big-jugs_-114-5.jpg It's all about the Lowest Common Denominator. Jugs, get it?

News came down yesterday that Wal-Mart and Costco have updated their milk jugs to be more environmentally sound. The new jugs do not require special crates to stack and use every bit of space, meaning less material is needed in their manufacture. Apparently, all of this means that the milk takes less time to ship and so arrives at the store sooner and thus, fresher.

But people are having trouble handling the big jugs... especially children.

This from the NYTimes:

The jugs have no real spout, and their unorthodox shape makes consumers feel like novices at the simple task of pouring a glass of milk.

"I hate it," said Lisa DeHoff, a cafe owner shopping in a Sam's Club [in North Canton, Ohio].

"It spills everywhere," said Amy Wise, a homemaker.

"It's very hard for kids to pour," said Lee Morris, who was shopping for her grandchildren.

But retailers are undeterred by the prospect of upended bowls of Cheerios. The new jugs have many advantages from their point of view, and Sam's Club intends to roll them out broadly, making them more prevalent.

I guess there's no use crying over it. Looks like these new jugs are here to stay. Okay, so the milk is a bit harder to puor, but do not despair! There is a special trick to use when you get your hands on these 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.

Mike Compston, who owns a dairy in Yerington, Nev., described the pouring technique in a telephone interview as a "rock-and-pour instead of a lift-and-tip."

I've always been a lift-and-tip man, myself. But if the rock-and-pour method is good enough for Mike Compston then it's good enough for me. I have yet to get my hands on the new jugs, but I can't wait to heft 'em up and see how they handle on the breakfast table. Ha! Jugs!