Atta Ikede

January 22, 2009

New Milk Jug

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 8:43 am

The place I work at has some free food at work – including a good variety of cereal. I think that’s why we also have a fridge full of milk! The fridge starts off full of milk at the beginning of the week, and by the end there’s nothing left.

You know how in Canada, a “family sized” milk package comes in 4L bags? For my lonely Denverian reader, here’s a picture of a giant Canadian milk bag. (Canadians don’t have to click that. I know you guys probably have one of those in the fridge right now).

I’m pretty sure that those don’t exist anywhere in the states. I remember going on family vacations down the east coast to our timeshare and nowhere – not virginia, either carolina, tennessee, florida, georgia, louisiana, new york, and nowhere in between – did I see those giant milk bags.

Instead, in the states, we use gigantic plastic jugs. Each jug has 1 gallon of milk. 1 gallon = 3.78 litres. And yes people, it’s litre, not liter! Hehe.

The normal plastic jug, the jug I’ve seen in my travels around the states, and the jug we had at work until yesterday, looked like this.

But .. surprise! Yesterday I went to work, opened the fridge, and saw something that looks like this! At first, I didn’t even think it WAS a milk jug! I had to do a doubletake!

My boss happened to be in the kitchen when I was noticing the jug, and we spent a few seconds discussing  the new design.

1. It’s more stackable. There’s even a groove at the top and a corresponding lump at the bottom that makes it really obvious that one jug can stand on top of another. A clear improvement over the old design, which was definitely not stackable.

2. I noted it has a slimmer profile. It’s more tall and rectangular, which is good for smaller fridges like the one I have in my apartment.  The old jug had no hope of fitting in my fridge door shelf. The new one has a footprint similar to that of a pop bottle and therefore will probably fit.

3. My boss noted it probably takes less plastic to make. The old jug had a lot of wasted molded platsic at the top around the handle area. No milk can go there.. that material was purely used for making a handle.

I went back to my desk and googled in case anybody else had noticed the new milk jug. Unsurprisingly, I found tons of hits! Apparently, the new milk jug design was rolled out LAST SUMMER at costco and some walmarts/sams clubs. I guess the change didn’t make it out here until recently, cuz the girl who orders the work food said she didn’t do anything different this time and it was the first time I saw this new thing. Other coworkers were also surprised by it.

I was happy to see my boss and I hit on the key benefits of the new design in our 30 second analysis. Yes!! I love product people.  This new design has pretty significant environmental benefits due to its stacking ability – it renders milk crates and the processes to clean and move them unnecessary and obsolete. It also requires less plastic to make. If you read the article, you’ll notice that some people complain that it’s trickier to pour, but I had problems with the old jug too so meh, I’m unmoved by this complaint.

I hope this change spurs other firms into improving their packaging too. Excessive, wasteful packaging sucks.



  1. I’ve always found it difficult to pour milk out of those huge 4litre plastic jugs. They’re just way too heavy! So how is this new jug to pour?

    Comment by el_rodento — January 24, 2009 @ 6:19 am

    • It’s ok once the first inch or two is used up. It’s kind of tricky to open a fresh jug. The new design seems a little more awkward to pour and could be improved by putting in a retractable pouring spout on the side of the jug. Right now they basically just have a hole at the top of the jug, and a cap to cover the hole.

      “too heavy”?? Go to your room and start lifting that dumbbell! lol. You need to work out.

      Comment by attaikede — January 26, 2009 @ 7:51 am

  2. I clicked on the 4L milk link… yes, I did….

    Comment by picnic buddy — January 26, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  3. lol. You’re silly. I guess it doesn’t hurt to confirm that it looks how it looks.

    I predict … from now on you will feel an extra twinge of national pride when you walk by the milk area at Zehrs!

    Comment by Atta ikede — January 26, 2009 @ 10:26 am

  4. so I did, I ckecked out the 4L milk at store and smiled like an idiot in front of the milk section.

    Comment by picnic buddy — January 31, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

  5. :)

    Comment by attaikede — February 1, 2009 @ 9:23 am

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