Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Tale of New and Improved

I’ve talked about “new and improved” items on this blog before, so if you’ll indulge me, it’s time for another rant along those lines.

I buy squeeze mayonnaise. While I know it’s a bit more expensive, I think the reason that I buy squeeze mayonnaise is that I’m too lazy to take a knife out of the drawer and spread it from the standard wide-mouth container. Sad, but true.

Well, that and also because squeeze anything is just so much more fun and convenient, isn’t it? Squeeze ketchup, squeeze’s only fitting that I have squeeze Miracle Whip in my refrigerator.

The one bad thing about buying squeeze mayo, though, is that it always seems like 20 percent of it stays in the bottle, stuck to the sides, impossible to get out no matter how hard you shake it or how long it sits in those fancy new upside-down plastic bottles. Mayo hasn’t learned the law of gravity, apparently.

So basically you pay for 18 ounces of mayo, and are able to use maybe 14. Waste, waste, waste.

Until just recently, when on the grocery store shelf, right next to my upside-down 18-ounce plastic squeeze bottle of Miracle Whip Light, I found another bottle marked, “New,” and toward the bottom it read, “All-Out Squeeze! Same Great Taste. Less Waste.”

So let me get this straight. The people at Kraft knew all along that their squeeze bottles were inferior, and it took them this long to fix the problem? That’s a lot of wasted salad dressing over the years.

I picked up the new bottle, which for some reason had its label facing right side up, but had instructions on the back that said, “Store Upside Down For Best Results.” If they wanted me to store it upside down, why didn’t they slap the label on it that way, like all the other upside-down bottles that are currently on the shelves?

For some reason, the All-Out Squeeze bottles are 24 ounces, as opposed to 18. Maybe that much of a Miracle Whip mass is needed inside the bottle to facilitate it not sticking to the sides as it’s used. I haven’t figured that part out yet.

One thing I have seen, though, is that if you do, in fact, store it upside down, there’s very little mayo, if any, sticking to the bottom and the sides as it’s being used. Maybe this stuff really is improved, and I’ll be left with a virtually empty container as I squeeze it onto my sandwiches over the next couple weeks.

Perhaps the people in R&D at Kraft came up with some kind of mayo Teflon coating, or something.

I would promise to give you an update, but I think one blog entry on Miracle Whip is probably enough...don’t you agree? (or is it one too many, perhaps?)

As happy as I am that I won’t be wasting as much mayo as I used to, I’m equally as confused as to why the older, wasteful bottle are still on the shelves. Are they still there to give consumers a choice?

“Here, use this variety if you want to shake yourself silly trying to get the last little dollop out of the bottle. Or use this new and improved version to get all the condiment you paid for, thanks to a top-secret, probably-not-harmful-to-humans inner coating. At least...we don’t think it’s harmful. We’re not sure yet. It’s new.”

As I sit here, playing with my newest bottle of Miracle Whip, watching the big glop of stuff shift from side to side and top to bottom with nary a trace of residue along the bottle, I can’t wait to see how it performs when I get to the bottom.

And I hope when it’s time for me to buy another bottle, the “old and unimproved” variety is no longer an option. Waste, waste, waste.

“The human race has improved everything,
but the human race.”
—Adlai Stevenson


  1. Good God, you n' my wife would get on splendidly.

    She'll take your notions a step further and actually dial the consumer lines on the back of the squeezy mayo bottle and engage some poor slob of an operator (who really only wants to dole out free coupons and be done with you) on the celestial, cultural, and psychological benefits of an upside-down squeezy bottle.

    Here's an exchange live from our kitchen just this evening...

    Wife: HEY! This Jack's Pizza has less sauce on this side! I'm calling!!!

    Me: Oh God, you leave those poor pizza people alone!

    Wife: Hey, I'm just being a good consumer.

    Me: No, you're being a pest.

    So next time you're at the store and you say to yourself, "geez, these Jack's natural rising crust pizza's are really getting expensive," well.... you have my wife to thank for that!

  2. Don't forget about squeezable jelly. Yes, we use that stuff. But in the end, you have to use a knife. The last few sandwiches will force the issue. You can squeeze and squeeze, but will get nothing but air - even though you can see the jelly in there laughing at you.

    So you unscrew the bottle, then it all falls out. Such a pain in the ass.

    Who says this makes our lives easier?