Why Ocean Spray cranberry sauce cans are upside down

We're here to help solve this Thanksgiving mystery.

Ocean Spray cranberry sauce is one of the most popular varieties for the upcoming holiday. AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Cranberry sauce: Love it or hate it, no Thanksgiving dinner seems complete without it.

When it comes to the tart red condiment, everyone has their favorites — jellied or whole berry, canned or fresh.

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Fans of the canned variety may have noticed an odd quirk about the Ocean Spray cans, one of the more popular varieties of the sauce according to Ad Week.

The cans seem to be upside down compared to other canned goods, with the rounded edge at the top and the flatter edge at the bottom. This isn’t a mistake or a labeling error, according to the farm cooperative that makes the sauce.


Ocean Spray told CNN Business that they make the cranberry sauce cans that way to keep the jelly whole.

The method creates an air bubble on the rounded side (or the top) so consumers “can swipe the edge of the can with a knife to break the vacuum and the log will easily slide out.”

That firm jelly texture is created by the cooking of the cranberries, caused by their natural pectin, according to Scientific American. The longer the cooking, the more firm the jelly.