Unusual choice of units: 1.8 billion square millimeters

Raymond Chen

The materials for Kraft Heinz’s 2018 annual meeting boasts that they “reduc[ed] total packaging by more than 1.8 billion square millimeters of film each year—the equivalent of almost 346 football fields worth of packaging material.”

Okay, first of all, square millimeters is a strange unit of measure when you have 1.8 billion of them.

The football field is itself a strange unit of measure.

Furthermore, 1.8 billion square millimeters is nowhere close to 346 American football fields. It’s not even one football field. To get 346 American football fields, they need 1.8 trillion square millimeters, so maybe they meant a European billion. But in that case, why convert it to American football fields? Shouldn’t they convert it to European football (aka soccer) fields?


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