Monday, 24 August 2009

How many items make a pack?

From time to time, I observe a package or a product in a shop or elsewhere, and wonder why the manufacturers have selected a particular size or number of items.

On my website, there are pictures from the ROCARO conference in Niamey in 2004, including a picture of a beer bottle holding 48cc. Why 48?

The paper towels in the washroom here come in packs of 180 towels. Why 180?

British food packaging is plagued with anomalous sizes. Jam, marmalade and numerous other items are sold in packs weighing 454gm or 340gm (equivalent to 1 pound, or 12 ounces). Flour is sold in bags weighing 1.5kg -- a reminder that it was formerly sold in bags weighing 3 pounds (why 3?)

For the final consumer, these assorted sizes are little more than an irritant; but within a supply chain, they can be more serious.

Now I shall start to collect and report odd-sized packs.

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