Monday, December 31, 2007

A note on consumption

A friend of mine works in a plant that produces bottles, exclusively to be filled with the second or third most popular dish soap in the U.S. The capacity of the factory is somewhere north of a million a day. But their rate of production is pretty steady, at a little over 600,000. Every day. They are the only plant that makes these, and they only make them for the U.S. market. There is no major governmental surplus of this product, no notable spoilage, or anything else. American buy some 600,000 bottles of this particular brand of dish soap every day. There are around 110 million* households in the U.S. today. So even at that hard-to-grasp daily rate, it only means 1 in 25 households are buying a new bottle of soap each week. The scale at which the world operates freaks me out sometimes. *