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Packaging: a small victory for the bad guys
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come_to_think
Judging from the fruits of their labors, I believe that the promotion industry's working morale is almost 100% based on contempt for the customer, but in the packaging industry a conflict is going on: some of it is actually concerned with the customer's interests & convenience, but that party is engaged in a perpetual civil war with the other party, which regards packaging as part of promotion and the customer as another pest to be insulted & harassed.

In my youth, the standard can of coffee in the US contained 1 lb. Then, it fell into the hands of clever people who decided they could raise the price less conspicuously by putting less coffee in the can. By now, one takes it for granted that a can of coffee will contain 12 oz or so.

However, Maxwell House, for a while, maintained a curious compromise. It put out one brand, "1892 Traditional Roast Coffee", that continued to be sold in 1-lb cans. (Remarkably, they had the same dimensions as all the other cans.) Evidently the idea was that if you were old-fashioned enough to be satisfied with your grandparents' coffee, you would also be old-fashioned enough to be offended by packaging that embodied the hope that you were a fool. I myself am not fussy about coffee, so I settled on that brand as a way to vote for respectful packaging. A few months ago, however, it disappeared from the stores, and I ascertained from Maxwell House's Web site that it was off the market.

Then I found by accident, in the more distant of the two supermarkets I can walk to, that another brand, Brown Gold, still came in 16-oz cans, so I switched to that, taking care to go to the Stop & Shop often enough to keep up my inventory. Today, however, I discovered that Brown Gold had started in on 12-oz cans. What is more, the line on the can giving that information had been set in a font & a color that made it almost illegible. (That is a kind of petty harassment that is much less common than it used to be. I remember back around 1960 I took it into my head to determine which brand of detergent was the cheapest, and on one of Proctor & Gamble's cartons discovered the notice of contents, after a minute search, in an obscure corner in dark blue ink on a slightly less dark blue background.) Needless to say, I bought some other company's 12-oz can. Much good will that do!