Golden Boy Brand fish sauce label: hi-res photo is from Jenna Osborne’s Forging Health in a Sick World (One Dish at a Time)
A rack of fish sauce bottles. On each label a baby boy holds a bottle of fish sauce with a picture of himself holding the same bottle. Neither the illustration nor the resolution of the printing allow for infinite regression. Still, Golden Boy’s label gives us a little taste of infinity. I count two, maybe three iterations of packaging within packaging.
I’ve been collecting examples of this particular packaging phenomenon since 2008 so I asked her to take a phone picture. (Her photo is the one on the right.)
Tang Heab Seng Fish Sauce Factory Co., Ltd. manufactures the brand. The entire Golden Boy Brand product line is shown below.
While they’ve given their labels a consistent brand identity, their containers are not so consistent. Instead they use hodgepodge of mismatched stock bottles. The company may have fiscally sound and practical reasons for choosing each of these bottles, but the overall effect reminds me a little bit of Peter Cuba’s fictitious Budweiser brand extensions.
But there’s something else, uh fishy about this particular assortment of bottles…
In addition to Golden Boy Brand, Tang Heab Seng Fish Sauce Factory also offers two other brands of fish sauce.
We produce pure fish sauce in different quality grades and market them under the three brands which are ‘Golden Boy’ (Grade A), ‘Chao’ (Grade A) and ‘Cook Yim’ (Grade B).
On closer inspection, however, I saw that I was completely wrong about that.
Tang Heab Seng Fish Sauce Factory photo styling
Not Photoshop, but something closer to a Tang Heab Seng Fish Sauce Factory house style. Although the arrangement is nearly identical, there are subtle differences in fabric folds and bottle reflections. Someone must have decided that this arrangement of fish sauce bottles was perfect and should be repeated for all three brands.
And yet despite the extra effort, Golden Boy Brand fish sauce appears to be their biggest seller. (I found very little evidence of the Chao or Cook Yim fish sauce ever actually existing as products.)