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The Golden Age of Cup Manufacturing 785

jonerik writes "The Washington Post has this article today on the disappearance of traditional 'small' (8 oz.) cups of coffee in favor of a larger concept of 'small' (12 oz.). In the case of Starbucks, for example, a truly small 8 oz. cup of coffee is still available, but it's called a 'short' and isn't listed on the menu. Why not? 'We still have it,' says Starbucks spokeswoman Lara Wyss, 'but we don't advertise it because of the size of the menu board, the physical constraints.' Yeah, sure. Disposable cup manufacturers have taken notice of the popularity/compulsory nature of larger cup sizes. The Sweetheart Cup Co. started manufacturing a successful 24-ounce hot-beverage cup about two years ago, and Kathy Deignan, the company's national vice president of marketing and account sales says 'The eight- and 10-ounce cups are pretty much gone.' Sweetheart also manufactures 7-Eleven's 44-ounce Super Big Gulp cups, and Deignan says the company is considering producing an 80-ounce cold drink cup - that's 5 pints, folks. Christ, how much do these companies think people need to drink, anyway?"
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The Golden Age of Cup Manufacturing

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  • Quick reply (Score:5, Funny)

    by death00 ( 551487 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:51PM (#4028000)
    I was going to reply, but I have to piss...BRB.
    • that is the funniest FP i've ever seen. well, it's close, at least. whatever moderator threw it an offtopic obviously has some humor issues.
    • Re:Quick reply (Score:3, Informative)

      by foo fighter ( 151863 )
      Speaking of pissing and how much liquid a body can hold...

      Does anyone else here time themselves while urinating?

      I started timing myself after a long movie where I drank a large pop (~30-40oz.), refilled and drank it, and then didn't go to the bathroom until two hours later. It was a very long piss.

      I find my average to be 12-15 seconds. My longest was 43 seconds, again after a long movie with lots of cola involved.

      This isn't a flame, troll, or whatever. I'm just amazed that my body can hold three times the amount it usually takes to make me urinate without my kidneys or bladder popping out my back.

      If 12-15 seconds worth of urine is enough to fill my bladder and make me go to the bathroom, where does my body find room for 2-3 times that amount?

      Are these 40oz. plus cups two- or three-pissers? Meaning you end up going to the bathroom a few times before you can actually finish the thing?

      Just curious.
      • Re:Quick reply (Score:4, Informative)

        by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @07:16PM (#4029267) Journal
        Keep in mind your basic physics. Your bladder is more than a sack of waste fluid, it's a muscularly controlled valved sack for storing waste fluids. the 'need' to take a leak is based in part on how tired that muscle is of holding in the pee. so if you've got about 12 ounces of fluid in that sack the need to pee will arise at half the speed as if you had 24 ounces of fluid in there. To get an idea of how much harder it is, just take a bottle, put a baloon on the end of it and compare how difficult it is to hold in 12 ounces vs 24... it takes a greater amount of pressure, and the strain of holding pee in has everything to do with the muscular valve for your bladder, not the volumeteric displacement that it's capable of handling.
        As for where your body finds the room for it, that is also simple physics, when you drank the cola in the first place, you expanded your mass and volume, starting in the stomache and then moving on to the blood stream, and finally ending up in your bladder, and when you relieve it, your mass/volume is restored to where it was before, since the volume being talkeed about is under 2% you'd never notice such a miniscule change or variation unless you habitually measured your weight or diameter 10-20 times a day.
        Also keep in mind that the flow rate of urine is affected by the gravitational and muscular forces on the urine inside the body, so the only accurate mesurement is to measure the actual volume of urine, and ignoring the time elapsed, since that is such a highly volitatle variable.
        A slight disclaimer, I'm not an expert, but it's pretty clear that bladders follow basic physics the same as anything else.
  • Not just drinks... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:52PM (#4028008) Journal
    Has anyone else noticed that there is no longer a 'small' pizza at pizzahut? They start at medium... but the size has become smaller, and now they have extralarge... which is as large as their old 'large' size...

    Well, at least here in Canada... Don't know about the US franchise...
    • by bobKali ( 240342 )
      It's not just that they've renamed small to medium, but at many coffee shops for example they don't even use descriptive English words to describe the volume of their drinks. Instead we get short, tall (I don't care about the height of the cup), grande, super-grande, etc... names that don't mean squat to me reguarding the amount of coffee I'm buying.

      Maybe they could just put the diameter of the pizza or the number of ounces up there and skip the meaningless (ever-changing) names.

      Yea, I'd like a 40 of Espresso.....
    • by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:16PM (#4028312) Journal
      Be assured it's just as silly here. I can't comment about Pizza Hut, but I know darn well that several fast food outlet pre-programmed droids get mighty confused when you ask for a small size of anything. "We have medium, large, extra large, and colossal -- what size would you like?"

      To which I reply, "I'd like small, but you're not going to play along, are you?".

      Blank stare, followed by "Medium, then, sir?"

      "If that's the smallest you have, then yes."

      Honestly, how stupid do you have to be to then ask me if I'd like to supersize that? Apparently, approximately as stupid as a significant proportion of American high-schoolers, who really make me want to say, "see, now, that's why you're wearing that silly hat".

      Anyway, I digress. And, apart from that, I'm getting off the subject.

      It's marketing, I'm sure, pure and simple. And the most depressing thing is it evidently works. Well it must, or they wouldn't keep doing it, now, would they? Yes, we really are stupid enough that we accept them calling the smallest size on the menu "medium", in blatant contradiction of all that is sensible and logical in the world, and buy drink sizes that ought to have a health warning from the surgeon general about over working your bladder and other sundry bits of internal plumbing.
    • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:19PM (#4028343) Homepage Journal
      I noticed this in early 90's when I went to college. No delivery where I grew up, so the only time you saw a pizza was at Pizza Hut. And a large was ginormous. 16".

