The Jug and plastic bag system of storing, displaying, selling and dispensing fresh milk was introduced with a flourish a few years back in my local Sainsburys store in London. The special jugs were given away free, and there were demonstrations as to how they worked, and we were told that the milk was cheaper to produce, and that buying bags of milk was good for the environment as it used less un-recyclable material that the harder plastic bottles.
I have continued to try to maintain this green approach to buying milk, but I think I have come to the end of the road. This is caused by a combination of Sainsburys showing no real commitment to this form of buying milk, and flaws with the jug itself.
Your Sainsburys bags of milk now appear in one tiny section of the dairy aisle. Often have none at all, or only bags of the full cream milk, not the half cream that I prefer. Twice I have found bags of milk with out of date sell-by dates and have brought this to the attention of the store manager. He said that while they would continue for the time being supplying milk in these bags, so few were now being sold, that it was becoming uneconomic to devote shelf space to them, and yes, they often went past their sell-by dates, unsold.
This is a great shame. But why did this method of selling and dispensing milk not catch on with the public. I can suggest to you a main reason. The inferior design of the milk dispenser (known as “Jug it” according to the lettering on my device).
The instructions tell one to place the bag of milk in the jug and shake it down so that it rests against all sides and isn’t wrinkled. You then have to pull one edge of the milk bag across the front of the jug and secure it in place with a plastic clip. Finally you close the lid of the jug which has a sharp plastic tube which (in theory) penetrates the milk bag cleanly, and allows you to pour milk as though it were a normal open topped jug.
There have been two problems. Firstly the clips are not securely affixed to the jug and can spring off, or weaken, so that the edge of the milk bag is not held securely. This leads to the second problem of the sharp inner spout of the jug either failing to penetrate the milk bag, or penetrating it in more than once place, leading to milk seeping in to the jug itself and spilling out separate from the spout.
I have had to replace the clip three times, and on the last occasion was told that they could not be supplied free of charge- I would have to purchase a new jug. And the number of occasions where I have split milk over the work surface or in a tray because the milk bag was pierced in the wrong place or more than once, I have lost count.
What I’d like you to do is find a decent manufacturer of a jug that will properly take and dispense milk from a milk bag, and then re-launch the milk bag. I’m sure a better-designed jug would lead people back to buying the more green milk bag.