How could this happen?
The other day we went to Costco to pick up some essentials. We walked past the milk jugs like four times looking for the milk. This is because milk at Costco no longer looks like milk. Apparently, Kirkland (Costco store brand) has redesigned their milk jugs.
I can only assume that it is supposed to increase efficiency. The new shape has a slightly smaller footprint, but more importantly, a flat top so you can stack them more easily on a pallet.
The good part is that it fits a little more easily in the side of the refrigerator. The bad part is that when it's full, it's a little top heavy. And the lid lacks the funnel shaped neck of the old bottles. The lid is also inexplicably bigger. I can't figure why, but I'm sure some physics-savvy soul could explain the efficiency-increasing reason for a bigger lid. The result of all this (top-heaviness, no neck, big opening) is an unwieldy pour. It reminds me of trying to pour from a paint can without the benefit of the little wire handle.
Top-heavy, big mouth, no neck, flat-top: I will call Kirkland's new jug the Biff. Aside from the aforementioned pouring issues, I have other problems with the Biff. The Biff is a sqaure, meat-headed container. It lacks the ample base, and the friendly side-circles of the old jug. The voluptuous curves and the slender neck of the old jug are more befitting a vessel for milk than the sharp, angular lines of the Biff.
The Biff in all its squarishness evokes the outline of a Borg ship. It is a synecdoche of the sinister sense-deadening uniformity and conformity of corporate America. The cost-benefit analysis behind the Biff reveals reckless disregard for the consumer. Yes, the Biff is easy to stack on pallets, but how many consumers buy enough milk that they need to stack Biffs in their refrigerator? And yes, the Biff fits slightly better in the fridge door, but who honestly has a difficult time fitting milk in his fridge? And it is true that the stackable-ness of the Biff probably reduces the cost of a jug of milk by increasing efficiency in shipping.
But at what cost? The consumer has to endure less manageable pouring, which creates waste. Notwithstanding Kirkland's claims to the contrary, the Biff pours worse. With the old jug, you could pick it up and tip it further to an almost horizontal position so that when the milk poured, it fell more or less perpendicular to the side of the jug. But with the Biff, the milk begins to pour earlier, when the jug is still between vertical and 45 degrees. Combined with a large opening, the milk pours in a wide, cumbersome stream. After you pour a glass or moisten your cereal, there is always that tell-tale trickle. The wasted milk oozes down the side of the Biff and where it later solidifies into nasty crustiness. It may soil a countertop, table, or the inside of a fridge. This fosters bacteria and may lead to food poisoning. It must be cleaned. All these costs are borne by the American working man, not by the fat cats in the milk industry.
I oppose the Biff.