      So I go away to school. They have delivery, I have no car (stupid rule if ever there was one. Talk about encouraging alcoholism) so order a pizza. Well, dumb me knows that a large is too much, so order a medium. And what arrives, but a small.

      Now Pizza Hut advertises "The Big New Yorker". A full 16" pizza.

      Yeah. Like the ones you used to sell, before decided that a 14" pizza was a large. BTW, thank you ever so much for not dropping the price when you dropped the sizes.

      No, you sir (madam, celestial body, whatever) are not alone in your observation. As a matter of fact, my parents have an official Pizza Hut large pizza pan from the early-mid 80's. One of my father's patients has a couple dozen. For whatever reason, he gave my father a pizza pan. Guess what? It was an old large. The new large pizzas don't fill the pan.

    • by JCCyC ( 179760 )
      This is the company's small contribution to keeping inflation low. Here in Brazil they used yet another technique - toilet paper rolls are 80% as long as what they used to be. Unit price didn't rise => no effect on inflation. Sweet.
    • by JavaTenor ( 232983 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @06:15PM (#4028823)
      Frighteningly apropos: "...These go to eleven []."

      And I think Pizza Hut should change their sizes to large, extra-large, and GALACTUS, DEVOURER OF WORLDS.
  • 2 observations (Score:2, Interesting)

    by macrom ( 537566 )
    80-ounce cold drink cup - that's 5 pints, folks

    1. Can the human bladder even hold that much?

    2. Christ, there's not that much blood in the human body! Even on a full bladder, is there even 80 ounces of fluid flowing through one's body?
    • Re:2 observations (Score:4, Informative)

      by MORTAR_COMBAT! ( 589963 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:58PM (#4028102)
      5 pints is a lot less blood that I have in my body. you might want to see what other people [] can accomplish with a few simple search engine queries.

      hint: the human body has about 6 quarts of blood.

      for a quick refresh on pints and quarts [] hit that link.

      hint: there are 2 pints in a quart.

      so 5 pints is 2.5 quarts, which is less than half of the amount of blood in the human body.
      • Holy sh*t.

        That's HALF the amount of blood in your entire body!!!

        That means you drink one of these, and your body is forced to first absorb all that liquid and massively dilute your blood, and at the same time try and excrete it quickly enough so that you don't, ummm, what?

        So, at what point does drinking too much water/liquid cause serious immediate health problems?

        I'm thinking it might be around the "drink half your blood volume in water" point.
        • water intoxication (Score:5, Informative)

          by MORTAR_COMBAT! ( 589963 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:15PM (#4028304)
          You can drink too much water []
          Q. I am a runner and would like to know whether it is possible to drink too much water?

          A. Yes, there is a condition known as "water intoxication." It is usually associated with long distance events like running and cycling. And it's not an unusual problem. For example, water intoxication was reported in 18% of marathon runners and in 29% of the finishers in a Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon in studies published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine and in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise respectively.

          What happens is that as the athlete consumes large amounts of water over the course of the event, blood plasma (the liquid part of blood) increases. As this takes place, the salt content of the blood is diluted. At the same time, the athlete is losing salt by sweating. Consequently, the amount of salt available to the body tissues decreases over time to a point where the loss interferes with brain, heart, and muscle function.

          The official name for this condition is hyponatremia. The symptoms generally mirror those of dehydration (apathy, confusion, nausea, and fatigue), although some individuals show no symptoms at all. If untreated, hyponatremia can lead to coma and even death.
          • by MKalus ( 72765 ) <[mkalus] [at] []> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @09:54PM (#4030072) Homepage
            This is a subject that is pretty interresting to me since I started racing triathlons, I never really thought that things like Gatorade made sense until some people corrected me on this.

            The following is a first hand account of someone who experienced hyponatremia, pretty scary.


            Hi everyone,

            I'm writing this to "the big list", the PA Buzzards, Virginia Happy Trails
            Running Club, the Montgomery County Road Running Club (in Maryland) and a
            few others to say THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for the Get Well Wishes, Cards,
            Flowers, and overall concern and support. Wow! I have a lot of wonderful

            I am writing to so many people for a few reasons - first, I have received
            many inquires about how I am doing after the Vermont 100 miler. Also, many
            people heard about what happened (which I'll explain below) but only got
            parts of the story. So you'll get the story here - as best I know it, from
            me, Michele Burr - the person who got a severe case of hyponatremia at
            VT100. The people who do know about my getting hyponatremia have urged me
            to post something so that people are aware of this very serious problem.
            I must admit, I don't remember much because I had a seizure and went into a
            coma but I have pieced together many things from people who saw me at the
            end of the race and from talking with my husband, who thank God, was there
            at the finish line and with me during my 5 day stay at two hospitals in
            Vermont and then New Hampshire.

            WHAT IS HYPONATREMIA? This is a condition in which there is a very low
            concentration of sodium in your blood. It is also seen in conjunction with
            WEIGHT GAIN (not weight loss) and most often occurs during endurance
            exercise lasting more than 5 to 7 hours. (From:
   More specifically, hyponatremia
            develops as sodium and free water are lost and replaced by fluids, such as
            plain tap water, half-normal saline, or dextrose in water. Basically, this
            condition occurs when a person takes in too much water and not enough salt.
            So you are probably wondering...was I taking Suceed! caps? Was I drinking
            electrolyte fluids? Yes to both of these questions but obviously I was not
            taking enough of either one of these things and yes, I was also eating
            potato chips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fig newtons, and potatoes
            -but again, it wasn't enough salt and I was taking in too much water. My
            weight was up 5 pounds at the last weigh-in. To give you an understanding of
            where my sodium level was compared to a normal person....most people have
            about 140-145 mEq/L - this is some sort of measure of the amount of salt in
            your blood. I had 113 mEq/L. This is extremely low. So, why is this a
            problem? Because you need sodium in your blood for your brain to function.

            WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? The answer to this question is the scary part and why
            this is such a medical emergency when it occurs.
            ****Many of the symptoms are NEUROLOGICAL in origin.**** Level of alertness
            can range from agitation to a coma state. Variable degrees of cognitive
            impairment (eg, difficulty with short-term recall; loss of orientation to
            person, place, or time; frank confusion or depression). Other symptoms
            include seizure activity and irrational behavior. In patients with acute
            severe hyponatremia, signs of brainstem herniation, including coma; fixed,
            unilateral, dilated pupil; decorticate or decerebrate posturing; and
            respiratory arrest. Coma and seizures usually occur only with acute
            reduction of the serum sodium concentration to less than 120 mEq/L.
            (Remember my sodium level was at 113 mEq/L.)

            I didn't recognize where I was or who my friends were or who my husband was
            at the end of the race. I walked the last 5 to 10 miles which is very
            unusual for me and people said I didn't know who they were and it appeared
            as though I didn't even know I was in a race. Shortly after I crossed the
            finish line on Saturday night I started to vomit uncontrollably then I had a
            seizure then I went into a coma. I remained in a coma for 3 days. At some
            point before I woke up out of the coma I began the "irrational behavior"
            mentioned above. I pulled out all my IVs and ripped off my EKG patches and
            tried to kick and hit the nursing and neurosurgeon staff. I was very
            combative whenever someone tried to touch me and was eventually given
            antipsychotic medication.

            When I woke up I didn't know where I was, what
            had happened, what month, or year it was. Upon being forced to give a guess
            for the month I told the neurosurgeons, "I think it's Vermont" for the
            month. I couldn't read and I couldn't add numbers. On Tuesday after the
            race I started to feel much, much, better. I could read again and I had
            watched a car commercial to figure out what year it was. I also got a lot
            of the story about what happened from my husband. It was on this day (or
            maybe Monday?) I learned I had been in another hospital earlier. Why was I
            first in a small local hospital (Ascutney in Windsor, VT) and then
            transferred by ambulance to Dartmouth-Hitchcock? That has to do with the
            scariness about how to treat this medical emergency. It you don't do it
            right, it will lead to further and permanent brain damage.

            says that the condition is frequently mis-diagnosed as dehydration and that
            the consumption of water makes matters worse because it dilutes the blood
            sodium concentration even further than it already is.
            From :
            "The principal causes of morbidity and death are when chronic hyponatremia
            reaches levels of 110 mEq/L or less and cerebral pontine myelinolysis (an
            unusual demyelination syndrome that occurs when HYPONATREMIA IS CORRECTED
            TOO QUICKLY).

            Much has been written about treatment of hyponatremia and the potential
            adverse outcome of central pontine myelinolysis. This condition is
            demyelination of the pons, which can lead to mutism, dysphasia, spastic
            quadriparesis, pseudobulbar palsy, delirium, coma, and even death.
            Raising the serum sodium concentration more than 25 mEq/L or to a normal or
            above-normal level in the first 48 hours increases the likelihood of central
            pontine myelinolysis.

            The main controversy in the literature surrounds treatment of chronic
            symptomatic hyponatremia because, as mentioned, central pontine myelinolysis
            may result if the condition is corrected too rapidly. Therefore, although
            treatment in these patients is similar to that just described, the rate of
            correction should be slower (0.5 to 1 mEq/L per hour). Aggressive therapy
            should be discontinued when the serum sodium concentration is raised 10% or
            symptoms abate."

            Upon being admitted at the first hospital in Vermont my soium level was 113
            mEq/L but then quickly went to 116 and the next reading was at 126. The
            hospital felt uncomfortable and kept telling my husband it was possible I'd
            get "PONDS" - which is central pontine myelinolysis (permanent brain
            damage). They also told him to think about long term care for me and that
            "things could turn out a number of ways". They also asked him if I remained
            in a vegetative state, would I want my organs donated and did I have a
            living will prepared. At this point, an ambulance took me to New Hampshire
            to Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Needless to say, I think I aged my husband about 10
            years during these 5 days.

            WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM EFFECTS? Well, so far I feel I am about 95% back to
            where I was neurologically before the race. (Physically, I lost 10 pounds.)
            I couldn't remember my password when I got to my office so I couldn't log
            into my computer and I forgot a combination lock number I often used. I
            also forgot a few people's names. I had a little bit of trouble typing and
            signing my name but that seems to be gone now. The last clear things I
            remember from the race are at the mile 18 aid station. I am also a bit
            spacey (it's a bit difficult for me to concentrate) but I can drive. I am a
            research scientist so it's important that I be able to generate and
            interpret statistics. I haven't tried that yet but I'm optimistic. Here are
            a few more links (in case you just can't get enough about hyponatremia):

            Finally, the way to avoid this in the future (for me) is to drink less water
            and eat more salt. I will also push for a blood test from my doctor before
            I run another 100 (this was my 5th one) to make sure I am not starting out
            at a deficit - which is what the doctors were suggesting at
            Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. They said that my low sodium diet, combined
            with a high volume of running (sometimes as much as 100 miles/week) and
            sweating in the heat and humidity here in the Washington DC area were the
            problem combined with the low volume of electrolyte fluids (relative to the
            amount of water I was taking in).

            This was scary. I hope some people will be educated by reading this and for
            the many people who emailed and asked me what happened, I hope this answered
            their questions.

            Thank you so very much again everyone for your concern. My friends,
            co-workers, relatives, and the ultrarunning community have been great!
            Michele Burr
        • It's not such a big deal, because the kidneys are very efficient. They get the excess out of the blood and into the bladder very quickly. An 80 oz. drink will make you pee like a racehorce.

          Also, even if there's more water, there's no reduction in red blood cells. The blood can carry just as much oxygen. The difference in work that the heart has to do is probably much less than the extra effort it would make on a good walk. But that doesn't last long, since the kidneys are efficient.

