It’s a routine that many of us have been used to since we had packed lunches at school: peel back the yogurt lid, carefully separate it from the pot, inspect the underside, lick clean. Well, unless you were posh and used a spoon to scrape the excess back into the pot, but where’s the fun in that?
Well those days might soon be a thing of the past.
Like VHS, cassette tapes and Swatch watches, licking the lid of a yogurt pot might soon be something that only people of a certain age will fondly remember…
Food producer and confectioner Morinaga has been listening to customer feedback in its native Japan, and has engineered special yogurt-repellant lids that remain clean, regardless of how much that pot of yours gets shaken and bumped around in your bag.
“Things like fruit yogurt are very soft and fluid, so no matter how we packaged them in the past, some almost always ended up stuck to the inside of the lid,” says a representative from Morinaga, explaining why part of our cultural heritage is being crushed. “Many of our customers commented that when opening yogurts and desserts there was often some stuck to the underside of the lid, which they’d spill or get on their hands or hands, meaning that they’d have to wash up after eating. With this in mind, we created the new lids.”
Well that’s all well and good for posh people who eat yogurt while dabbing the corners of their mouths with napkins, but what about people like us who want to get messy and enjoy the minor challenge in our otherwise mundane lives? And what about my cat who simply lives to lick yogurt pots and their lids? Answer me that, sir!
The new lids were apparently introduced both to make eating yogurts a less messy affair, and also to avoid the need to rinse them off before throwing them away.
While that may sound a little odd to many westerners, in Japan recycling and separating your rubbish is pretty much an expected standard, with most towns and districts only removing waste that has been divided between burnable and raw waste, plastics, glass and cans. Plastics– yogurt lids included– are expected to be thrown away clean and without food still attached.
But when you’ve got a cat to lick the last few remnants of yogurt up until you have to physically remove her head from the pot, do we really need special stay-clean lids?
▼Farewell, my messy friend. We’ve had some good times…
Apparently, the wheels of change have been in motion for quite some time, and we may already be too late to stop the change.
“We actually introduced the first of these lids in 2011,” the representative explains, “and have been slowly adding them to all of our products.”
The new lids do, admittedly, sound mightily impressive, and it’s clear that Morinaga has poured a lot of time and money into correcting such a tiny imperfection. The underside of the new lids are covered with inconceivably small dots that are in turn coated with a special patented Indian lotus extract that repels liquid, meaning that they stay clean no matter what.
Given the chance to try out yogurts with the new lids, a handful of consumers were asked what they thought, with some commenting that they were “deeply impressed” by the new addition and that they could now enjoy yogurt “stress free”…
Oh, you fools. What have you done..?
*As a Brit I’d normally write it as “yoghurt”, but because I’m feeling generous I used the North American spelling. Don’t say I don’t do anything nice for you.