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Oct 13, 2008 09:44 AM

Hostess Cupcakes - Did They Get Smaller or Did We Just Get Bigger?

On a whim, the wife and I bought a box of Hostess cupcakes over the weekend (regular ones, not the 100 calorie snack size). We both agreed that they seemed about a third smaller than we remembered from our grade school days.

Does anyone know if Hostess reduced the size of their cakes over the years, or are we just now used to larger cupcakes and muffins from local bakeries?


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  1. I think it's a little bit of both. In order to make customers think they're paying the same price for things, a lot of companies have shrunk package sizes completely. On the other hand, I think portion sizes have increased as well.

    I remember when you were able to get about 1.2 oz of potato chips for 25 cents. The package just kept getting smaller and smaller until it was about .75 oz. Then manufacturers thought the best thing to do was increase the package size to about 1.5 oz - 2 oz and charge 50 cents to a dollar. I think it's really rare to find a bag less than 1 oz anymore.

    1. I have to laugh, because I have asked myself that with several products I ate as a child.

      1. Smaller, definitely. I'm sure you noticed that the standard ice cream container is now 1.75 qt, down from 2 qt (and I've seen a few at 1.5 qt). Three Musketeers bars and similar candy are also noticeably smaller.

        6 Replies
        1. re: aynrandgirl

          Definitely smaller. I have seen an ice cream pint that isn't a pint - Dove, and a 5.3 container of yogurt.

          I guess they will stop when the item disappears.

          But hey, they shrink it and we buy it.

          1. re: aynrandgirl

            Then again, some things get bigger. When I was first old enough to hand my nickel across the counter, a standard Coke was six ounces.

            1. re: aynrandgirl

              Klondike bars seem to be much smaller. When I was young I couldn't finish one. Now I feel like I need two!

              1. re: AmyH

                Oh yes, they are smaller.

                As are Suzy Qs and Moon/Scooter pies. One try of the 'less for the same amount of money or more' thievery does it for me.

                I wonder if there are enough people to buy the 5.3 ounce yogurts or the 15.4 ounce 'pints' of DOVE ice cream? Are people realllllly that stupid?

              2. re: aynrandgirl

                Breyers is down to 1.5 quarts now! It's really noticeable too... the containers are about half the size they used to be, and they look TINY.

                1. re: Kajikit

                  So is Turkey Hill, which I found shocking, in light of the CEO's 'concern' on his blog.

              3. What an interesting phenomenon! Compare this thread, where the consensus is packaged products are getting smaller, to the one that pretty much concludes portion sizes at restaurants are getting bigger and bigger. The justification in the portion size thread is that customers want to feel they are getting "value." I wonder why that fact hasn't effected packaged products in the same way ....

                2 Replies
                1. re: charmedgirl

                  >>portion sizes at restaurants are getting bigger and bigger.

                  Well, if they're getting bigger, I haven't seen it.

                  I don't eat at chains, so perhaps it's there that portions are getting larger?

                  >>I wonder why that fact hasn't effected packaged products in the same way ....

                  Bottom line and stupid consumers who will pay the same price or more for less product. Hey, if they can shrink it and people will buy it, why not?

                  1. re: dolores

                    Was just relaying the general consensus from the other thread. Wasn't positing it as a truth.

                2. Dolores you just cracked me up "I guess they will stop when the item disappears."
                  The cupcakes seem the same to me. They have always been a size to fit nicely in the lunchbox. But they probably have shrunk like everything else. I have noticed portion sizes getting SMALLer at restaurants. At our favorite locally owned chain we used to have leftover for lunch. Not anymore. And yet we still go....

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chocchipcookie

                    Thanks, chocchipcookie.

                    >>I have noticed portion sizes getting SMALLer at restaurants.

                    Exactly, same with me. And when that happens, I stop going. But hey, if they can fool most of the people most of the time, more power to them.

                    I will patronize those restaurants that don't play games with me.

                    1. re: chocchipcookie

                      We're not big on leftovers or giant meals, so if a restaurant has to pass along higher costs to the customer, I'd rather they reduce the portion size than increase the price in order to keep giving me more food than I need or want to eat.