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Cala-Ketchup (Tiny Calabash shape Ketchup)

Using organic calabashes for ketchup packaging, in order to avoid the waste of single-use sachet for ketchup.

Photo of Qianshang Chen
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For nosheries, they require a huge amount of ketchup. Because of convenience and neatness, they tend to use single-use sachets of ketchup, which produces countless waste. 


In ancient China, our ancestor liked to use empty calabashes to carry with alcohol. Inspired from this, I want to use the same method to carry ketchup with tiny calabashes, which is eco-friendly and biodegradable. 

Possible Future:

This is a ketchup packaging design, but it doesn't limit for ketchup, also can be used for other sauce and liquid packages. 

Idea Title



Where are you / your team located?

I am a design student in School of Visual Arts located at New York, US.

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

Using calabashes as packaging instead small format plastic packaging.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Case One: Single-use sachet for liquid consumer products

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

An individual idea from Ancient China,

Tell us about your work experience

I was an industrial designer in China for 3 years, designing a wide range of consumer goods. And now, I am also studying front-end web design and UX design.

Attachments (1)


The ideal end-to-end system for Cala-Ketchup ( Including some stakeholder that might involve ).

This inspired (1)



Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Qianshang!

Really interesting idea!

You might want to check out Biobots. Fruit or veg genetically modified into fast growing bottles or containers similar to Gourd canteens. by Anthony Davis 

How would this work end-to-end e.g. what is the process from the calabash growing on the bush/tree to the product in a store/restaurant? Who are the different types of people involved in the process?

This is the first time I have heard about Calabash. What are they used for? Do the insides have a use? Could you co-locate or partner with a company that uses the insides of the Calabash?

Photo of Qianshang Chen

Hi Kate,
Thanks for the comment and link, which is valuable and inspiring. I also think if my idea can corporate with Biobots, becoming the fast growing calabash's packaging planted in restaurants, is it even more interesting?

In term of the end-to-end process, I still need to do more research in order to make the user's journey and stakeholder map. But I have a general idea in my mind, I could make a quick draw before the deadline of the idea process if it is necessary.

Calabash is an interesting plant. Chinese has used it as a container more than 7000 years. They naturally become hollow when they aged. After harvest, people can drill a hole, then obtain the seeds inside by sharking them. And the seeds can be used for eating, planting or making soap, etc. Therefore, using calabashes will not produce any waste.

At last, I still have no plan for partners so far, but if I can be fortunately selected to the next step, I will try to cooperate with some companies or organizations to create a healthy system for Cala-ketchup. Thank you.