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Products Getting Smaller For The Same Price

acheron

TRIBE Member
In my job I get to see a lot of packaging updates for grocery products of all kinds - as a result it is easy to chart trends in packaging/marketing and one of the biggest trends I've seen is products being downsized while leaving the price point the same. This is happening across all grocery types and speaks to the pressure the market is under - margins are razor thin as retailers compete on price - only way to give retailers a chance is to keep the MSRP the same but lower the volume of product (and therefore the cost to retailer) in the package. The people who lose out, of course, are the consumers.

To get us started, here's a bunch of products I've seen come down in size over the past year or so. Please feel free to add your own, I will try to update the thread whenever I see a re-size come across my desk.
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Babybel 12-pack cheese used to be 12x22g, now 12x20g
Kraft Cracker Barrel Cheese - 540g down to 500g (was 600g in 2007)
Black Diamond Cheddar Cheese 520g down to 500g
Lay's Potato Chips - now 235g used to be 300g in 2005 (downsized twice per year)
Nestle Smarties Heart - was 150g now 144g
McCain Pizza Premiere Traditional Crust Pepperoni was 700g now 625g
McCain Pizza Premiere Traditional Crust Deluxe was 736g now 660g
McCain Deep'n Delicious Mini Pizzas - down 200g+ per box
Schneider's Beef Steakettes - 454g down to 400g
Trident Multipack Gum now is 3 packs instead of 4
Kellogg's Froot Loops 425g down to 380g
Kellogg's Corn Pops 375g down to 345g
Kellogg's Raisin Bran 775g down to 625g
Miracle Whip 950mL down to 890mL
Gain Liquid 1.2L down to 1.02L -- most laundry liquids similar downsize)
Aurora, King of the Sea Tuna - 227g down to 198g
Aero Peppermint 45g-40g (more bubbles)
Old South Orange Juice (Frozen) down from 355mL to 330mL
Huggies Mega Wipes 384 down to 360
Huggies Wipes 208 down to 184
Huggies Mega Diapers 72 down to 64
Huggies Newborn Diapers 40s down to 36
Doritos 265g down to 250g
Mr Freeze Pops 110x20mL down to 100x20mL
Classico Pasta Sauces 700mL down to 650mL
Classico Alfredo Sauce 470mL down to 410mL
Everfresh Cocktails 1.89L down to 1.75L
Heinz Tartar Sauce 375mL down to 369mL
Kraft Parmesan Cheese 250g down to 200g
Rougemont Apple Juice 1.36L down to 1.05L

Coca-Cola and Pepsi now both offer 20, 18 and 8 packs to retailers (they do still offer 24s and 12s however) the 20s often sell for the 24 price, ditto the 12s and 8s, the 18s are new and may follow the 20s pricing.
 
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
I personally enjoy the "thins" style snacks where you get one with only 100 calories that tastes just as good for the same price. Oh yeah, it's 100 calories 'cause it's only 19g.
 

MissBlu

TRIBE Member
i'm kinda relieved to see this, because i was sure stuff (especially the cereal and chips) were shrinking but had no proof.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
just as a side note - that bit about Aero Peppermint going down 5g because of more bubbles is true - they literally increased the bubblocity of the aero bar, reducing the chocolate content by 5g... no doubt they will market this as being 'light and airy' or something. What was it, they used to call Coffee Crisp a "nice, light snack"... they also call Oh Henry a Protein Bar now. Sheesh.
 
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Wiseman

TRIBE Member
How about the opposite......sort of:

Remember how Tic Tacs used to be the "One and half calorie mint"? Now they don't say that anymore because they increased the size of each mint decreasing the number in a package so you finish them faster. Now they are 1.9 calories.
 

I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
At some point the small bags of chips will grow in size to match the shrinking large bags and there will only be ONE size available.
 
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Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
Well in the context of the blog, EVERYTHING they cover is a scam ;)

I like that blog though - that's where I first heard about the waffle shortage that no one wants to talk about! Like fuck man, you know what chicken and waffles is without waffles? Just chicken, man! Just chicken!
 

Rajio

Well-Known TRIBEr
yeah i like and hate that blog - sometimes they get way too sensationalist and even promote being 'bad consumers' but sometimes theres vital info there too.
 
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acheron

TRIBE Member
Can't see why. It doesn't really conflict with anything I do in my position and it has nothing to do with my employer specifically - it is industry-wide - and actually, as some of the posts on the consumerist site indicate, it's not even restricted to just groceries - toys, all kinds of products.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
Too bad they couldnt decrease the packaging while they are at it.

Actually, the more astute suppliers do - like the apple juice tin I listed - the can we've been so used to for decades, 1.36L - in the 1.05L size it is noticeably smaller. Given their product is so iconic in the grocery store I can't help but think they will get a lot of blowback from consumers unhappy about the change. They are probably glad to use less metal in their tins, though. I'm surprised most apple juice suppliers haven't all converted to tetra packs actually.

The cheese guys seem to make their bricks narrower, not shorter, keeping the same width on the shelf, so that's a little sneaky.
 
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Rajio

Well-Known TRIBEr
you mean like cereal box proportions? thats not uncommon.

btw did you see the blowback tropicana got when they changed their carton design? people flipped the fuck out!
 

Lysistrata

Well-Known TRIBEr
how is it a scam? contents are clearly indicated.

it's not an actual scam but it's like a scam i said - in most cases they keep the packaging the same size so it looks like you're still buying the same amount. they could just riase the prices but people would be upset about that, so they're trying to sneak less product for the same money past consumers.
 

rubytuesday

TRIBE Member
I don't really mind certain foods shrinking because our portions are out of control.
That said, leave Cadbury creme eggs alone! They've gotten smaller over the years.
 

I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
That said, leave Cadbury creme eggs alone! They've gotten smaller over the years.

That's not really deliberate though, it's because the egg rabbits are now factory farmed and produce smaller creme eggs due to stress. There was also the great hybridization fiasco a couple of years ago when a few of the mini egg stud rabbits got into the creme egg coop.
 

Lysistrata

Well-Known TRIBEr
I don't really mind certain foods shrinking because our portions are out of control.
That said, leave Cadbury creme eggs alone! They've gotten smaller over the years.

yeah, but i find that's not an issue so much with groceries as with restaurants. with groceries i'd prefer to get as much as possible for my dollar and then i can prepare and eat my own portions. it's when you go to a restaurant and every entree is enough to feed 2 people that we need more portion control. american restaurants are worst.
 
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