Newly Designed Milk Jugs Save Consumers Money

Store patrons had to give a second look to the new containers of milk at Sam’s Club- rectangular plastic bottles that have no defined spout and stack easily on top of one another. They looked funny, but aside from the oddly shaped bottles, shoppers were in for another surprise when it came to their dairy dilemma- a much welcomed surprise- lower prices.

With the average cost for a gallon of 2% lowfat milk reaching nearly $5, shoppers were both delighted and puzzled to see a price tag of just $2.49- and this was not a sale. Turns out, the rising cost of milk has nothing to do with stingy heffers who are reluctant to be milked, but rather the rising cost of fuel. Until now, milk was very inefficient- and very costly- to transport. Traditional transportation methods were by semi-truck, once packaged by fours into tiny plastic crates that could be stacked on top of each other. Each crate weighed approximately a pound and had to be taken off the truck with a hand dolly in loads of five or six crates at a time. A truckload of the white stuff may be carrying 35,000 gallons of milk to a certain facility. The traditional method of bottling and transporting meant that in addition to the 35,000 gallons of milk, the truck would also be hauling more than 12,000 pounds in crates alone. The new method and bottles don’t need crates, but rather are set up on light pallets that carry about 500 gallons of the new milk containers on each pallet. The space that is required to transport these pallets is also decresed, as bulky crates are no longer needed. The containers, which also weigh less, will also save thousands of pounds on each truckload.

What that means for you is serious savings at the supermarket and some patience with the new bottles. The new bottles have a built-in handle that doesn’t jut out like traditional bottles. The spout on the new bottles isn’t raised and is much larger than the opening in the traditional style bottles, making pouring the product to be a bit of a challenge for some people.

“It’s actually a lot easier than it looks,” said Maryanne Miller, who has started purchasing the new jugs at her local Sam’s Club. “It feels weird, but once you get the hang of it, it works perfectly. You just need to learn to brace the bottle on the table and tip it, instead of holding it up and pouring.” Maryanne demonstrated with a plastic cup, just slightly tipping the milk jug over the cup, letting the milk trickle into it. “There won’t be any spills as long as you don’t attempt to pick it up and pour it like the old ones.”

Children may have a tough time adjusting to the new containers as they tend to have less patience than adults. When purchasing a container of the new milk, sit down with your little ones and show them how it works to prevent them from spilling it everywhere when you aren’t around. If they do spill a little during their first few uses, don’t freak out- they will learn to use the new bottles just like they learned to use the bathroom and put on their own underwear.

The jugs are also praised in the fact that they keep the milk fresher, longer. Because the bottles can be transported in such quantity, that means that there is less time that they’re sitting in a warehouse cooler before making their way to a grocery store.

While the bottles may take some getting used to, the fact that they can nearly cut the price of a gallon of milk in half is enough incentive to motivate you to use them. And remember, don’t cry over a little spilled milk- just be glad you aren’t paying five bucks a gallon anymore.

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