“This was a very special project. At the beginning the client was just looking for the design of a brand and a label for a range of salts.

"But the concept of the product was very interesting since the salts come from a nature reserve in the south of Spain, in Santiago de la Ribera, Murcia, where salt is recovered from the sea base, and due to there being a natural surplus, there is a sort of chain between nature and consumption which is very positive.

"At the same time, each type of salt has a customised mixture of different ingredients, making it a unique product,” says designer, Eduardo del Fraile. 

Once the project had started, the client, José Rios, was presented with the idea of creating a container that would be the salt cellar itself.

“From the beginning, it was decided that only one material would be used. Several possibilities were put forward and finally it was agreed that a high-quality recyclable plastic would be used,” Fraile explains.

“The design of the packaging had to be distinguishable as there are many salt brands in the marketplace, but only a few were providing a product of this kind.”

Making the most of this and assuming that the content was different, the product design opportunities were widened. “The market is overwhelmed with types of shapes or reinventions in the packaging field, so inspiration turned up in a more familiar form. And since nature always takes the shortest path, the shape of an egg was practically reproduced,” says Fraile.

The initial design was then quickly developed – but the creation of the egg-come-salt-cellar involved a great deal of hard work.

“All the details were carefully analysed. I had already taken part in the design of a product, but this time it was in a more direct way. In this project I had the pleasure of working together with Aurelia González, interior designer and a good friend of mine.

"The most interesting part is that our working sessions took place sitting at the cosy tables of different cafés in town. I think that she hardly ever came to the studio, almost all the ‘soso process’ was drafted in our working notebooks. It was a lot of fun,” says Fraile.

“Once the design of the product, the naming and final graphics were approved, we moved on to the production of the piece. At this point I turned to Grupo Idea, who have engineering design and product development expertise, something that made my work easier since they absolutely respected the design and worked on the production process of the piece in a very enthusiastic way.”

“The manufacture of the eggs was carried out only 100 kilometres away from my studio, making it easy for me to visit the factory. We did not need to repeat the first mould design – in a way we can say we ‘laid a naturally perfect egg’ – and the ecological impact of the manufacturing and design process was significantly reduced,” explains Fraile.

The texture of the eggs is that of an actual egg and when touched, it lightens the artificial feeling of the plastic. “The colours of each egg involved a whole process in themselves since the range of plastics changed in shade and we had to handcraft this to trial each colour. Finally an egg box, fully moulded and holding six eggs was created,” Fraile says.

Since then the Soso eggs have stood out in trade fairs and have received a wide range of international awards. Worthy of mention are the Pentawards and the Laus Awards in Barcelona.

José Rios has now joined a large investment group called Salinera Española, which helps him sell his product with improved customer service and wider distribution across the world.

“This is a great success story for José Rios,” adds Fraile. “With a medium-sized budget and a belief that good design applied to an innovative product would help them hold a relevant position in the marketplace, they have yielded great results.”

“I always set myself a small personal goal in each project involving the creation of a product. I try to make people feel attached to the product so that the effort put into its design is reflected on the affection the consumer has for it.”

Soso is currently distributing a reusable one kilogram egg suitable for any foodstuff. “This project was my own personal idea and it made me very happy to see that they decided to go for it. This means that the container will be like the old cookie jars that many people keep in their homes,” says Fraile.   

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