Crying Over Spilt Milk

8 July 08

A redesigned milk jug has been the surprising target of much press attention over the past few weeks. The new jugs; which is slowly being rolled out in U.S. retailers such as Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and Costco; is taller, rectangular, and has no real spout. The jug was essentially designed with one goal in mind: reduce the environmental impact of milk.

To that end, the new design allows for jugs to be stacked (they’re flat on top), and eliminates the need for plastic milk crates since the stackable design allows for cardboard dividers and shrink wrap to be used. This translates to reduced packing time, faster delivery to stores (which means fresher milk), and fewer wasted resources along the distribution chain. More milk can fit in each delivery truck and in the grocer’s cooler; and empty trucks don’t need to travel back and forth to collect milk crates. Read the rest of this entry »


Check Out Wal-Mart

15 March 08

futurethink wal-mart check out blog

Wal-Mart, one of the US’s largest retailers, recently announced a new blog, called Check Out. While corporate blogging is nothing new (or particularly newsworthy, for that matter), Check Out is a little different. The blog is an unfiltered, very candid look at the company and the products on its shelves. It is written by the company’s buyers, not by high-level executives, and it offers a behind-the-scenes perspective that’s rare in the corporate blogging world. Check Out’s writers often post somewhat unflattering reviews of products by companies the Wal-Mart deals with (Microsoft Vista received a mediocre review on the site, though the company stocks an array of Microsoft products). This brutally honest approach is refreshing, and it’s a great way for the company to build a trusting relationship with customers. Read the rest of this entry »