reduces McCormick’s carbon footprint by about 20%, said French.

French said the company is “very confident” about the makeover because consumers in its test have chosen it twice more than its previous design and the redesign has increased loyalty by 25%, with a 40% increase in perception of freshness.

“This is a winning proposition from top to bottom and we have tons of consumer research to validate that,” she said.