Sunday, March 15, 2009

How many ounces in a pint?

Not to get off-topic, but one reason I'd like to see the US switch to metrics is that I can never remember how many of this there are in that. But Ben & Jerry's is out to remind us that there are sixteen ounces in a pint.

This is not an instance of corporate high-mindedness -- taking on a civic responsibility of educating the masses. The reason for B&J undertaking this campaign is that their principal rival, Haagen-Dazs, has begun marketing fourteen ounce "pints" of ice cream.
"One of our competitors (think funny-sounding European name) recently announced they will be downsizing their pints from 16 to 14 ounces to cover increased ingredient and manufacturing costs and help improve their bottom line," the statement said. "We understand that in today's hard economic times businesses are feeling the pinch. We also understand that many of you are also feeling the same, and think now more than ever you deserve your full pint of ice cream."
I can see Ben & Jerry's having some fun with this, but I guess Haagen-Dazs has found itself caught between rising commodity costs and retailers who won't accept price increases. Cutting down sizes has been a traditional method of avoiding price increases, but it's one thing to shrink a candy bar or fill a cereal box a bit less full, and quite another to redefine accepted units of measure.

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