A slogan appearing on the label of a bottle of apple juice leaves some of us guessing about its intended message.
“3lbs of apples make every litre of Copella apple juice”
Thus proclaims the label on a bottle of “English apple” juice. But why this odd mix of units? (It should be said that the bottle is also clearly marked ‘750 ml e’)
The slogan may be worded this way because the arithmetic works well. None of the alternatives looks or sounds as good:
13/4 lb in every pint
¾ kg in every pint
11/3 kg in every litre
Alternatively, this could be a new version of a favourite traders’ ploy – 3lbs looks a lot more than 1.36 kg.
Perhaps it is an attempt of emphasise the English origins of the apples that are used to make the juice – a fruity equivalent of the union jack that appears on the labels of some supermarket milk.
This particular combination of units is curious because the imperial alternative to the litre lives on in the UK as a primary unit, albeit only for draught beer and cider, whereas the pound (lb) has had no legal purpose for more than ten years.
Campaigners for imperial measures often claim in support that these are used in the USA, which has the world’s largest GDP. The pound is a primary unit in the US of course, unlike the imperial pint. But it seems unlikely that the advertising agency employed by a Suffolk apple presser would allow US practices to influence its copy.
Others may prefer the simple life, perhaps a can of “The Amber Nectar, 440ml e, alc. 4% vol”.