Food packages are shrinking, but prices remain the same

No it’s not your imagination. That roll of toilet paper you just bought really does have fewer sheets than it used to.

WINK News of Southwest Florida reports that consumers good companies are up to their old tricks. Rather than raise prices, they are making their packages smaller and charging buyers the same price. A few products to look out for, according to the WINK News team:

  • canned fruit: 16 ounce cans is now 14 ounces
  • soda: 20 fluid ounce bottle is now 17 fluid ounces
  • Häagen-Dazs ice cream: 16 fluid ounces is now 14 fluid ounces
  • dog food: 20 pound bag is now 18 pounds
  • Consumers are noticing, and–surprise!–they aren’t happy. When Mary Hance wrote about shrinking packaging last month for her local newspaper in Rutherford County, Tenn.,  she got an earful.

    I had one man call and tell me that he thinks eggs have gotten smaller with different grading criteria — meaning that today’s large egg is what used to be called an extra large egg and so on. I read online about shrinking packages for everything from dog food to contact solution, canned ice tea, liquid detergent, yogurt and more.  Jan Tidwell, of Hermitage, wrote: “Ms. Cheap … you are so right about many things being reduced — especially about a can of tuna. I remember when it use to make 3 or 4 sandwiches, now it barely makes 1 1/2.”

    That last reader is correct, by the way: a can of tuna contains less tuna than it used to.

    “Yes, these days just about every business is struggling to contain costs,” Hance concludes, “but companies need to be up front about it and let their customers know what they are doing and why they are doing it — instead of trying to slip one over on us.”

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    One Comment on “Food packages are shrinking, but prices remain the same”

    1. […] November 28, 2009: “Food packages are shrinking, but prices remain the same“ […]


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