Marketplace Scratch Pad

Making life better and people happy

Scott Jagow Feb 4, 2010

There were two food and beverage innovations announced today that are supposed to spread joy across the world. One of them might prevent drunk Brits from killing each other. The other could keep hungry Americans from screaming while eating their french fries.

British officials said they were introducing unbreakable glasses into the pub culture. Britain Design Council chief David Kester said: “We are launching the redesign of a British classic, the pint glass. We tried to find ways to make life better while saving money. We’re a creative nation.”

The creative nation apparently has a problem with its citizens breaking their pint glasses and then stabbing other citizens with the shards. More from Businessweek:

Ironically, no officials were talking about reforming the British binge drinking culture at the root of the problem, but they swear the country will save billions in health care costs by coming up with a glass that doesn’t double as a lethal weapon.

There are about 87,000 alcohol-related glass attacks each year, with many resulting in hospital visits, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said as he introduced the two prototype shatterproof pint glasses.

One is Glass Plus. It has a bio-resin coating that strengthens it. The other is Twin Wall, which is constructed somewhat like a car windshield.

Plastic glasses were not an option because they make people drinking beer unhappy, according to the designers.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Heinz introduced a new ketchup packet for the first time in 40 years:

The new packet will allow the diner to have the option of either dipping or squeezing the ketchup, and features a base that is more like a cup for dipping and a tear off end for squeezing. An added bonus is that the new packet holds three times as much ketchup as its traditional packet, which for consumers means you won’t have to squeeze out six packets just to go along with your fries or try to figure out where to squeeze it if you prefer to dip your fries rather than douse them in ketchup.

It may not save lives, but the new packet will certainly evoke cheers from an alarming number of angry Facebook users. See the following Facebook groups: Abolish Ketchup Packets, God I Hate Ketchup Packets, Ketchup packets are too much work and not enough payoff, Why The Hell Do They Make Ketchup Packets So Small?, and my personal favorite, Americans for the production of larger ketchup packets.

Through our collective voice we can be a catalyst for change, making it known that we will no longer tolerate the 30 seconds it takes to empty 8 packets of ketchup before we can eat our fast food meals. With your support, we can reach out to our communities and raise general ketchup awareness among those who don’t yet know how pissed off they should be.

May you eat in peace from now on. And may British pub-goers not start throwing their pint glasses instead.

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