A few years ago, someone invented a new milk jug (registration required). The new jug was more efficient to transport and store, saving companies both fuel and water. It was boxy and not exactly beautiful, and it poured differently, but the greater production efficiencies meant that the milk was fresher and even cheaper.

America responded: You will pry our old milk jugs from our cold dead hands. Or at least we’ll complain a lot before we let you.

The New York Times reports on the elaborate milk jug courtship that’s happening in a few big box stores, notably Sam’s Club, Costco, and Wal-Mart:

Mary Tilton tried to educate the public a few days ago as she stood at a Sam’s Club in North Canton, about 50 miles south of Cleveland, luring shoppers with chocolate chip cookies and milk as she showed them how to pour from the new jugs.

‘Just tilt it slowly and pour slowly,’ Ms. Tilton said to passing customers as she talked about the jugs’ environmental benefits and cost savings. Instead of picking up the jug, as most people tend to do, she kept it on a table and gently tipped it toward a cup.

The new pouring technique, which is largely what customers are upset about, is described by a dairy owner as a “rock-and-pour instead of a lift-and-tip.” For more trivia on the jug, and almost everything else dairy, see this lactose-tolerant MetaFilter thread.

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