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Sneaky Product Downsizing


Toliver
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For this very reason many areas now require the price shown on the shelf to not only show the unit price but also the price per ounce.  If you take enough time looking at these prices you'll see in many cases the bigger package is not really a bargain!

The problem you can run into that they break items down inconsistently. One item will list price per ounce, another will list price per whole item. It helps to carry a calulator with you.

Usually, the smaller the container, the more expensive it'll be when broken down to the "cost per ounce". Which is why "family-sized" items can be such a deal.

Actually some Midwestern and East Coast states have laws that require the price per ounce to be shown for the very reason you state. Again people aren't forced to read the labels on the shelves but at least the information is available and people don't have to use a calculator (I'm not sure how many can hear in Kentucky :rolleyes:).

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Cadbury eggs are significantly smaller. I believe this began last year. Eggs from three years ago are actually the size of real eggs.

yes......see http://www.yesbutnobutyes.com/archives/200...adbury_cre.html

although, this is more current info from their website, lol.

Why has the size of the egg changed?

As the world's largest confectionery company, Cadbury Schweppes is committed to developing great-tasting products that consumers love. Since people's preferences vary from market to market, so do our products. This is reflected in the broad variety of sizes and flavors of products that we offer our consumers worldwide.

If you're eating a Cadbury Crème Egg in the UK or Canada - nothing has changed, they're the same size as ever. However, in the United States, our business partner, Hershey, elected to reduce the size of the crème egg.

Cadbury Eggs remain a consumer favorite and continue to be an excellent value. We apologize for any confusion or misleading information.

( http://www.cadburyschweppes.com/EN/Brands/...et_cremeegg.htm )

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  • 1 month later...
Oh yeah. This one bugs me too.

Not only does this downsizing business throw off recipes and stuff as you all have pointed out ... the odd-sized packages make doing price comparisons that one little bit more tedious. It's annoying enough when the store puts the unit pricing in the wrong units, like unit pricing per ounce on items usually bought by the pint, but then the danged item isin't even a full pint any more...

Thanks for pointing this out since it is another annoying aspect of sneaky product downsizing. Within the last week, I noticed two more products that have been downsized:

Skippy Peanut Butter 18 ounce is now 16.3 ounces.

Tropicana Orange Juice 3 liter container is now 89 ounces.

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I ran into this last night.  I made pasta and I usually make 1 box of pasta with 1 jar of sauce.  I mixed both of them together and was thinking that there was less sauce than normal.  I went ahead and mixed them and ended up adding more sauce to make it look right.

Yes, because some jars of spaghetti sauce are actually down to 24 ounces.

They started with a full 32 oz. jar. Then they sneakily downsized to 28 oz. Then 26 oz. and now some are actually down to 24.

It's going to get to the point where they won't be able to downsize anymore. It would be ridiculous to have a 10 ounce jar on the shelves. But maybe some corporate genius would actually try it. :rolleyes:

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I ran into this last night.  I made pasta and I usually make 1 box of pasta with 1 jar of sauce.  I mixed both of them together and was thinking that there was less sauce than normal.  I went ahead and mixed them and ended up adding more sauce to make it look right.

Yes, because some jars of spaghetti sauce are actually down to 24 ounces.

They started with a full 32 oz. jar. Then they sneakily downsized to 28 oz. Then 26 oz. and now some are actually down to 24.

It's going to get to the point where they won't be able to downsize anymore. It would be ridiculous to have a 10 ounce jar on the shelves. But maybe some corporate genius would actually try it. :rolleyes:

Yeah, they'll call the 10 ounce jar a "personal sauce" meant for one. :hmmm:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I saw a piece on the news tonight (national, I think) that Kroger stores are planning on introducing a 3/4 gallon jug of milk. That way they can keep the prices the same but still charge more per ounce ! The logic is that most people, just eye-balling the size of the jug, won't realize they're getting stiffed.

Evil. Just evil.

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Yeah, there was an idiotic AP story picked up by our useless local paper on this. It trumpeted that in these days of belt-tightening, consumers are looking for smaller sizes so that their weekly grocery bill can shrink. The 3/4 gallon milk jug was specifically mentioned. The reporter reported that the smaller-sized milk jug was one example of a response by a manufacturer to satisfy consumer demand.

Um, no. I'll wager that the 3/4 gallon milk will cost the same as the gallon size. There is already a smaller size for the thrifty consumer to choose: the half gallon.

I'm basing my cynical projection on the fact that my orange juice of choice, Tropicana, has just downsized their jug from 94 to 86 ounces. And the price remained the same.

Margo Thompson

Allentown, PA

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Two more products recently having size reductions are Edy's ice cream, it went from a 56 oz to a 48 oz container, and Lay's potato chips from 12 oz to 11.25.

Sneaky,sneaky. I really don't like it- and I do agree that with some poducts it will mess up a lot of recipes , not every one has a scale or the time (not to mention patience) to recalculate the rest of the ingredients.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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Japan has done this for a long time, but there's a lot of it now. I did a double take when I actually saw a "More in the package!!!" sign on something recently.

I went out of my way to get the 1kg discount pack of grated cheese...and found that it had been downsized to 800g, AND a price increase to boot.

