Say you’re shopping for a new car, but not just any car; you’re after a Ford. Fords have a sleek and cool style, something that you believe you embody yourself. The salesperson knows just what you’re talking about. Moments later, the car-shopping vibe fizzles as a 1984 Fiesta sputters to a stop in front of you. Hey, it’s a Ford, isn’t it? The details got lost in translation. Don’t make the same mistake with your product’s volume and/or weight declarations.
Meet Floyd and Natalie
Floyd drinks nothing but big gulps to stretch his stomach for his weekly one gallon milk chugging contest. A standard dairy bottle is his container of choice. Natalie on the other hand eats nothing but spinach leaves to maintain a “healthy” weight. According to her, the lighter a container is the better. Floyd thinks in terms of volume or fluid ounces (FL. OZ.) while Natalie worries about weight (or for this illustrative purpose, net weight ounces, NET WT. OZ.). Settle the measuring score between fluid and net weight ounces before deciding on the right container for your product.
Fill up a fluid ounce container
The water you gulp after an intense workout and the energy drink you cling to the morning after a spontaneous late night on the town are both sold in fluid ounce capacities. The fluid ounce measurement assigned to a container is based on one thing, volume; referring to the amount of storable space inside the container.
Weigh down a net weight ounce container
Sugar, flour, honey, salt and… babies are all measured in net weight ounces, based on the weight of an item. When I hear that a newborn was delivered at 6 lbs. 8 oz, I’m aware that this measurement is based on net weight calculations. Otherwise I might throw thirteen cups of baking ingredients together, bake at 350°F for 9 minutes and hope to welcome my own pastry child into the world… maybe a gingerbread boy. Not only is this slightly disturbing, but more importantly, the formula is faulty. Also, don’t get gross weight and net weight confused. The gross weight of your bag of flour would mean you throw the entire thing on a scale and take that number. The net weight of your bag of flour means you subtract the weight of the bag. You don’t eat the bag.
The final word – Fluid ounces and net weight ounces aren’t equal
Take a look at the equation below. To a layman the numbers might seem like they add up.
The issue is that the two units of measure aren’t interchangeable. Fluid ounces are only concerned with volume, while net weight ounces focus on weight; two vastly different aspects of container measurements. 8 FL. OZ. of molasses doesn’t weigh 8 NET WT. OZ (it actually weighs 12 NET. WT. OZ.).
“F” is for fluid ounces and Floyd (remember him? He’s the guy who drinks from a high volume container). “N” is for net weight ounces and Natalie (the girl that never leaves home without a scale). Fluid ounces are to volume, as net weight ounces are to weight. Keep your container volume and/or weight declarations clear to avoid a Ford Fiesta-like fiasco.
How do you remember the difference between fluid and net weight ounces? Share your creative concepts in the comments!