I want to recognize the major soft drink companies for rolling out the mini cans and mini bottles of product that you can find on shelves everywhere these days. Containing 7.5 ounces of soda in the can and only 12 ounces in the mini plastic bottles, these smaller drinks contain the perfect amount of beverage for many people. For someone like me who rarely drinks soda but who does like to splurge every now and then, I love the mini cans. Whenever I go back to my parents’ house they always have them stocked in the fridge and I will usually indulge. Not only is the volume of drink great, the mini can feels nice in my hand as well.
Today my local newspaper ran an AP article on the enormous popularity of these smaller sodas. Once just a novelty item when introduced a few years back, mini cans and bottles are now in high demand. To confirm this, all you need to do is go to your nearest grocery store and look at the soda aisle. It will become plainly visible that less is now more.
The article was as blunt as could be when it noted why these re-packaged drinks are so popular (and it wasn’t one of my two reasons I gave above). The small soda mania can be summed up by one word: GUILT. Consumers purchase the smaller sodas because it makes them feel better about themselves. By drinking four ounces less per serving, they are practicing discipline and healthy habits.
Okay, time now for my confession: I actually opt to drink mini sodas because of guilt as well. It was just not until this morning when I read the article that I really came to grips with it. Heck, it took me three paragraphs in this blog post to admit to it in writing. Yes, I do choose the smaller sodas because they quench my thirst well enough and they do feel good to hold but mostly it is because of guilt. I have told myself for so long that soda is sewage for the body; how can I justify drinking a bigger can when I have the choice of a smaller one? For some erroneous reason I have told myself that if I choose the small can and save myself the two extra sips I would swallow with a bigger can, somehow I am saving myself from all the sugar, carbonation, and artificial flavorings. Silly thinking. Sadly, even if you are only taking four sips instead of six sips, you are still putting an awful mixture into your system.
So while the article made me aware of something, it also just re-affirmed what I have known and practiced for a long time now in relation to spending habits. The journalist seemed a little astounded that consumers will pay more for less soda. The volume per dollar of a 7.5 ounce can is much more expensive than the volume per dollar of a 12 ounce can. Why pay more for less product? Once again, it is all about the guilt.
I will gladly pay a couple dollars more for a six-pack of 7.5 ounce cans as opposed to a six-pack of 12 ounce cans. It makes me feel like I am making a healthier and more disciplined decision. It makes me feel better about myself, a feeling that is well worth the extra $2. I have a story about this. I remember back when I wasn’t even a teenager yet. I would go to the deli of a grocery store to purchase a small sized fountain drink. The person at the register told me more than once to not buy the 12 ounce Mt. Dew paper cup drink for $1.09 and instead go out to the store entrance and buy the generic brand 20 ounce bottle for 75 cents. No sir, my mind doesn’t think like yours does. Most of all I want the smaller version for my own sanity but I also don’t want to go outside and risk losing my money in a vending machine, and I sure as hell don’t want to drink a knockoff brand of Mt. Dew. Yuck.
All I have to say is a mini sized can of soda is the real MVP. While I still sabotage my body by drinking it, I save myself some guilt, something I am not opposed to paying a little more for. You will never see me buying a Big Gulp. Don’t Blink.