With fresh vegetables, I find that the price changes very little over the year - what changes is the amount in one packet or bunch, could be as little as 1/4 of regular amount at times. Very annoying when I dispatch a kid to the other end of the supermarket to get a bunch of spinach, only to have to send them back to get enough spinach for the rest of the family...

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 years later...

The New York Times reports today that manufacturers are shrinking their retail packaging of groceries in order to mask inflation:

As an expected increase in the cost of raw materials looms for late summer, consumers are beginning to encounter shrinking food packages.

With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages.

I've definitely noticed this phenomenon, and will now be more vigilant about checking package sizes and doing the math.

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This has been going on for years. It may have picked up pace because of the recession, but fully 5 years ago, the half-gallon of ice cream switched to a quart and a half, just as an example.

Lesson? ALWAYS check package quantities.

I have a Palm Tungsten T3, and have a nifty program on it called Price Book. It allows me to enter the quantity and total price, and calculates the per-unit cost. It's invaluable to me, and I've been using it for years. I'm sure there must be a similar app for smart phones. I would highly recommend such an app, if you can find one.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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Whoops, I had loaded this page, but didn't refresh before posting, so Weinoo beat me to it.

I would, however, add that this ongoing downsizing has prompted me to add package quantities to recipes that call for "one can" of this or "one package" of that, so that on down the road, I will know that I need to open two packages, rather than one, when it finally shrinks.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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Try doing all of this in Metric as we must do in Canada. So it might mean that a package of 556 grams would be reduced to what? 539 grams or something. Right. Try making sense of that? Who can do the math?

You just buy it off the shelves and grumble and complain. And get on to the next issue. T'was ever thus in some form or other. :raz:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

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I would, however, add that this ongoing downsizing has prompted me to add package quantities to recipes that call for "one can" of this or "one package" of that, so that on down the road, I will know that I need to open two packages, rather than one, when it finally shrinks.

Exactly. It will impact those drawers full of hand-me-down recipes.

I posted about the same topic three years ago:

The Shrinking Mayonnaise Jar - Sneaky product downsizing

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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This has been going on for years. It may have picked up pace because of the recession, but fully 5 years ago, the half-gallon of ice cream switched to a quart and a half, just as an example.

Lesson? ALWAYS check package quantities.

I have a Palm Tungsten T3, and have a nifty program on it called Price Book. It allows me to enter the quantity and total price, and calculates the per-unit cost. It's invaluable to me, and I've been using it for years. I'm sure there must be a similar app for smart phones. I would highly recommend such an app, if you can find one.

Most grocery stores display PPU cost in small print next to the total price. Just sayin.

A vision without action is a Daydream; Action without vision is a Nightmare.

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I am extremely annoyed by this entire process.

I have many recipes that used canned ingredients. One old one, from the 1960s, calls for a "30 ounce can of whole tomatoes" There is no such thing available nowadays.

Or a 16 ounce can of whatever.

I remember when a pound of coffee was an actual pound and not 12 ounces. The cans are essentially the same size, just the contents have shrunk.

A few years ago there was a long diatribe in the New York Times about this very subject and I agreed with it 100%.

Marketers are sneaky and underhanded and jack up prices for no more reason that they know they can get away with it.

It's not the end retailer to blame, their profit margins remain the same. It is the producers, these multi-national overlords, raking in unprecedented profits and crying for more tax breaks when they don't pay any taxes to begin with.

Sorry for the rant but I'm just about had it up to my eyebrows with these cheating tactics which burden poor people so much.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Try doing all of this in Metric as we must do in Canada. So it might mean that a package of 556 grams would be reduced to what? 539 grams or something. Right. Try making sense of that? Who can do the math?

You just buy it off the shelves and grumble and complain. And get on to the next issue. T'was ever thus in some form or other. :raz:

Since grams, milliliters and dollars/cents are all decimal I imagine it's much easier than trying to figure out than cents per ounce or fractions of a pound or pints or whatever.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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This has been going on for years. It may have picked up pace because of the recession, but fully 5 years ago, the half-gallon of ice cream switched to a quart and a half, just as an example.

Lesson? ALWAYS check package quantities.

I have a Palm Tungsten T3, and have a nifty program on it called Price Book. It allows me to enter the quantity and total price, and calculates the per-unit cost. It's invaluable to me, and I've been using it for years. I'm sure there must be a similar app for smart phones. I would highly recommend such an app, if you can find one.

Most grocery stores display PPU cost in small print next to the total price. Just sayin.

Unfortunately these signs are not always accurate and not up to date. In one local mega supermarket the same PPU cost shelf edge clips remained the same for months while there were several price increases making the PPU totally unreliable.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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So, instead of raising the price, they make the can smaller.

What's the problem here?

First they make the can content smaller then they raise the price, The size of the can remains the same. I've been checking prices for many, many years and this has been a long-term process. I think it is designed to fool the public who do not always read the labels.

Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup used to contain 12 ounces, now it is 10 1/2.

I have an old Campbell's recipe book that states to use a 12-ounce can of the Cheddar Cheese Soup in a particular recipe. That's just one instance of the sneaky changes.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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