CCT at the Fast Company Innovation By Design Honoree Celebration

Fast Company hosted a celebration of Innovation By Design Award honorees on Wednesday, September 20, in New York at Convene in downtown Manhattan’s Financial District. The exclusive cocktail reception paid tribute to the remarkable achievements of this year’s honorees. 

CCT was one of these honorees! In case you missed it, the EEASY Lid earned honorable mention in the packaging category for its patented design that makes opening a jar up to 50% easier.  

Our team was represented at the celebration by CCT co-founder and managing partner James Bach and CCT president Brandon Bach. 

Here are a few photos recapping this great evening. 

Consumers Want Convenience: Isn’t It Time to Make Your Product Packaging Convenient?

Cooking at home increased significantly during the pandemic out of necessity. Now, more than three years later, many consumers are still opting to prepare meals at home. NPD’s Future of Dinner Report forecasts that in-home dinners will remain at a heightened level through 2024. The report notes that “although in-home dinners will remain elevated, consumers have resumed their busy lifestyles and will look for convenience when preparing dinner.” 

Source: AARP

Today, consumers are cooking at home for a variety of reasons including controlling the ingredients in their meals, saving money, eating healthier and spending quality time at home. As they prepare home cooked meals, consumers want the experience to be simple and easy. They are specifically looking for convenient products that offer easy-to-open packaging, shorter cook times and quick clean up. 

Many consumers are turning to tasty time-saving solutions like meal kit delivery and purchasing fresh prepared and ready-to-prep options from their grocer. Consumers’ craving for convenience is also driving the increased popularity of frozen meals and ready-to-eat snacks. NPD projects that retail ready-to-eat foods will grow by double-digits through 2024. 

Retailers and brands that deliver on convenience will increase both revenue and consumer loyalty. This is particularly true for specific types of purchases. According to the National Retail Federation, convenience is especially important to consumers when it comes to everyday items such as groceries, personal care items and pet supplies. 

Convenience-minded consumers want products in these categories to feature easy-to-use packaging solutions. For shoppers today, convenient, accessible product packaging plays a key role in influencing their buying behavior. Products with packaging that increase convenience and improve the user experience stand out on store shelves and prompt more consumers to add them to their shopping carts.   

At CCT, we recognize that convenience is a priority for consumers today. In fact, Convenience is our middle name! Our EEASY Lid is designed for convenience to help brands improve customer experience with their products. The EEASY Lid does this by making jars up to 50% easier to open, eliminating the struggle of opening stubborn jar lids for people of all ages and abilities. 

It’s also convenient for consumers when it comes to sustainability. Made of recyclable aluminum, consumers can easily recycle the EEASY Lid through most community recycling programs. The simple step of putting it in their recycling bin sends the EEASY Lid off to become a new aluminum product. 

Contact us today to learn more about how the EEASY Lid can help your brand align with consumer preferences for convenience and boost sales. 

A Circular World: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility

A circular world is one that keeps materials and products in use for as long possible. To create a more circular world and protect the health of the planet, the global problem of packaging waste must be addressed.  

Increasing the recyclability of packaging is an integral strategy for breaking the take-make-waste cycle and contributing to a circular economy. Recycling keeps waste out of landfills, conserves natural resources, reduces demand for raw materials, prevents pollution, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.  

Recycling to create a more circular world is critical for protecting the environment and mitigating the climate crisis. Companies, governments and consumers can all do their part to boost recycling of product packaging to promote a circular economy. 

Source: UNDP Climate Promise


Companies can decrease waste and pollution by designing recyclability into their packaging. Rethinking product packaging to increase recyclability can reduce carbon emissions and help companies meet circularity targets.  

When designing packaging for recyclability, brands should look for circular packaging materials like aluminum. As a metal that can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing its original properties, aluminum is considered one of the key materials for the circular economy. Nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. 

As brands look to minimize their environmental impact and win over sustainability minded customers, they must not only switch to packaging materials that are easy to recycle but must help educate consumers on how to recycle the packaging. A coalition of forward thinking brands are already doing this by adopting How2Recycle smart packaging labels. How2Recycle is a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public. 


The government can also help increase recycling and play a critical role in advancing circularity by supporting and strengthening community recycling programs, modernizing recycling infrastructure and educating consumers.  

In 2020, the EPA announced a goal to increase the U.S, recycling from 32% to 50% by 2030. The EPA aims to support this goal by reducing contamination in recycling, making the U.S. recycling processing system more efficient and strengthening the economic markets for recycled materials. 

