World debut at local grocery store - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

World debut at local grocery store

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Owens-Illinois is a Northwest Ohio company that sells glass products all over the globe and it's been testing some of those products here before they hit the world market.

O-I has just released the third jar in a series called the "Versa" product line. The latest creation is called the Versa Flip. The slogan on it says tip and dip. The goal is to make getting to the bottom of the jar a lot easier. It just made it's world debut at Walt Churchill's Market and after only a few days on the shelves, sales are strong.

You may know Toledo is often a test market for food, but you may not know it's also been a test market for Owens-Illinois glass containers.

Stephanie Johnston is the Director of Commercial Strategic Planning for Owens-Illinois, "We choose to test in our backyard because we can get reaction from friends, family and neighbors in real time. We learn what works and we share that with our customers all over the world."

O-I is the world's leading maker of glass packaging and the Versa Flip is one of its latest designs, "It is a multi-faceted jar. You know how hard it is sometimes when you get to the bottom of a jar to get the product out, this jar tips, so all you do is tip and dip right in!"

The only place you can find the jar right now is here at Churchill's, but Johnston says that will soon change, "Can we expect to see it on shelves around the world? Absolutely, we have designs on taking this all over the globe. I can't tell you much more than that right now other than to say we know it will be on shelves around the world for consumers in the very near future."

This is the third time O-I has teamed up with the local grocery store for a world premier. It all started with the Versa Flow, which has a spout on the lip to make pouring easier. In addition to the jars coming from a local company they've all been filled with custom recipes from the chef at Churchill's. Owner Walt Churchill says he's honored to team up with a world leader, "It's a good fit. They are a big company with a lot of things to test and we're a small company that's an easy place to try things."

Johnston says the jar not only makes life easier in the kitchen, it's green, "Glass is 100% recyclable, so the jar can go on to be used to make many other jars. We hope you buy it, use it and recycle it. We want our glass back so we can make another one for you!

The Versa Flip just hit the shelves on Friday and Churchill says it's already outselling other salsas with a similar price point, "I had a lady tell me she bought one just because of the jar. I hope she likes the salsa too! I hope the sauce starts bringing them back after they get a couple of the jars."

They're only going to sell one thousand Versa Flip jars at the Churchill stores in Maumee and Perrysburg. After that O-I expects to sell the jars to companies that make salsas and dips. The jar is expected to go global in the coming months. There are at least two more Versa products being developed by O-I in addition to all the other products they have in the pipeline.

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