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Bizarre Milk Containers Strike a Pose

Updated on August 9, 2010
Look at that beauty.  Isn't it marvelous?
Look at that beauty. Isn't it marvelous?

"What is With These Quirky Milk Jugs?"

As I entered a Costco one sunday morning, I couldn't help but notice those new, funky containers of milk in the dairy / clothing / tire aisle. "What the heck are those?" my girlfriend exclaimed, "I'm... i'm not sure..." I responded curiously.

Upon investigation, they seemed to be perfectly square, and I could stack five on top of each other! "Please don't do that with the milk, sir" a lurking associate pleaded--so I disassembled the beginning stages of my milk fort and pouted silently.

"Really though..." I asked myself "What is with these quirky milk jugs?"

I did some research, and apparently they are the wave of the future for milk. They are supposedly "greener" and less expensive for milk producers. Odd, I thought, but okay, i'll buy one for inspection, research and consumption the next time I go to Costco.

Horizon Organic. Squared Away. Arrives Fresh, Guaranteed!

The Experiment

"Bizarre creatures, they are" as I mumbled in my yoda-like voice. They seem to breed like rabbits in the Costco dairy aisle, as I could not find a normal, not-inbred gallon of milk. That's okay though, since I was out to lug one of these beasts home anyway. "Where are the regular gallons of milk" I asked before leaving Costco--"Oh, we don't carry those anymore, we only carry these" the cashier replied.

"WHAAT?! Oh well, that's okay. I can always go to safeway for a normal jug o' cow's juice." I responded distastefully.

As I travelled to my vehicle with my new companion, I couldn't help but notice how monolithic milk had become. How and why did milk evolve into... this. Is this really the next stage in the evolution and genesis of milk as we know it?

Alas though, the experiment continued as soon as I got home. The milk was difficult to pour, but sufficed. I imagined it would be difficult for kids (a.k.a. people who should not utilize jugs of milk) to open and thus pour into their sippy cups. That job should always be left to adults--it's a no brainer.

I looked at the receipt and noticed that the price was significantly lower than the normal breed of milk containers. "$2.19 for a gallon? My lord, should I turn myself in?" I felt like I was stealing, the price was so low. Yet, that's the glory--these new monsters really are less expensive for milk producers. Those who produce milk (or milk farmers, whatever you want to call them) only make about seventeen cents per gallon of milk with the old containers--they double and sometimes triple their profits with the new containers, depending on who you talk to.

The Interview

"So why are the new jugs 'green'? What makes them 'green'?" I asked the manager of a Sam's Club on the phone, "Oh, the new dairy recepticles are more cost effective due to logistics--they can fit four to five thousand more recepticles of milk per truck than the old containers". Why was she calling them recepticles? They don't carry trash--they carry milk.

Nonetheless, she made perfect sense; "Oh I see, so the shape of the recepticle gives optimal geometry in the freight process, thus increasing the amount of milk per square foot within the respective perameters of the logistics device?" was my response, "Um, yes" she said with a verbal question mark.

So it was true, the new recepticles (yuck) provided more effective space-area inside a truck, so that more milk could be fit inside, thus reducing the amount of freight trips needed per week for a given store. Brilliant! The carbon foot print of a gallon of milk will correspondingly go down!

I like it. I think I can live with this new breed of milk.

Comments

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    • DenisesArt profile image

      DenisesArt 

      9 years ago from California

      Great take - I'll pass this on to my farmer daughter for her comments!

    • profile image

      Iphigenia 

      9 years ago

      We don't have these (yet) in France. Long life milk (ugh!) in cartons is really popular here. Half a supermarket aisle can be given over to the many different options of size, skimmed-milk-ness, cholesterol-lowness and so on. I see shopping trolleys stacked with multipacks of the stuff.

      I reckon the carbon footprint of French milk would actually decrease if all the townies to go into the countryside and milk their own cows.

      Thankfully - I have found a supermarket (one locally) that sells bottles of fresh milk.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I think that your initial "resistance" to the new packaging is sentimental in nature :D

    • Benjimester profile image

      Benji Mester 

      9 years ago from San Diego, California

      Haha, this is awesome! Gotta love milk containers that look like they belong in the laundry detergent isle.

    • Direxmd profile imageAUTHOR

      Direxmd 

      9 years ago

      Cgull8m,

      I doubt the new container will affect the quality of the milk within the packaging--it's merely a cost cutting measure in order to store more cargo per trip, it seems. The packaging of the container has changed, but the materials have not.

      The old containers are not geometrically suitable to fit a lot of milk in one cargo trip (since they cannot stack on top of each other well), so I think this will be a good thing for the dairy industry and will help improve their meager profits. They don't need to sacrifice quality now.

      Cheers,

      Mike

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      I read them before that Walmart is using special milk containers to save material and also packaging. This way they can ship more milk bottles in one container than the previous bulky one. I am more concerned about the quality of milk. My granddad used to have a dairy farm, the milk tasted very sweet, whereas now it hardly tastes anything.

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      Milk in plastic bags? That's one of the strangest things I've ever heard of! Is it supposed to give you the "fresh from the cow" feeling?

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 

      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      I remember being freaked out in Spain at having to buy milk in bags. Yep: plastic bags, you pour it into a recepticle yourselves.

    • Direxmd profile imageAUTHOR

      Direxmd 

      9 years ago

      Ajcor,

      If your country is as quirky as mine is, then you will surely get these rectangular beasts within the next decade. It's worth flying up here and checking out!

      Cheers,

      Mike :)

    • ajcor profile image

      ajcor 

      9 years ago from NSW. Australia

      interesting hub- we don't have "green" milk in Australia as yet but I guess it won't be long if these receptacles are cutting costs in delivery which then reflects on the petrol.....cheers and thanks

    • Direxmd profile imageAUTHOR

      Direxmd 

      9 years ago

      Thanks proud, take care :)

      Get some sleep!

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      Sounds like an adventure to me!!

      I have to be up in 4 hours. Gotta go!!

      It really is a great hub!

    • Direxmd profile imageAUTHOR

      Direxmd 

      9 years ago

      HA! I could use a job, Costco wouldn't be awful for me :P

      It is a bit tricky to pour, but just put the rim of the glass up to the opening and pour slowly and carefully. Like all milk recepticles (ugh), the first pour is always the most likely to spill :O

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      NOT THE PORK!! That's classic! Maybe we should apply for jobs? Nah. That might be akin to my boss in high school turning over an entire movie theater to teenagers to run! LOTS of fun for us--maybe not so good for customer service.

    • Direxmd profile imageAUTHOR

      Direxmd 

      9 years ago

      LOL you always make me feel better, I simply LOVE your comments!

      I know! There MUST be some sort of science to how they assemble and market their products. "Here, lets put the TVs next to the Beef, NO NO NOT THE PORK!".

      Working in their marketing & decor department is probably cake :P

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      Upon second glance at the container, I might suggest to the designers that they mold the handle a little lower on the container. Would make for easier pouring, I think. Was it difficult for you to pour? I'm just trying to prepare myself......

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      WHAT?!?! You mean I'm NOT supposed to have the 3 year old pour his own milk into his sippy cup? I feel so ashamed! :-))

      I never have figured out the layout of those crazy stores! Milk, Clothing and Tires together in yours, you say? How about Alcohol, Home Repair and pharmaceuticals like ours? Okay, you might need a tube of neosporin and a roll of gauze after you drink your case of beer while repairing the roof. Maybe there's more logic there than I originally thought....

      Great hub. I guess I better go make less room in my fridge. :-))

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