Same Price – but less product

I really don’t mind grocery shopping. It’s kind of fun to try to outsmart the grocers . . . or whoever does the pricing. I have my calculator at hand to determine if the economy size is actually less per ounce than the regular. Many times you can buy several of the smaller sizes cheaper than buying the “economy” size.

But I began to notice more air in the bag of potato chips and less chips. Yet the price has not changed . . . or is even higher.

On March 30, 2011, an article credited to the New York Times appeared in the Money section of the Omaha World Herald. I plagiarized the title of that article for this post because I can’t say it any better. More and more companies are leaving the packaging and the price the same but reducing what’s inside. A few examples:

  • A can of Chicken of the Sea albacore tuna is now packed at 5 ounces instead of 6
  • The standard size of Edy’s ice cream went from 2 liters to 1.5 in 2008
  • Many canned vegetables have dropped to 13 or 14 ounces from 16
  • Boxes of baby wipes went to 72 from 80
  • Sugar is in 4-pound bags, not 5

I had never paid attention to how much was in the can or box before, so I’m truly at a disadvantage here. I realize there has been some inflation and prices have gone up. But I don’t appreciate the trickery.

If you have some specific examples of this, please leave a comment . . . and your thoughts about it.


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