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My Yogurt Is Triangular


There are many differences between China and the rest of the world.  One of them is the packaging used for yogurt.  You wouldn’t expect a nation of lactose intolerant people to be at the cutting edge of yogurt packaging design, but China may have achieved a breakthrough.

In China, yogurt comes in a container that is triangular with rounded edges.  The rounded edges are just the right width so that you can scrape them out with a spoon.  I marinated on this for a while.  Why would yogurt come in a triangular package?  They certainly are not as easy to hold as a round container.  I can’t really think of anything else that comes in a triangular package in the US or China.  Ice cream – round or rectangular packaging.  Butter – round or rectangular packaging.  Cheese – rectangular packaging.  After a few days, I think I finally figured it out.  A triangular package (with rounded edges) is the best way to expose the maximum surface area of the product to someone eating while minimizing the amount of space required by the package for shipping.  If you think about it, rectangular packaging is great because you can load a crate of rectangular packages onto a truck or ship without any gaps.  Unfortunately, it is hard to dig into the corners of a square package with a spoon.  On the other hand, a circular package has no corners, so it is easy to scrape around in, but if you want to ship a bunch of circular containers, there will be gaps between the packages.  Since a triangle can have rounded edges without reducing the internal volume of the package and two triangles put together make a square, a triangle with rounded corners takes advantage of both of the benefits of a rectangle and a square!

Perhaps an even more genius development in consumer products is that in China, yogurt comes in 12 ounce containers.  So you can actually satisfy your hunger for yogurt rather than poke around with a spoon in those little 4-5 ounce containers we have in the US.

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