          You do have to worry about excess fluid eventually diluting electrolytes that nerve signals rely on. If you dilute them too much, the resistance goes up, and no more signals! Serious control problems.
    • Re:2 observations (Score:3, Informative)

      by Exedore ( 223159 )

      A few points:

      1. Can the human bladder even hold that much? I don't know. I'm sure it stretches a bit, and there's probably a variance from person to person. But it doesn't matter because it doesn't go straight to your bladder, you goof. You see, you have this thing called a digestive tract. Anything you swallow generally goes there first. Nutrients (not that Coke contains much of these) and liquids are extracted and absorbed into your bloodstream. Blood passes through the kidneys and excess water (among other things) is filtered out. Then it goes to your bladder. So the real question should be Can the human digestive tract hold 5 pints, and the answer is probably Yes.
      2. As other posters have already pointed out, the average human body contains about 5 quarts of blood. If you only have 5 pints a trip to the emergency room is probably in order
      • a great deal of the water is absorbed into the bloodstream in the stomach. Some water is added back in the large intestine.
        • True. I should have said Can the digestive tract, bloodstream, and bladder combined handle 80 ounces of liquid before your first trip to the bathroom.

          When I was in college, we used to have contests to see who could drink the most beer before having to take a leak (the loser would have to throw an extra fiver into the pot while playing poker or some such punishment). The record was eight beers (96 ounces). That's 80 ounces with a tall-boy to spare.

  • by jaredbpd ( 144090 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:53PM (#4028019)
    When I used to work for Burger King, they were in the process of transitioning their French Fry sizes from "Small, Medium, and Large" to "Regular, Medium, and Large."

    The logic behind this move was because they felt people would think they were getting a bad deal just buying "small" fries (this was around the same time that McDonalds changed their format to "Medium, Large, and Supersize."

    Imagine our customer's confusion when they would order a large fries, and have the order called back as "regular", and then see "regular" on their receipt. They were convinced we were ripping them off!
    • ...a coffee chain based out of Orlando. They're all around Florida, I think, although I don't know how far they go beyond that.

      At any rate, their drink names for 12-ounce, 16-ounce and 20-ounce are "Petite," "Average" and "Obscene."

      Now, that's good marketing. There's just something cool about going up to the counter and saying, with a straight face, "I'd like an obscene mocha, please."

  • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:53PM (#4028022) Homepage
    >Christ, how much do these companies think people need to drink, anyway?

    I thought need has no place in a free market. Arn't companies supposed to give you what you think you want, not need? Are people really surprised that people in a market want stuff thats bad for them in the same way that people want bad stuff for them? (Except in a free market, you're much more likely to have that want fulfilled if you have the cash?)
    • exactly. we're selling 7000-pound SUVs to suburban soccer moms, and we're spending time questioning whether or not we need 80-ounce drink cups?
  • Even the size of Dixie cups are getting bigger at 9oz. These are the famous paper cups in the dispenser that save dishes from piling up in the sink.
  • Um, what? (Score:2, Funny)

    by nickgrieve ( 87668 )
    What are we suposed to talk about guys?

    Um yeah, cups a getting bigger. Wow.


    1, Make big cups
    2, ???
    3, Profit!!
  • Supersize is in. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hex1848 ( 182881 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:55PM (#4028056) Homepage
    Every fast food restaurant from Wendy's to McDonalds has been increasing the size of there portions based on demand. Fatty and sugary foods taste better so we are ticked into wanting more to eat. The same thing goes for soft drinks, drink an 80 oz coke everyday and see how long it takes before you are shooting up insulin twice a day.
    • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <speter&tedata,net,eg> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:27PM (#4028431) Journal
      Every fast food restaurant from Wendy's to McDonalds has been increasing the size of there portions based on demand.

      Working for a major pop company, I can tell you right now that premix pop is downright cheap (premix is the syrup that's mixed with water and CO2 to get the pop that comes from the fountain). Since the pop companies don't have to worry about mixing it, packaging it, and labeling it in the bottling plant, they don't have to charge much for it.

      Believe it or not, advertisements for "80oz. Fountain Drinks for $.99!!!" actually lure customers there. And they can do it because they don't lose money. So, when the fast food / convenience stores get cheap pop, they get more customers, they don't lose money, and the customer walks away happy.

      The stores don't care about sugar levels or diabetes, and most customers don't understand that what they think is a "great deal" isn't doing much good for them, while it works great for the company.
      • I recall an old WSJ article about the new meal deals and McDonald's, back when they were new, and one of the points brought up was that the burgers were sold at about break even, but the fries and drinks carried gross margins of almost 80%. Meaning the cost of the drink, including cup, ice, and straw is about $0.20. What annoys me is the increase in size of straws. If you don't get the mega cup, your drink is gone very quickly.
    • Re:Supersize is in. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mt._Honkey ( 514673 )
      I worked at a movie theater (GKC) back in high school. We had the child size, small, medium, and large (14, 20, 32, and 44oz). The large was nearly big enough to break your foot if you dropped it. Anyway, we offered free refills, and even though the large is a maddening 44oz, we had people come back for 1, 2, even 3 refills. And no, it wasn't a family sharing the drink, one person (and no they weren't carrying a jug that they poured it in). Some people (they're not all fat either) actualy do drink that much in a 2 hour movie.

      Seems to me that that would make your head explode.
  • Having larger coffee cup sizes is better than a trend of smaller sizes. As long as the price per volume remains about the same (accounting for inflation), there's nothing to complain about. Besides, this sort of thing is determined largely by economics - the smaller cups must not have been selling as well.

    Of course, one could argue that the coffee shops are forcing people to buy more coffee than they want, but I think there is enough competition so that if people really wanted a small cup, they'd get it (even from Starbucks, which just doesn't advertise it).

    • Case in point (Score:3, Interesting)

      My brother is what I'd call a caffeine addict. He's also a cheap SOB like myself, so when it comes to soda, he did some research to find the best price-to-volume ratio. His findings? Buy a 64oz Double Gulp from 7-11 once, save the cup and refill it for 85 cents a pop. Only problem is he's forgets the cup quite often, so empty Double Gulps litter his desk.

