09 Aug The Shape of It
A while back, Smart Balance came out with a new container. Or at least they did at the grocery store I shop at most often, a Walmart; other stores in the area still have the old, round containers. The new ones hold just as much but are square.
Now, I’m sure that their real motivation was wasted space in transport and Walmart grumbling about space in their refrigerated display cases — but their web site is touting the “space saving” nature of the square tubs. And space-saving is a key concept on boats.
I always look for square corners on containers when it’s an option. As an example, the round container is 4-1/2″ in diameter, while the square one is 4″ — and is about 1/16″ shorter. Since you’ll virtually never find items that will fit right up to a round container, the round Smart Balance has an effective footprint of 20-1/4 square inches, versus 16 for the square one.
Multiply this by all the things you have in the refrig, and pretty soon it adds up to a real difference in what you can take with you. Maybe a couple extra blocks of cheese for happy hour . . . or more cold drinks.
And square/rectangular containers wasting less space than round is equally true in lockers. I’ve always looked for the squarest food storage containers I can find.Now that many cans have pull tops on them (so you don’t have to use a can opener), I keep expecting (hoping?) to see square cans of food some day — which could really save a lot of space for boats heading to remote locations, not to mention being a lot quieter as they can’t roll! And, speaking of not rolling — should a grocery bag break, the cans wouldn’t go rolling down the sidewalk . . . or off the edge of the dock.
I’m hoping that the Smart Balance containers are just the beginning of a big wave of change . . .