Sam's Club, Wal-Mart's discount club store, has introduced square-shaped gallon jugs of milk to 189 clubs in ten states.
The case-less milk jugs do not require crates or racks for shipping and storage, Sam's Club said in a news release Monday. Instead, the newly designed milk gallon is self-stacking because the spout is flatter and each gallon can rest on another during transport, as well as while on display.
The discount store estimated trucks used for shipping from the processor to a club store can accommodate 9% more milk -- 4,704 gallons per truck or approximately 384 more jugs -- without any metal racks. In addition, the flat top and wider spout do not come in contact with other equipment during filling, which reduces the risk of possible contamination.
"This is an exciting change for Sam's Club Members and the dairy industry,” said Heather Mayo, vice president of merchandising for Sam's Club. "There are many efficiencies and benefits to case-less milk jugs and one of the best advantages is that we can pass on the lower cost to our members and they benefit from the extended shelf life and added freshness.”
At a time when the impact of food inflation appears on every grocery receipt, Sam's Club said, the new case-less jug also delivers a cost savings of 10 to 20 cents.
The milk is available in most Sam's Club locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. There are a handful of milk producers across the U.S. currently set up to offer the new case-less gallons and as more adopt the design, Sam's Club hopes to expand distribution.
See a photo of the new jug and read more at http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jul/01/square-gallon-milk-jugs-reshaping-dairy-industry/.
Catherine Merlo is Western editor for Dairy Today. You can reach her at email@example.com.