Some U.S. states are also working to significantly increase recycling rates through extended producer responsibility (EPR) fees, which shift some of the cost of waste management to brand owners, producers and material manufacturers. EPR fees are based on the types and amount of packaging these entities put on the market and help cover the cost of collecting, sorting and recycling. 

Communities can also help increase recycling rates by adding recycling bins in public spaces and using social media and websites to promote recycling, share information on what materials can be recycled and increase participation. 


Consumers also play a vital role in boosting recycling rates to advance circularity and help reduce the 82.2 million tons of containers and packaging that make up a major portion of municipal solid waste.  

Consumers can do their part by checking with their local recycling provider to learn what they will accept in recycling bins. Another way consumers can increase recycling is to “think green” as they shop, checking product labels before they buy to determine if the packaging is made from recyclable or recycled materials. 

Becoming recycling advocates and urging their representatives to introduce legislation that supports recycling programs is another way consumers can help increase recycling and promote a more circular world.  

The world needs to become more circular, and packaging innovations can help. 

Innovative packaging solutions like the EEASY Lid made of recyclable and sustainable aluminum can help brands close the loop and accelerate their path to circularity. Contact us today to learn more about how the EEASY Lid can help increase the circularity of your products. 

The EEASY Lid is a Fast Company Innovation by Design Award Honoree!

Exciting news – CCT’s EEASY Lid recently earned honorable mention in Fast Company’s 2023 Innovation by Design Awards! 

The EEASY Lid was recognized in the packaging category for its patented design that makes opening a jar up to 50% easier. The first jar lid innovation in over 75 years, the EEASY Lid is an accessible packaging innovation designed to address the massive inclusivity and accessibility problem that exists in packaging design today. The EEASY Lid eliminates the struggle of opening stubborn jar lids for people of all ages and abilities.   

One of the most sought-after design awards in the industry, Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards honors the designers and businesses solving the most crucial problems of today and anticipating the pressing issues of tomorrow. The competition features a range of blue-chip companies, emerging startups, and hungry young talents. 

Over 2,000 entries in 50 categories were judged based on the key criteria of innovation: functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, user insight, cultural impact and business impact. 

The packaging category of Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards specifically honors projects that use materials, graphics and industrial design to solve packaging problems. 

In a press release announcing the honor, CCT president Brandon Bach said: “Being honored in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards validates our mission and proves what we’ve always known – that the EEASY Lid is an innovative packaging product that can improve the lives of consumers everywhere. Additionally, by adapting packaging to meet accessibility needs, brands can also open themselves up to a much bigger portion of the consumer market.” 

The judges for Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards include renowned designers from a variety of disciplines, business leaders from some of the most innovative companies in the world, and Fast Company’s own writers and editors. Entries went through multiple rounds of judging aimed at ensuring every Innovation by Design honoree is representative of the best work in its respective field. 

You can see the complete list of honorees here and the full list of honorees in the packaging category here. 

CCT In the News

Since its unveiling in 2019, the EEASY Lid has been featured in a long list of local, national and industry media outlets and that list is getting longer as coverage keeps rolling in. 

Coverage of the EEASY Lid appeared in All Pack Hellas, a European bimonthly packaging magazine that reaches an audience of owners, top executives, production managers, supply managers, and commercial managers.  

Headlined “EDEKA Kempken Becomes First European Grocer to Adopt the EEASY Lid”, CCT was featured in a two-page spread that detailed news of CCT’s partnership with the family-owned German grocer to introduce the innovative EEASY Lid to select stores in Krefeld, Germany.  

The article highlighted that CCT’s patented EEASY Lid is designed to help brands provide an unprecedented level of accessibility to their jarred food products, noting that traditional jarred products require more than 40 in-lb of torque to open, while the EEASY Lid only takes an average of 9 in-lb of torque to open a jar.  

The All Pack Hellas coverage also featured a Q&A with CCT president Brandon Bach at the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) show in Amsterdam. Brandon answered questions ranging from what makes the EEASY Lid innovative to what stores carry jarred products topped with the EEASY Lid to what the future holds for CCT and the EEASY Lid. 

Read the All Pack Hellas article on pages 80-81 here

The EEASY Lid was also featured in Tedium, a twice weekly newsletter that explores niche topics not covered by major media outlets and using deep dive storytelling to make these topics interesting and compelling. 

Tedium publisher Ernie Smith wrote about the history of the tamper-evident “safety button” commonly seen on jar lids. In the article, Smith chronicled the evolutionary story of this quality-control and important safety technology. 

The article observes that the jar lid had its early beginnings in 1858 with the Mason Jar and went through various iterations over the ensuing years in an effort to help keep jars sealed and food safe.  

