From Square Cows

Here’s some neat news: stores are starting to use square milk jugs. It saves the stores money in all sorts of ways. Check out this story:

Story and video HERE.

(CBS) The price of milk isn’t the only thing changing at the grocery store, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.

“Oh you gotta be kidding me,” said grocery shopper Jennifer Cerny.

The shape of the iconic gallon jug itself is shifting in stores like Sam’s Club.

And some folks are having a cow.

“My friend bought it and hates it…it doesn’t pour very well,” one grocery store customer told CBS News.

The new jug is more square – prompting a slight tilt in the usual instructions.

So why this change in dairy design?

“Because of the shape, traditional milk jugs can’t be stacked, so they’re shipped in milk crates. But they waste space on delivery trucks and millions of gallons of water are used to keep them clean.”

The new flat-top jugs can simply be stacked and shrink-wrapped. No need for washing.

The new containers also store 50 percent more milk per cubic foot than the old jugs. That means more milk on each truck – reducing delivery trips and fuel costs.

“We’re estimating it could be up to 11,000 trucks we’re reducing on the road this year,” said Daniel Book, marketing manager for Sam’s Club.

Sam’s used to take five milk-deliveries per week – now it’s down to two. They could only store 80 conventional-shaped gallons in their coolers. Now they can fit 224 of the new kind.

Experts say high fuel costs are driving all sorts of changes in product packaging.

“We really have all of the sort of bell weather signs of the perfect storm of depleted resources, finite planet,” said Anne Johnson of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. “It’s time to take some action if we want to protect our bottom line in the future.”

But the new packaging may also save you money – about 10 to 20 cents per gallon.

And for some, that’s reason enough to be a little more lactose tolerant.

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