      More relevant to the article, 7-11 charges the same price to refill any fountain soda, so there's no cost benefit for showing restraint.
  • by xtermz ( 234073 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:56PM (#4028064) Homepage Journal
    ....Guy took a job at a simple little manufacturing company, hoping for a stress free position, and then out of nowhere... his web servers get slashdotted....
  • It's about time companies catered to the programming crowd and provided cups that adequately provide for our caffeinated needs. Whoever is complaining about this obviously has never had an all-night programming session with a deadline the next day, bladder be damned.
  • It costs about $.05 for syrup for a 12oz cup of coke for the syrup. Equiptment costs remain the same. You use a little more water, a little more Co2, and the cup might be a little more expensive.

    So why not sell the 44oz for twice the cost of a 10oz? It is just more money in the pocket of the store.

  • by stealie72 ( 246899 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:57PM (#4028084)
    Meanwhile, the 8 ounce asscheek has been upgraded to the 24 ounce asscheek.

    There will be trickle down from larger pants to larger chairs to larger coffins.
    • by Christianfreak ( 100697 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @06:10PM (#4028799) Homepage Journal
      How unpatriotic can you be? Sarcasm at these patriotic Americans! The 80 ounce drinks mean more pants, and more chairs and more coffins! That my friend means more jobs ... communist!
    • That would be a blessing and curse for fit people like myself. Pants will become more expensive because the largest sizes will use more material, but the price is set for all sizes. Given enough complaints, perhaps airline seats in coach will finally become wider, good for me, but that means there are fewer seats per plane, so prices go up per seat. At least fuel costs won't go up or down because the weight of the fat fucks in the seats counterballance the reduction of seats. Coffin prices will go up unless a new extra-wide coffin size is made. Cremation prices will go up unless the price is by the pound. So the fattening of America is mostly a curse for me, damn fat fucks. How many Denis Leary fans who are also fat fucks are reading this?

  • by vegetablespork ( 575101 ) <> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:57PM (#4028085) Homepage
    I'm in favor of the steady increase in cup sizes. I suppose this trend can benefit the ladies, too, since guys also wear cups.
  • 5 Pint cup. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PMadavi ( 583271 )
    I think it might have to do very much with the illusion of value. People see how cheap it is for such a large quantity, and go for it without thinking about how much they actually want. Take also into account that what used to be a large drink is now a medium (etc), so you order what you've always order, but suddenly, you're getting more.

    Take for example, 7-11. I'm sure the bulk soda that 7-11 receives is cheap enough that they can sell as much for as cheap as they like. The idea is to move the product as quickly as possible. Is anybody really going to drink 5 pints of soda, probably not. Definitely not without having some kind of heart attack. However, they might drink three pints. Which makes 2 extra pints that 7-11 sold that it otherwise wouldn't have, because they sold it cheap. Same with coffee, french fries, whatever. The more you sell, the more you cash in.

  • I know many of you would like to have 12, 16 or 22 oz bottles of beer but a nice 8 oz cup of draft is always good.

    You drink it fast and it goes down like it's nothing. Smaller cups also mean that you are getting a re-fill more often and keeping your beer cold and fresh.

    Now every now and then a good ol' 64 oz jug is nice but a handful of 8 oz'rs at a summer festival beats all the rest.

  • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @04:58PM (#4028104)
    In Japan, at least, the largest drink size you can get at a fast food restraunt like McDonalds is smaller than the "courtesy cup" that they give people who order water in America. Several of my friends and myself got strange looks and comments from host families when buying 1 liter drink bottles for ourselves. I remember one guy was asked by his host family if he had a party of something when he threw away the empty bottle at home. In talking with a few of my foreign friends after I returned, I've been led to believe that America is the "Land of the Super-Sized Drinks."

    Can anyone from another country or who's traveled abroad comment on this trend? Is oversized drinks just an American thing?
    • We almost died on a recent trip -- the value meals came with 300ml drinks. That's the size of cup you'd get for a small orange juice in the states. it definitely is an american thing -- none of us could even ration out the liquid to cover the whole meal and we wound up going back for second drinks.
    • I haven't personally travelled to the USA (it is something I have wanted to do for a long time) but I recently talked about this with a friend who visited Orlando on vacation. BTW - As you may have guessed from my username, I am from the UK.

      He said we have nothing to compare sizes in our drinks, to what you have over in the States.. this was made even more obvious when a friend recently returned from visiting his brother in Missouri - he bought some plastic cups whilst he was over there that could pretty much hold an entire litre of drink - I have never seen anything like that over here. I guess Americans just drink (and pee) more.

      Not trying to get insulting (its not intended to be) but the same seems to be true of food. The 'Orlando' guy said he went for a meal at a steak house on his holiday.. after he ordered some huge steak, the waitress gave him a plate and said he was welcome to eat some food from the buffet whilst he waited, as it was included in the price. Over here in the UK, that would normally mean some salad or pasta perhaps.. so he was pretty surprised to discover that the buffer in fact consisted of Steaks, Chicken and all that kind of stuff.. basically an entire meal in itself. Like I say, we don't really have anything like that over here.

      Anyway.. enough talk of food :)
    • Can't comment on the American idea of supersized drinks, but had an observation:

      Aren't humans supposed to drink ~2 gallons of water per day? How many dixie cups does that take? I imagine your urine would be almost as dilute as that of a cat. (No, Americans are no better. The soft drinks we imbibe won't help set a reasonable osmotic balance in the system. That's why it should be water)

    • by Azog ( 20907 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:16PM (#4028318) Homepage
      Well... I think it depends on the drink as much as the culture or country.

      For example, in my one experience in a Munich beergarden, I found that Coke came only in small glasses.

      Beer, on the other hand, could be ordered in a few sizes, including "large", "very large", and "2 litre, two-hands-required-to-lift the 20-pounds-of-glass-and beer" size.