The article highlighted the EEASY Lid as one of the most recent efforts to improve jar lids, making them both safe and easy to open. Describing the EEASY Lid, this piece notes that “rather than waiting for the button to pop up, you press down on it, which eases the vacuum seal, making it so that the most annoying part of opening up a lid is handled before you actually open it.”  

The author concluded that the EEASY Lid “could make relying on the strong-armed relative with a magic touch a thing of the past, which may in fact be a good thing.” 

Read the full Tedium article here

The Story Behind the EEASY Lid: Then and Now

Opening a stubborn jar lid is challenging for almost everyone, but is nearly impossible for people with disabilities, the elderly and people recovering from illness or injury. The age-old problem of struggling to get lids off jars has existed for over 75 years.  

That problem was solved for good when innovative technology was developed to make opening jars easy for people of all ages and abilities. The EEASY Lid was introduced in 2019, changing the everyday experience of opening jars for the better. 

The EEASY Lid’s story began with a simple question. Why isn’t there a way to make opening jars easier? That question was posed to CCT managing partner Pete Stodd by his friend Dawn, a woman who was recovering from breast cancer surgery that left her unable to apply enough strength to open jars.  

That one simple question triggered the eight-year journey to develop the EEASY Lid. 

As the inspiration behind the solution that makes jars up to 50% easier to open than traditional jar lids, we wanted to reconnect with Dawn to get her experience with the EEASY Lid now that it is commercially available. 

Here’s what she had to say. 

How did it feel seeing the EEASY Lid for the first time on pasta sauce jars?  

It was very neat to see it and to use it. I think sometimes jar lids are just too tight. There are times when you can’t get a jar open – you’re banging it to try and get it open and nothing gives, so of course you wind up passing it along to someone else to try to get it open. The EEASY Lid is a great idea that would benefit a lot of people – especially people who have any kind of disability. 

Tell us about your experience opening the EEASY Lid for the first time. 

It felt great – it was easy! I thought to myself, ‘wow – this is a lot simpler and easier than I thought it was going to be.’ My sister has passed, but she was in a wheelchair for a long time, and lost strength. This would have been great for her. It is great for anybody, really. I don’t know what pressure companies use when they are putting lids on normal sauce jars, but sometimes you just cannot get them open. The simplicity and ease of opening jars with the EEASY Lid is great.  

Can you see yourself buying products with the EEASY Lid as it becomes more widely available? 

Absolutely. When the idea for the EEASY Lid came up, I told Pete it’s not just for the elderly. Me, someone who had breast cancer, can really use something like this. I don’t think a lot of people understand what reconstructive surgery is and the impact it has on our bodies. I had my surgery in 2014, and I still struggle this many years later. 

Developed as a result of Dawn’s one simple question eight years ago, the EEASY Lid is changing the jar opening experience forever, taking the struggle out of opening jars for everyone.  

Today, the EEASY Lid is making its way into stores across the United States and Europe. Consumers can now find the EEASY Lid atop New-York-based Guglielmo’s Sauce in more than 250 New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania grocery stores and atop products in select EDEKA Kempken stores in Krefeld, Germany. 

The EEASY Lid’s story is still unfolding as we work to bring accessible packaging to more products and more grocery stores everywhere. 

Growth Strategies for Keeping the Store Brands Market Momentum Going

In the first half of 2023, store brands posted record sales, continuing the strong growth of the last 18 months. Total store brand dollar sales for the first six months of this year were $108 billion compared to $100 billion in dollar sales last year. Store brand sales across all retail outlets also outpaced national brands, increasing 8.2% versus 5.2% for national brands. 

With sales of private label products reaching record highs, retailers are looking for strategies to cultivate long-term customer loyalty that will keep this momentum going. Some of the strategies grocers can leverage to increase the appeal of their store brand products and continue to boost sales include: 

Competitive pricing 

Even as inflation begins to ease, consumers are still looking for deals, with many purchasing store brands to help stretch their dollar. A survey found that 55% buy private brands because they are less expensive, and 63% of private brand shoppers consider these products to be a good value. 

To foster long-term loyalty among these cost-conscious consumers, grocers can target messaging around value and price and offer promotions and weekly deals. A majority of food retailers and manufacturers (71%) plan on working with suppliers to optimize price and availability to align with shoppers selecting private brands because of lower costs, deals or perception of good value. 

New product offerings 

Grocers can also boost store brand sales by expanding their portfolio of these products. Many retailers are looking at doing just that, with 64% planning to launch new products. Grocers are exploring options for offering healthier products such as plant-based, vegan, heart-healthy and gluten-free products. Fresh food and international foods are other growth areas for private label products. 

