Monday, August 4, 2008

Sign of the Apocalypse #1

Sweet Christ! Have Americans become so spoon fed, that they can't handle pouring milk out of a square jug? Even worse, have we been reduced to actually needing instructions on how to pour milk from the damn things? I know this story has been out for a month or so, but after a rough day at work, I thought to myself "These rubes are probably the ones bitching about the new milk jugs!".

Here's the story from the NY Times. The KC Star picked up the story, and then ran a follow up of reader responses/posts. (kudos to the "stupid helmets" comment!). If you don't want to read the article, the Cliff Notes version is that warehouse retailers Costco and Sam's Club are going w/ the square jugs. They allow for more efficient packaging and transportation, as well as create a "more recyclable" container. Not to mention, they fit perfectly in the doors of newer refrigerators.

Sure, it's human nature to resist change... especially for something so routine, that we can practically do it in our sleep. But I would guess this is a sign of things to come. Steps to reduce costs (costs that are inevitably passed on to consumers), will one day be the standard, and not a novelty. Apparently, that frustrates suburban housewives and the folks that tend to bitch when the wind changes directions.

It's a drop in the bucket, but here's an opportunity to reduce consumer cost, and folks are complaining! Amazing. Did I mention that as of Saturday August 2nd, a gallon of 2% milk at Costco cost $2.99 and it was over $4 at a local PV grocery store? Additionally, because processing time has been reduced, the milk is good for almost 2 weeks, and not 6 days like the current "pour friendly" milk jugs. To me, the savings and increased shelf life, should trump any perceived learning curve.

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