      That was a good size.
    • Not when it comes to beer. The standard serving of beer in the UK is the pint, the Imperial pint, not the dinky 12 ozers we get here.

      Oh, and the beer is better, too.

    • Here in Brazil the "regular size" meals in fast foods come with 500ml drinks (about 16.9oz according to my HP). But the bigger size you can get your drink is 700ml (23.7oz), and not every place serves that size. "Small" is generally 300ml (~10oz). In Europe, "regular size" meant 400ml drinks when I was there last May, while small was 250ml. In Japan I can't say because it's been a while since I last was there, but it should be even smaller. In USA I always get a cup a little too big for my thirst when I order something to drink... unless it's beer (everywhere people prefer the 300-350ml bottles, while in Brazil the 600ml bottles are much more common).
    • Well, it is good to drink, but espresso is essentially an italian drink and in italy even 8 ounces is a big drink --- the entire point of real espresso is that it is literally tens or so drops of cofee.
      I am living in Cambridge (uk, it's already quite bad here) now and I got used to supervise people in coffe shops when they are making my macchiato... It works, but you really need to stand behind them and poke them at the right moment...
    • It mostly is, us Europeans always have trouble believing the sizes. We find it even more silly that in a fast-food joint where you can choose between small (which would be European medium), large and Extra-large drinks, you also get free refills. Then what's the point in ordering the large drink?
  • I recall back in the early to mid 80s going to Dairy Queen as a kid and walking away with a large Strawberry malt ($2.25) that must have been 48 oz! They were huge, vomit inducing, and oh so good!

    Go there now and order a large Strawberry malt ($6.98), wait with trembling hand while the paper hat-wearing teen comes back, and hands you a napkin lightly moistened with some pink milk. "There ya go!"


  • I drink cold drinks only, I never drink coffee or tea. Juice, water, and a lot of soda are what help get me through the day.

    A couple of the places I worked at had CO2 charged soda fountains, AND THESE REALLY REALLY SMALL 8OZ CUPS! I found a solution to that problem by buying the 7-11 Xtreme gulp mugs (ahh 52 ounces of sugary insulated cold goodness)

    Now reading this Coca-Coca 2 liter bottle, it says...

    Serving Size 8 fl oz (240 ml)

    I don't know about the rest of your soda drinking habits, but this 2 liter will be empty at the end of the day.

    So frankly, i'm happy the cups around the water cooler are getting bigger. It means less trips back and forth to the soda fountain.

  • Excellent! (Score:3, Funny)

    by AlphaOne ( 209575 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:01PM (#4028132)
    Sweetheart also manufactures 7-Eleven's 44-ounce Super Big Gulp cups, and Deignan says the company is considering producing an 80-ounce cold drink cup - that's 5 pints, folks.

    This is excellent. Finally I can have an entire night of drinking in one convenient container.
  • by alouts ( 446764 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:02PM (#4028154)
    Sure, 44 oz. is huge. But 7-11 has done better than that for years. Their DoubleGulp measures in at a cool 64 oz. Yes, a half gallon!

    The best thing about it is that it even comes in a paper carton-like "cup" that very closely resembles a half gallon carton of milk, but with a hole in the top for a straw.

    'Course, the second coolest thing is the fact that you get anywhere from 700 to 900 calories from one, depending on what soda you put in it (assuming that, like most teenageers, you are not a big fan of diet sodas). Mmmmm half my daily calories in carbonated liquid form....

  • Americans are consumers. That is what we are treated as, it is what we act like. We consume. We are taught to consume, we propagate consumption. The more we consume, the better off we are, right?

    *sigh*. Americans can be so stupid sometimes. And I am a born-and-raised American.

  • At the Coffee Shop, It's Always a Tall Order

    Or, "Stories I Pull Out of My File Cabinet When I Don't Want to Work For a Week."
  • Their's a Real-Life Comics comic out there that's pretty funny, wish I could find it. One of the guys goes "I need a big gulp" and his friend replies "No, you need a DAMN, it's 900oz of your favorite beverage, and the cut even fits in your cars drink holder" and it shows massive, 55 gallon drum sized drink with this little nipple in the bottom that goes in your cup holder. It was pretty damn funny, I'll try and find it.
  • ...and as this article surely was stuff that matters, a liter is a metric unit of capacity equal to one cubic decimeter, for you ounce-bounces :)
  • My rant. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:08PM (#4028226)
    I feel that the massive cups are linked to another phenomenon that I have noticed. That is, the new need for people to always have a drink in hand.

    Up until recently, when people got thirsty, they went to the kitchen and got a drink. They finished their drink in the kitchen and went about their business. People also drank at the table while eating. But now, people seem to be incapable of going ANYWHERE without a drink constantly in hand.

    It doesn't seem to matter what the drink is or if they are even thirsty, just so long as they always have a drink. Regardless of whether it is a ridiculous 44oz Big Gulp or a 12oz bottle of water, they must have a drink in hand.

    It appears to me that people have developed some form of security blanket complex where they are out of sorts unless they have a drink in their hand. You notice this with the constant sipping. They are obviously not thirsty but every couple of minutes they are compelled to sip a half ounce or so. They seem addicted to the act of drinking, rather like smokers are to the act of smoking.

    What's up with that?
    • Re:My rant. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:13PM (#4028291) Homepage Journal
      whats funny is, when your sirring around with all your friends, wait until there not paying attention to you, then take a sip of your soda. everyone else will follow suit, not relize it. People with out a soda, will gt up and get one.
      I've been running that experiment for years. it just cracks me up.
    • Re:My rant. (Score:5, Funny)

      by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @06:24PM (#4028894) Journal
      At, this was a conscious effort that served a purpose.

      At one typical "yay for us" session where the publisher/CEO was trying to drum up support for an initiative the editorial staff opposed, I was obliged to clap with the majority. It would have been inappropriate not to. I noticed that one of the editors was not clapping, and I asked him how he could get away with that.