Brand updates 

To increase the appeal of their store brands, grocers are giving product logos and packaging a makeover, updating them to reflect a more modernized look. Earlier this year, Albertsons announced that it is rebranding its Signature Farms, Signature Care and Signature Cafe products under one master brand, Signature SELECT, which will feature “a refreshed, modern logo, bold packaging and a new marketing campaign designed to build an emotional connection with customers.”  

 Sustainable packaging 

EDEKA Kempken Sauce with EEASY Lid

Grocers are also adopting sustainable packaging as a key differentiator aimed at boosting sales and building customer loyalty.  

Brand sustainability matters to consumers, playing an increasingly important role in their purchasing decisions. Consulting firm Kearney’s 2023 Earth Day Survey of 1,000 consumers found that 42% of respondents reported always or nearly always considering environmental impacts when making a purchasing decision, “a historic high and an 18 percentage point increase over 2022.” 

Grocers are already embracing innovations like the EEASY Lid to embed sustainability into their product packaging.  

Brands like New-York-based Guglielmo’s Sauce and German grocer EDEKA Kempken incorporated the EEASY Lid in their product packaging strategies to bring the sustainable, accessible packaging consumers want and need to store shelves. 

Made of recyclable aluminum, the EEASY Lid is a sustainable packaging solution that helps store brands convey a stronger value proposition, stand out from the competition and meet sustainability goals.  

Interested in boosting your store brand sales? It’s easy with the EEASY Lid. Contact us today to learn more. 


Sustainable Packaging Round-Up

The packaging industry continues its shift toward sustainability as brands increasingly recognize the positive environmental impact and commercial opportunity of sustainably transforming their packaging.  

Consumer preference for more environmentally friendly packaging is one of the major factors driving the growth of the sustainable packaging market, which is projected to increase from $371.4 billion in 2022 to $737.6 billion in 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.30%. 

The growing market share of sustainable packaging is not surprising considering that consumers are increasingly factoring in the sustainability of product packaging in their purchasing decisions. According to a recent McKinsey Sustainability in Packaging Survey, 43% of respondents consider environmental impact an extremely or very important packaging characteristic when making purchasing decisions. The same survey found that about half of US consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, with 50% of consumers willing to pay 1-3% more, 25% willing to pay 4-7% more, and about 12% willing to pay 7-10% more.

As brands continue to recognize the benefits of green packaging strategies for increasing customer acquisition, retention and long-term loyalty, they are turning to innovative packaging designs and materials to reduce their environmental impact.    

Here’s a round-up of some of the newest sustainable packaging designs and technologies that are helping brands reduce their carbon footprint: 

As consumer demand for sustainable packaging solutions continues to increase, companies will need to take a more environmentally responsible approach to their packaging strategies to capture share of wallet, or the amount of money an average customer devotes to a particular brand rather than a competing brand in the same category.  

Brands can start capturing more share of wallet today with the EEASY Lid. Made of recyclable aluminum, the EEASY Lid is an eco-friendly packaging solution designed to help brands reduce their carbon footprint and increase sales. 

Contact us today to learn more about how the EEASY Lid can help your brand harness the competitive advantage of sustainable packaging. 

Q&A With CCT President Brandon Bach

We recently caught up with CCT president Brandon Bach for a question-and-answer session. Read on to learn a little bit about his background, gain some insight on the journey to develop and market the EEASY Lid, learn what’s next for CCT and the EEASY Lid, and get some useful, experienced-based entrepreneurial advice.  

What is your background? 

I have a BA in communications with a minor in business. I spent 20 years as a video director in the field of live staging events, concerts and shows including for Fortune 500 companies. After 20 years in the live events world, it was time for a change. I started at CCT in the R&D phase, and I was able to use my video background to help design and develop the tools required to make the EEASY Lid. Being able to video tape and slow down the footage, we were able to see how each variable reacted and how it affected the performance of the EEASY Lid compared to the computer FEA models that we generated for the concept of each variable.  

What brought you to CCT? 

After two decades in live event staging, I started thinking about making a career change. At that time, a great opportunity came about that involved working with my father Jim and CCT co-founder Pete Stodd to bring the EEASY Lid to market. 

After giving it some thought, it felt like the perfect time to jump in and experience something new. It was and still is an amazing opportunity to work on an easy-open jar lid product that provides tremendous value in helping people. It’s also pretty special to have the opportunity to work with my father. 

What was it like developing the EEASY Lid? 

In the process of developing the EEASY Lid, we tried over 40 different combinations and tools to try and make it work with steel. Because steel corrodes, we made the decision to switch to aluminum to overcome the corrosion issue. This was a massive pivot because, not only did we make a completely new product, but we were also changing the industry.  

