Less Food for Your Money

United States
March 9, 2009 12:49pm CST
As if people were not having a hard enough time with the economy this is the sneakiest trick every. Would you have notice if just a small amount was missing in the package or box of food you were used to? Who would have noticed a bar of soap had been shaved??? It’s a trick worthy of a magician: Make a supermarket product look the same but actually contain less. Approximately one-third of items at the grocery store have lost content since 2007, according to the Nielsen Co., which tracks market trends. For example, the Dial Corp. shaved its soap bars from 4.5 oz. to 4 oz.; the biggest jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise dropped from 32 oz. to 30; and a tub of Breyer’s ice cream shrank from 56 oz. to 48. http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourmoney/personalfinance/articles/less_food_for_your_money_.html
6 people like this
21 responses
@kareng (7980)
• United States
9 Mar 09
I've noticed that tactic. It is to slightly reduce the content to avoid upping the price so much that you wouldn't buy the product any longer. Consumer marketing has all kinds of tricks up their sleeves to keep the public buying products. However, now with the economic crises, prices are going up regardless. It's a no win situation for both the marketer/manufacturer and the consumer. These next few years will be lean and mean! You may as well start preparing now.
• United States
9 Mar 09
You are exactly right. People would look for cheaper brands. I am buying a lot of the store brands as the contents are 99% the same but the prices much lower.
1 person likes this
@kareng (7980)
• United States
9 Mar 09
Buying generic or off brand is a good way to supplement. I've found that most of the off label brands are good, however, every now and then you will find something that is nasty and you say..."I'll never buy that again!" I know I've done that! Have a wonderful day!
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
9 Mar 09
I have noticed these things before and not just with food. The packaging will change slightly, the materials used or the texture of something will change. When something gets popular and the demand increases it is not unusual to see a change in teh quality. It's an unfortunate reality.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 09
It is not the quality that is changing it is the weight!! That is not reality that is stealing.
@eaforeman6 (8983)
• United States
9 Mar 09
I am starting to check everything. It is hard to tell on some of them, if you are not looking for it. I had no idea about the soap , icecream, or the mayoonaise. Appreciate the information!
1 person likes this
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
10 Mar 09
Personally, I feel it is just a logical move. In hard times, it would be harder to up the price. So the best recourse is to down the size for the same amount of money. Some may even reduce both the cost and size. By simply reducing the price, it just seems to make it more attractive to the human brain. $19.99 and $20.00, the difference is only 1 cent but many will still go for the $19.99 offer should one day the price of $20 was reduced to $19.99. LOL.
• United States
10 Mar 09
I do not see where the logic comes in? It is stealing/scamming/cheating and I think that comes under greed not logic.
@mdawson (70)
• United States
9 Mar 09
if they didnt change the size then the price would just go up. thats what im thinking
@buggles64 (2715)
• United States
10 Mar 09
They changed both, the price went up and you are now receiving less of a product. It's like a double edged sword.
@raydene (9875)
• United States
9 Mar 09
Hello Friend I think the sneakest of all is the scouped out bottom of the jars..Check the peanutbutter jars when you shop..tip the over..where they used to be flat is a cup shape curving into the jar so that is where the 2 ounces went although the size is the same! xoxooxoxo
• United States
10 Mar 09
I agree I did not notice them at first as they are hard to spot.
• India
9 Mar 09
Well people right now have been facing economy crisis n if u r correct which im sure u are, then it is a very pity situation for people like us.Big companies are in debt but they shouldn't cover their debt by cheating on us.Good post to bring infront coz i didn't know that.
