Monday, January 17, 2011


with an in-law visit on the horizon, i bought some stuff that i don't ordinarily get at the grocery store over the weekend. how exciting it is to experience the unfamiliar sights of those rarely visited aisles!

in one such aisle, i discovered coke's 90 calorie mini-can. it apparently came out in late 2009, but i didn't notice until now. in my defense, i was in kazakhstan for a big chunk of that time. since my return one thing that has really stood out about this country is how ridiculously massive the portion sizes are in restaurants, with fast food places the worst offenders. a small coke in the food court by my office is what they would have called a "large coke" when i was growing up.

i remember ordering a small iced tea in july, just after my return, and then being completely dumbfounded by being forced to pay for so much drink that i didn't want. all i needed was about 12 ounces, but my only option was to buy at least twice as much and then pour half of it out. at the same time what also struck me was all of the diet options. diet cola didn't exist in taraz, or at least was extremely rare. it had been a while since i had seen so many diet logos.

my two realizations are probably related. maybe the reason they weren't selling diet in taraz is because there wasn't a demand for it because they're not drinking a half gallon with every meal. i started to wonder when american marketers would realize that they could sell smaller portions and call that "diet". i guess that has finally happened.

but that's just in the grocery store. the serving counter is still rushing in the opposite direction.