While shopping at our neighborhood Walgreens, something caught my eye.
It's hard to tell from the picture, but these soda cans are really, really small. Tiny, even. More like those little cans of V-8 or pineapple juice we are used to seeing. So I checked. They're eight ounces. And the packaging proudly proclaims, "only 100 calories!"
The fluctuation of product size, especially in relation to the cost of ingredients and what producers think the market will bear, is an ongoing source of frustration for me. Examples: breakfast cereal and toilet paper. But this is different, I think. This is a sign that perhaps Big Soda knows it's in trouble and it's trying on a new set of clothing to fit in with changing consumer attitudes.
Let's face it, if beverages exist for the functional purpose of abating thirst, then this tiny can just isn't going to cut it. Except maybe if you are a kid.
It's okay, Mom and Dad. You can still be a good parent and make your kids happy at the same time by allowing this delicious beverage product as a Special Treat. See how tiny the can is? Only 100 calories.
Please? Please, please, pleeeeeease?
Remember when cookies and crackers all jumped on the counted-calorie pre-portioned bandwagon? "It's not that we're unhealthy. You just need to enjoy us in moderation." It seems that Big Soda is feeling the pressure and following suit.
But wait. There's more. Spotted right by the checkout at the Oakland Mills Food Lion:
Those tiny cans again, right by the checkout. With special, limited edition Halloween characters on them. Big Soda is down on its knees begging you to buy this for your children. Buy one, get one-free!
I think this is a sign. I could be wrong. This could be the brilliant marketing move that saves the fortunes of Big Soda in the face of changing beverage-drinking trends. Well, it could be. If we buy it.
I think it's a desperate cry from an industry that has been used to being in charge and now sees the actual possibility that it might become irrelevant. An interesting trend, to my mind.
And goodness, they're just so adorable.