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Nov 29, 2011 10:15 AM

Does anyone else HATE Costco's milk containers?

I consider them to be an epic failure of design. No matter how slow or fast I pour, there is always a stream of milk that goes down the side. I must wipe it off each time before putting it away.

A petty annoyance in the grand scheme of things, but it gets old after awhile.

Milk containers from Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Safeway don't have this problem.


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  1. I don't go to Costco because the aisles are not marked with what is in them. I do not like searching all over the store for the few items that I want. I have a membership to BJs, and we have one located near us that has a deli counter where employees slice cold cuts to order. Costco is located much closer to our home, but I do not find the environment customer friendly.

    1. I agree. It's one of the few things I hate about Costco.

      It's a brilliant, efficient design from their point of view. Just not from ours. I'm sure there's some special technique that results in being able to pour the milk without it spilling all over the place... I just haven't mastered it yet.

      1. I don't use that product but could you transfer it all at once to another container when you open it then pour from the new container?

        1. Apparently it's been going on since at least 2008. According to this article, the odd jugs are designed primarily for production efficiency, not consumer use.

          “Just tilt it slowly and pour slowly,” Ms. Tilton said to passing customers as she talked about the jugs’ environmental benefits and cost savings. Instead of picking up the jug, as most people tend to do, she kept it on a table and gently tipped it toward a cup.

          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.”

          Mr Taster

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mr Taster

            The New York Times article linked from the above Costco blog link was also interesting. I had never heard of these before, but there does seem to be great benefit from adopting them. I went to YouTube to see if I could find some "action" clips. Lots of them spilling all over and a good demo by two young girls showing the no spill, tilt and pour method.

          2. Strange - the milk we've been getting from Costco (in San Diego) is in a cardboard box, containing two of the normal plastic gallon containers you see in any old store.

            4 Replies
            1. re: RB Hound

              Agree, I was just going to post that the milk containers are the same as all the other stores. Must be a regional thing.

              1. re: cstr

                Note that they get around the storage/stacking problem by putting it in a cardboard box. Probably not the best solution in environmental terms, but such is life. Then again, those boxes do make a handy container for my empty beer bottles, and the recycle guy happily takes them away each time I leave them at the curb.

                1. re: RB Hound

                  Some of the above posts refer to pouring and spilling the milk, I gota think it's the container shape.

                  1. re: cstr

                    For a short time within the past year or so, my local Costco (Danville CA) had milk in the square containers, but it got switched back to the conventional containers the next time I went. Perhaps the regional overlords got enough complaints for them to switch back...?