The aluminum EEASY Lids we produce today are durable, safe, sustainable and accessible. They also yielded outstanding results in testing by independent labs.  

Is the EEASY Lid patented? 

Yes. The EEASY Lid is patented worldwide. There are hundreds of patents out there for easy-open jar lid designs, but only one EEASY Lid! 

What is CCT doing to break into the jar lid space? 

When we first began, we had to answer the question of who our customers are. That sounds simple, but in the packaging industry, it is not as straightforward as it might seem. We had to determine whether our customer is the brand or the owner of the jarred product or the fillers and the manufacturers of the product. The answer? It varies. Depending on the amount of product produced, the filler or manufacturer might be specifying what packaging to use. That’s because some brands don’t have the in-house resources to advise them on the best packaging, so they rely on fillers to make these packaging decisions for them.  

What has been the hardest part about starting this business? 

Time. During the pandemic, timelines for everything – whether it was scheduling a meeting or purchasing equipment – became longer. The pandemic is still having a cascading effect on timelines. Before COVID, getting a tool made for us took 6-8 weeks, now it’s anywhere from 4-6 months.  

We have had to get creative in navigating shifting timelines to meet our own deadlines. That might mean taking on more vendors to get enough boxes to ship out completed lids or being more strategic in scheduling.  

What is the best part about starting this business? 

In developing the EEASY Lid, we solved the age old problem of opening stubborn jar lids which has plagued consumers ever since the jar lid was invented. The best part of solving this problem is that the EEASY Lid makes jarred products more accessible to everyone. That universal value is something we are proud of. 

Where do you see CCT in two to three years? 

We see the EEASY Lid on products worldwide. Awareness of the EEASY Lid is growing, fueling increasing interest in our product. In the next two to three years our aim is to max out our first production line and move on to building our second and third lines. 

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs based on what you have learned? 

Do your research to get background in the industry you are trying to break into and to help answer any burning questions that might come up. Also, look for groups and associations that are affiliated with your target industry. These groups can provide valuable guidance and help point you in the right direction if you get stuck on an issue or run into a problem. They are also a great way to make valuable connections in your industry.  


Specialty Food Sales Reach Record High

Sales of specialty foods and beverages are on the upswing. The Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) annual State of the Specialty Food Industry Report released last month showed that specialty retail (brick and mortar) rose to a record high of $96.5 billion in 2022. The report also highlighted that sales of specialty foods and beverages across all retail and food service channels neared $194 billion in 2022, up 9.3% over 2021, and are expected to reach $207 billion by year’s end.  

According to the SFA, the specialty market is composed of 63 food and beverage categories, which collectively account for nearly 22% of retail food and beverage sales.  

The top 10 specialty categories in retail sales according to the SFA report were:

  1. Chips, pretzels, snacks 
  2. Meat, poultry, seafood (frozen, refrigerated) 
  3. Cheese and plant-based cheese 
  4. Bread and baked goods 
  5. Coffee and hot cocoa, non-RTD 
  6. Entrees (refrigerated) 
  7. Chocolate and other confectionery 
  8. Water 
  9. Desserts (frozen) 
  10. Entrees, lunch, dinner (frozen) 

Commenting in a press release on the report, Denise Purcell, SFA’s vice president, resource development, said: “The resilient specialty food industry continues to thrive despite weathering challenges since 2020. While food inflation has impacted the market in the past couple of years, that is stabilizing, and the industry is poised for the future with several positives in place. Consumers have more retail channels in which to purchase specialty foods, food service is rebounding, and makers are innovating with sourcing, ingredients, and promotion.” 

Brands in this sector can grab even more market share by adopting sustainable, accessible packaging solutions. Bringing sustainability and accessibility to packaging meets increasing consumer demand for products that are more eco-friendly and easier to open for people of all ages and abilities. 

Specialty food brands that don’t incorporate these features into their packaging will fall behind. 

The good news for brands is that packaging innovations like the EEASY Lid can help align their packaging with consumer values and preferences. 

Made of recyclable aluminum and up to 50% easier to open than traditional jar lids, the EEASY Lid is the perfect solution for brands looking to embed sustainability and accessibility into their packaging. 

Early adopters of the EEASY Lid include New-York-based Guglielmo’s Sauce and German grocer EDEKA Kempken. With the help of the EEASY Lid, these forward-thinking brands are improving overall consumer experience with their products and bringing the sustainable, accessible packaging consumers want and need to store shelves.  

Interested in boosting sales and capturing more market share for your specialty food product? Contact us today to learn more about the EEASY Lid.