      "I don't want to spill my coffee," he said, pointing out several other editorial staff members who were not clapping and holding coffee cups. "Next time, bring a cup."

      So the next time I grabbed an empty coffee cup on my way to the meeting and just stood there holding it when everyone clapped. It was a good lesson in civil disobedience. When I left the company over a year later, and my boss was giving a BS speech about how much I meant to the company, I brought a coffee cup.

  • Keep in mind that (a not sugar free) original size big gulp coke has over 40 teaspoons of sugar...

    Now imagine one over two and half times the size... over 100 teaspoons of sugar.

    Then wonder why so many Americans are obese... "but the bigger size is a better deal!"
  • Why bother with drinking? Just inject that caffine directly into my veins!
  • I remeber when a 16 oz slurpee was the largest you could get from 7-11.

    then somewbody said "Hey, we can make a 24 oz drink, it costs us about 3 cents more, but we can charge an extra 50 cents!"
    then everbody was doing it.
    then it was super size drinks that you can refill all you want!
    now I get angry if a resturant wants to charge me to refill my soda.
  • PVP [], July 18, 2001
  • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:12PM (#4028271) Homepage Journal
    And rehashed an old Dennis Miller routine. It didn't start with coffee cups. First I remembered was resizing of McDonald's cold cups in the mid to late 80's. That was fine then, but now, when I want a small, it means I really want what is called the 'child size'. Ironically, when you get a happy meal, you don't get a 'child size', you get something even smaller.

    The reason they don't put it on the menu board? It costs ten cents more for the 'small', but only has about 1 cent more cost involved. They 'lose money' (in the same way that pirates cause MPAA and RIAA companies to 'lose' money) by selling this size. That's why they push the barrel basket of popcorn at the movie theatre for 'only 25 cents more': because it only costs them 5 cents more, so they make an additional 20 cents.

    "Do you want to supersize that?"

    "No, moron. If I wanted to supersize it, I would have said 'Number 3, supersize', not 'Number 3, medium'" But I usually don't, as it is the owner/manager who will fire the drone if they forget to pimp supersize fries.

    (BTW, call me in to testify against that fat bastard suing the fast food companies. Listen lard-ass, just order a medium! I'm fat, so fuck you, I'll call you lard ass if I want. I'm fat because *I* shovelled garbage down my gullet, not Mayor McCheese.)

    Oh, and to those who say "the market will prevail": bullshit. McDonald's used to have an "All-American meal". Cheesburger (not 1/4 lb), fries (modern medium, traditional large), and a coke (modern medium, traditional large). It's exactly what I wanted. Doesn't exist anymore. Yes, the items are available separately, but have you ever ordered separate items at McDonald's? What a joke. Definately a roll of the dice as to whether those people get anything right. (I do this frequently. I'll get a medium two cheeseburger meal with an extra drink, sometimes extra fries for my wife and I to split. Then throw in a hamburger for junior.)

    Blah. Gimme a gun, a knife, and an open fire. I'll get your supersized meal as soon as a buffalo comes walking by.

    (Not even 30, and I'm becoming a 'bitter old man', ranting about 'the good old days')

    • Justy a word on that lawsuit.
      In general its crap, but they are alleding the McDonalds, and others, are lying on there nutrietional(sp?) information. If that is true, then yes, they have a case and hese companies should be held liable for lying to a customer.

      OTOH saying McDonalds forced you to eather is a bunch of crap.

      wouldn't it be funny if they founf out they where adding addictive chemicals to the food? hehe.

    • I do this frequently. I'll get a medium two cheeseburger meal with an extra drink, sometimes extra fries for my wife and I to split.

      (Not even 30, and I'm becoming a 'bitter old man', ranting about 'the good old days')

      It's a good thing, too, because with that diet, you don't really have any time to lose.
  • I used to buy the 64 oz soda when i worked on a non union cable plow clean up crew in college (go scabs!). A two hour drive followed by 13 in the hot sun -- you get damn thirsty. Now, I didn't really drink 64 oz of soda...with no bathrooms around, that's a bit crazy. But for 64 cents, i could fill it up 3/4 of the way with ice and get about 32 oz of soda that would be at least marginally cold until well past lunch time.

    Yeah, if there was an 80 oz, i would have drank it. Beats filling up that damn coolers.
  • As far as possible, cook at home. Seems like simple advice, but very few people do it. Saves you money and you can have just as much as you want. It is a lot healthier that way.

    This will also make "eating out" a special thing to look forward to, rather than something routine. Also, you can include other stuff like exercise and lighter eating on days when you eat out.

    When you go to a grocery store, don't buy anything that you don't have to further process before eating. This will quickly eliminate junk food, the major cause of obesity in my opinion.

    Just my $0.02, take it or leave it.

  • 1) Its part of a new add campaign to turn our pee the same color as the soda, but in order to pull it off, we have to drink A LOT.

    2) There are lots of diet programs...and soda keeps on selling...coincidence? The diet programs brainwash us into buying more soda so that we need to diet more! And this is just another step!

    3) The new soda containers are actually developed for military use. They plan to drop them on enemy forces to cause a mild explosion, covering the enemy with a sticky substance, and leaving them exposed to attack while they take showers.

    4) All part of training to make Americans bigger. Bigger food=bigger people, right? We'll be able to take over the world once all Americans are 11 feet tall, and everyone else averages 5'11".