• United States
9 Mar 09
You are welcome. Glad to help
@lexus54 (3576)
• Singapore
10 Mar 09
Your observation about the soap brings to mind something that usually happens here, irrespective whether there is recession or there isn't. As you know, price of things usually keep going up over time. The only exception I know is IT products, where prices fall as technology advances. Sellers and retailers normally increase their prices periodically, quoting increased prices of raw materials and overheads like transportation, staff salaries, utility increases, etc for their price adjustments. In between raising prices of their goods, these retailers will decrease the quantity of what they offer. So imagine someone sells a slice of cake for $3, and increases the price to $3.30. The next year, they may increase again to $3.60, but before that happens, they may shrink the cake to a smaller slice for the same price of $3.30. In actual fact they are raising the price by doing so, but they don't want to show an increase in the price tag (otherwise they will get complaints) so they give less instead. This seems to be a common practice amongst many retailers.
@buggles64 (2715)
• United States
10 Mar 09
My Mom and I were discussing this very issue yesterday morning. She received a box of off brand corn flakes from the Angel Food Ministries. The box of course takes up a lot of space, and then inside the box is a little bag, not even half the size of other bags in other cereal boxes. And you know they fill them with air and half the bag is air while the other half is cereal. I am sure that particular bag of cereal would feed four people for one day for the breakfast meal. And cereal is not the only food item that has had its contents cut. There are other products such as the bar of soap that you have already mentioned.
• Philippines
10 Mar 09
i think this is their way of providing less expensive products. instead of letting consumers pay for a higher cost they'll just cut off some qualities for the same price. i think that it's just the same whether they raise the price or just lowering down the content or quality of the product. but what they are doing is giving a positive perceptions on consumer side.
• Philippines
10 Mar 09
Thats true. They do those kind of tricks to their products so that they can maintain the same price in the market.
@Jae2619 (1484)
• United States
10 Mar 09
Oh yeah, I've noticed this. They make by volume weight less but raise the price of things. But it's one of those things we just have to deal with and move on, because those products are things we need and use daily, so they can get away with it.
• United States
10 Mar 09
This is something I have noticed. Cereal seems to be one of the worst. Plus while sizes are getting smaller, many are also getting more expensive a few cents at a time. It is hard to handle, but on the other hand...we are not the only one suffering...the companies are also suffering. Especially for products that are more luxury items that many people are learning to live without.
@sameroad (3180)
• United States
10 Mar 09
that's interesting. I haven't noticed nor would i have most likely... it's getting to be hard... there are just too many people in the world. we are gonna start running short on things... things will get worse food wise. just like the gas got bad... now it's gonna be the food... which is i think will be worse then the gas problem we had probably.
• United States
10 Mar 09
This is why I have bought a tractor and am going to plant food this year.
@GardenGerty (100344)
• United States
10 Mar 09
It seems like this has been going on a long time. It may just be that it is accelerating now. I am an avid label reader, and so I noticed ages ago that three pound cans of coffee are now 32 oz., one pounders are about twelve. Some soaps are whipped to appear bigger, even as they weigh less. More and more reasons to buy at farmer's markets, and grow your own as often as possible. I know sometimes it is not a possibility, but when it is that is what we need to do.
@marisriel (1157)
• Philippines
9 Mar 09
I have to agree with this. The money that I use to spend for grocery last year only lasts for half a week now compared to last year when my grocery lasts for a whole week. It means doubling work to be able to earn the money worth that I had last year.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
9 Mar 09
Heck a 16 oz can of veggis have not been 16 ozes sine I think in the 80s. and I know a pound of coffee hasnt been a pound since late 70s.
@mummymo (23707)
9 Mar 09
It truly is awful isn't it? And still the prices keep going up and up. Last year with the fuel prices going sky high food prices shot through the roof with the excuse that food manufacturers etc had a lot more expense because of the fuel price hike. Understandable maybe but when fuel prices dropped the food didn't get any cheaper - in fact it still keeps going out, now realise we are probably getting less of it too! They should hang their heads in shame for their greed! xxx
@Eskimo (2317)
9 Mar 09
These hidden price rises happen over here in the U.K. as well, sometimes increasing the price as well as cutting the amount you get. The manufacturers use every trick in the book to part you from your money at the lowest cost to them selves and to maximise their profits.