At a discount store recently, Mr. Tidbit was stopped in his tracks by a display of tiny (8.5-ounce) metal “bottles” of various Coca-Cola products.
Yes, metal bottles. They’re made of aluminum, but they’re shaped like little bottles, not cans, with screw-off tops and, in the case of the ones bearing the Coca-Cola name (not Sprite), a version of the signature “wasp waist.”
Just the idea of the metal bottle would have been enough to slow Mr. Tidbit to a crawl, but what brought him to a full halt was the price: $1.59. Each. For just 8 1/2 ounces. That’s an astonishing 18.7 cents an ounce.
For comparison, here in decreasing order are the prices of the other ways to buy Coke at that store: 20-ounce plastic bottle from the cooler case, $1.69 (8.5 cents per ounce). Eight-pack of even-tinier 7.5-ounce cans, $3.49 (5.8 cents per ounce). Eight-pack of 12-ounce plastic bottles, $4.99 (5.2 cents per ounce). Twelve-pack of 12-ounce cans, $4.99 (3.5 cents per ounce). Two-liter (67.6-ounce) plastic bottle, an item whose price varies a lot and on this day was on the high side at $1.89 (2.8 cents per ounce). At the per-ounce price of the new little bottle, the 2-liter bottle would cost $12.65!
Mr. Tidbit has to say that he can’t imagine people buying the little metal bottles at $1.59 each, as they are sold more cheaply in 24-packs (not available at that store), for as little (!) as $24.99 (12.3 cents an ounce). Mr. Tidbit also has to say that he can’t imagine anyone buying those, either.
New from Post’s Honey Bunches of Oats are Breakfast Biscuits, in three flavors: Honey Roasted, Chocolate Chip and Strawberry. (Mr. Tidbit tried Chocolate Chip; he opines it should be called Chocolate Speck.)
These items aren’t really biscuits, but long, thin slabs, larger than cookies but thinner, and not quite as sweet. They’re packed four to a 50-gram pouch, five pouches to the box.
Aside from the flavors, the identical description applies (to the gram) to the other two major-brand “breakfast biscuits”: Nature Valley and BelVita.
How do three independent companies decide that these things should come in 50-gram pouches, not, say, 48- or maybe 52-? It’s a mystery.
Mr. Tidbit is a weekly feature that examines new grocery products.