November 18, 2012

Why Pay Less? Price Inflation = Food Deflation: “What really irritates people is that the sizes almost never go back up.”

"Look out kid / They keep it all hid" -- Subterranean Homesick Blues

Some companies try to bluff their way past shoppers’ rip-off radar.

Mueller’s 25 percent downsize of its spaghetti packages, from a pound to 12 ounces, features a box design that flags its “NEW — 6 servings” quantity. Of course, that’s two fewer servings than the old box contained. Those classic stacks of Premium saltine crackers proved too easy to count when Nabisco tried marketing smaller packages, and consumers protested. So the company rolled out a line of round saltines, packed loose in a bag. -- Package size changes mask product price increases


"Sugar lost the fifth pound at least ten years ago. Hubby just now noticed this.

"Cereal boxes with less cereal, but packaged in taller---but narrower---cartons to make it look like we're getting more.

"And Kleenexes! Over a year ago, I noted that the small box that goes in our craft fair holder seemed smaller. Because I stockpile, I could go to the closet and compare it to a box purchased months before: yup . . . old one had 110 tissues, now we get 100. And the lotion ones went down to 70 count! But price is the same.

"Oh, and each Kleenex is also about 1/4" narrower all the way around; don't even get me started on how thin they've become.

"Tuna dropped two ounces about two years ago. And almost anything else in a 16-ounce package has shed 1-2 ounces and now weighs 14-15.2 oz." -- Comment Posted by: NeeNee toSide-Lines: "And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a 4 lb bag of sugar. "

"I'm waiting for the Obama dozen." -- Chuck.

Voila! The Obama Dozen:

Posted by gerardvanderleun at November 18, 2012 10:52 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I recently bought some chocolate chips for my wife's holiday baking and discovered that the former 10.0 oz. packages are now 9.5 oz.

Posted by: snopercod at November 18, 2012 1:27 PM

It's the candy bar model writ large. The producers must assume that the dolts don't understand unit pricing.

Posted by: Lazarus Long at November 18, 2012 2:34 PM

It's the candy bar model writ large. The producers must assume that the dolts don't understand unit pricing.

Posted by: Lazarus Long at November 18, 2012 2:35 PM

Premium Saltines switched from a square cracker to a round cracker, did they switch back? (Because it was SO FREAKING STUPID TO MAKE THEM ROUND?)

Posted by: Potsie at November 18, 2012 3:49 PM

If the company's costs increase they must reduce qty. or raise prices. More customers go postal over price increases so qty is reduced. Oh well.

Posted by: Scott M at November 19, 2012 2:43 AM

Ummmm, folks: TANSTAAFL.

Posted by: Dave at November 19, 2012 3:37 AM

Tuna was a decent value for protein compared to others, but has changed in my memory. I remember being able to get tuna out of the can only by using a fork. It was labeled 'chunk light', but the chunks were more than shavings and bits you get today. The larger pieces are sold for sushi would be my bet, as the unit price is higher.
Today, the amount of tuna left in the can after the water is pressed out is significantly less than it was before. By the way, the price seems to have more than doubled.
Tuna is no longer inexpensive.

Why am I not surprised? Government inflation figures exclude fuel and food price changes. Isn't that smart...


Posted by: tomw at November 19, 2012 8:46 AM

Still 12 eggs in a dozen. I'm waiting for the Obama dozen.

Posted by: chuck at November 19, 2012 8:51 AM

Products getting smaller, government getting bigger. Hmmm... could it be that the size of a can of tuna is inversely proportional to the size of our government?

Posted by: SteveS at November 19, 2012 2:39 PM