    5) The soda gods have decreed it. The will of the soda gods must be obeyed.
  • by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:26PM (#4028415) Homepage Journal
    this is a very geek unfriendly story. i myself need the drug-like crutch of a gallon of sugary soda to keep my mental juices flowing while i program every day, all day. i have a feeling i am not alone.

    sure, the sugar spike of modern soft drinks is completely unnatural for a human body evolved to deal with the slow rise and fall of digesting complex carbohydrates, but so what? and no, i won't become a diabetic because i run every day too. calories in, calories out. and yes, as i admitted, it's a drug-like crutch, but in the larger scheme of things, i can forgive myself my dependence upon sugar to get me through the day. surely there are greater addictions and crimes out there we can all worry about, no? (yes, i am aware the micromanaging moralizers amongst us have something to say here, but we don't care, k?)

    programming may not be as calorie-intensive a process as say, the iron man competition, but the brain still eats calories. and is there a single programmer out there who doesn't appreciate the idea of getting into a mental zone and getting their most productive efforts out of that zone? do most of us prop up that zone with comfort-producing stimuli? music, furniture, toys, lighting, etc... but sweets and stimulants top the list. just go visit thinkgeek [] if you don't believe me and see what kind of stuff they hawk over there. if you've ever drank coca cola while at the keyboard, you have to admit the bonus it produces. what greater comfort-producing aid can there be than something that gives the brain what it naturally craves?

    keep the brain sutffed with oxygen and glucose and it will reward you with good code! don't let the guilt-mongers get at you, fellow programmers, enjoy your code red big gulp, and have one every day. (just make sure you exercise too... don't become another stupid fat american. ;-)
  • by GweeDo ( 127172 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:34PM (#4028487) Homepage
    I recently stopped drinking pop all together. Now I only drink water, milk (one glass per day), and juice (2 glasses per day roughly). In the 6 weeks since I started this I haven't really changed anything else about my excerise and eatting habits. I have already dropped 8lbs. I used to drink close to 5 12-16oz pops per day. At the low end that is 60oz (smaller than the 80oz drink they are talking about). So I think you see the weight concerns here. This is truely making America fatter... :(
  • by Bouncings ( 55215 ) <ken&kenkinder,com> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:39PM (#4028526) Homepage
    With the growth of high level languages like Perl, Python, and TCL you'd think that coffee cups could be getting smaller, not larger. This is the strongest evidence against Moore's Law I've seen in a while.
  • Diabetes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pmz ( 462998 ) on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @05:44PM (#4028579) Homepage
    No one should be suprised that diabetes and obesity are becoming a bigger and bigger problem (no pun intended) in the U.S.

    An 80 oz. cup of Coca-Cola with perhaps 25 oz. of ice has about 900 Calories. 900 Calories from sugar and no discernable nutrients.

    Soft-drink companies who try to pass this stuff off as harmless are no better than the cigarette companies who lied about lung cancer.

    Companies who sell 10% fruit juice (the rest being corn syrup and water) are just as bad, too. Worse, considering that ignorant mothers feed this stuff to children thinking it is healthy.

    I hope that refined sugar-based soft drinks and fruit drinks will be reclassified as "candy" just so we can have some truth in advertising, and basic maternal psychology will then stop children from consuming such obscene amounts of them.

    I'm just too damn tired of seeing beach ball shaped children most places I go, who will have a miserable time growing up and, later, a very hard time growing old.
  • by serutan ( 259622 ) <(moc.nozakeeg) (ta) (guodpoons)> on Wednesday August 07, 2002 @06:36PM (#4028961) Homepage
    I hope they never do make that 80-oz cup. If I put one of those in my cup holder, the whole damn computer would tip over.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @12:23AM (#4030690) Journal

    This is just another example of economics being applied in an amoral fashion. For quite some time I've been lamenting the demise of the 12-oz can in convenience stores, which has been replaced with 20-oz plastic bottles. All too often I find myself falling prey to the "you've gotta finish it" mentality. No doubt this comes from being told as a kid to "clean your plate because people are starving overseas".

    Of course, I could just pour out the extra soda or plan ahead by purchasing smaller units at the grocery store. However, if I were inclined to do that I wouldn't be at the convenience store to begin with. Planning ahead simply isn't... well... convenient.

    So... what can we do with all that flat soda? I hate the idea of just dumping it, so here's my proposal: Flat soda collection centers.

    It's not as crazy as you think. Since all non-diet sodas are essentially sugar-water with an acid pH, all we have to do is dump them in a vat, rebalance the pH, add yeast, and let them ferment. Then we can distill the product into ethanol and use it to power stuff.

    Of course this will never work. Most people drink the whole 20-oz, or just dump the flat soda. If I were the tinfoil-hat type, I'd say there was a conspiracy to make America fat, but it's really just amoral economics.

    The companies get a better margin on bigger bottles. They can afford to please the gluttons at the expense of the rest of us because the gluttons are their best customers. There are only 2 major soda companies. Any vendor that tries to carry the smaller sizes faces the same margins. They may also face pressure from the soda companies. Pepsico does a lot of its business because it owns restaurants. They should be forced to divest all their restaurant holdings, as this is very much against the public interst. Alternatively, their corporate charter could be revoked thus relieving them of both the benefits and obligations of being a corporation. Of course charter revokation is a futile proposal since the public service nature of corporations is all but dead and burried.

    Both soda companies are guilty of using heavy-handed contracts on independant operators. All corporations (not just soda companies) should be barred from making deals that prevent customers from dealing in competing products. Such a law, were it in force, would solve much of the Microsoft problem too.

    At any rate, the application of "economies of scale" to serving people drinks is just one of many examples of economics being applied without thought. These aren't refineries we're fueling here, THEY'RE HUMAN BEINGS. They require something other than maximum volume at minimum cost.

    Don't worry too much though. Misguided economics works in the other direction too. Free Trade wags are actually seriously proposing the elimination of subsidies and tarrifs on agricultural products worldwide. As everybody who took basic economics knows, agricultural subsidies help ensure greater than "market" output. Market output could lead to food shortages in drought years. Tarrifs encourage local production. Take away the tarrifs, and US agriculture might flee to a lower cost producer. Yes folks... all of this means that Americans, yes AMERICANS. May someday be taking grain from UN workers throwing it out the back of trucks. And the Blue Helmet guys probably won't offer you the option of "super sizing" that sack of wheat.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern