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Haagen-Daz carton size chg. but no price change

Just got an Email from Haagen-Daz regarding a carton size change - they're downsizing "by a couple of spoonfuls" - 16 oz. to 14 oz. in late January, and 32 to 28 oz. in March 2009. (4 oz. is a bit more than a "couple of spoonfuls, however!)

http://www.haagen-dazs.com/company/ca...

I guess various uproars on consumers' parts perhaps encouraged them to preempt the same type of fuss on their packaging change. Not a bad decision on their part, IMO.

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  1. smart move. consumers are less likely to get pissed off about the shrinking package if 1) the company is up-front about the change, and 2) they don't have to start paying more for less.

    6 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Well, technically we *will* be paying more for less. They didn't say anything about a price drop, just the amount in the carton.

      1. re: LindaWhit

        Of course. I assume they think consumers are stupid.

        Just witness the PR on their site.

        1. re: dolores

          i should have been more specific in point #2. i'm well aware that technically it means paying more per ounce however, most other manufacturers have decreased sizes while concurrently increasing the price per unit/package. i was saying that at least they're maintaining the price *per package* that consumers are accustomed to paying.

          doesn't really matter to me anyway - i don't eat ice cream!

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Good point - a lot of manufacturers have done just that - decreased size and increased price. At least for now, H-D is holding on one of them. Although I won't be surprised to see the pint price creep up in the not-so-distant future.

        2. re: LindaWhit

          If I read the post correctly, we will be paying the same for less, not more for less.

          Please explain how decreasing the amonut of product but keeping the price the same amounts to paying more for less.

        3. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I don't think it's a smart move. There's nothing more infuriating than watching restaurants or food companies downsize their product....increase the price but leave the quantity alone.
          It's basic business 101.

        4. Half gallons have been shrinking for awhile too, ie Edy's & Breyer's. 14 servings instead of 16

          The only good part? Less to scarf down if I'm in the mood to eat the whole thing, even over a few days. 1oz of Haagen Daz is about 50-100 calories and most people consider a pint a single serving, instead of 4.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Caralien

            "Half gallons" are typically 1.75Q now. I've seen some brands (can't recall which) down to 1.5Q for their large cartons.

            1. re: Caralien

              count me as one of "most people."
              a pint IS DEFINITELY a single serving.

            2. Interesting, in that in 2008, the US price per hundred pounds of milk fell from around $20 to around $10 (www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.ht...). So when the major component in your product's price falls by half, your response is to do a shadow price rise by cutting the amount of product offered while keeping the price unchanged?

              Right now in Canada, farmers get about $0.75 per litre for milk. But when I go to buy a litre at my grocery, it's $1.99. I know it needs to be shipped and pasteurized and put in cartons and shipped again but really - over 250% price increase for that? Somewhere, I think we're getting the shaft (especially when 4 litres of milk in plastic bags regularly go for $3.99 or less).

              3 Replies
              1. re: KevinB

                milk is not the only input in the cost, but to the extent it is, fluid milk futures commodity prices are rising. http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/commo...

                1. re: alkapal

                  Depends on your time frame, my friend. Milk was about $20/hundredweight back in September, fell to about $10, and is now in the low teens, significantly lower than the price was 6 months ago.

                  1. re: KevinB

                    well my friend, planning has to be done.

              2. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

                Wow. That's it for H/D for me then.

                It was a 'difficult' decision -------- right, sure it was.

                Thanks for the heads up, LindaWhit.

                1. As Jfood walks down various aisles in the grocer he sees price increases in each and every aisle. That's all this is. It seems on the high end at 12% but this is a luxury good for discretionary disposable income. Jfood buys the large containers of ice cream instead of the smaller packages so it does not really hit his strike zone. But with everything to be concern about in the world today, a smaller HD container does not even qualify as a gnat on the butt of an elephant. Doesn’t move the Jfood meter at all.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jfood

                    I concur. This is yet another in the list of reminders/reasons to shop by looking at price, weight or volume (not carton or container size) and unit price. If having the amount in such a product change is of concern, make a habit of noting the weight or volume each time.

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      jfood started buying pints of ice cream when the price was $0.29. The price has gone up a few times in the last 40 years and he still buys ice cream. And similar to when he did not have two nickles to rub together he still pays attention to price, quantity and quality. When his faves are on sale he buys a few and keeps in the basement freezer. And when the price point gets too high, he looks for alternatives. Wrt HD, when they go on sale for 2*$5 he buys, $4.99/per he passes, sorta like some stocks, gotta buy value at the right price. Strip steaks at $15.99, no thanks, on sale @ $8.99, crank up the grill.

                  2. Now it's ice cream. It's been happening to many products. I remember when tuna cans held 8 0r 4 oz, then kept shrinking by 1/2 oz or 1/4 oz increments so now the old 8 oz has gotten small enough to be the old 4 oz. So, this week I see a new size in the store: 8 oz!

                    Tuna was a mess because your sandwich recipe keeps getting shorted. So, for ice cream, until the half-gallon now 3/4 of 1/2 gallon, gets down to a quart, when the half gallon will appear again, (is anyone left following this?), just keep buying smaller bowls and spoons!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: therealdoctorlew

                      Or do what I do...just make your own ;-)

                      1. re: therealdoctorlew

                        Funny premise. I can't wait for the PR launch: new and improved! ice cream now comes in a brand new size! coming to your supermarket aisle --------- the HALF GALLON!

                        I wouldn't doubt it, therealdoctorlew, wouldn't doubt it at all.

                        Of course, since the price per ounce would have gone through the roof by then, a half gallon would most likely cost $24.00.

                        1. re: dolores

                          I guess I'm even luckier that my new favourite ice creams are locally made: 3 pints (1.5QT)/$4. Halo's coffee ice cream is so much better than either B&J or HD!

                          1. re: Caralien

                            Caralien, you are verrrrry lucky. Very.

                            1. re: dolores

                              I'm very much aware of that and looking forward to picking up a few more pints after work or Friday. Ice cream is seasonless!

                      2. Just a question..... did you have to be on some special mailing list to hear about this? Otherwise, anyone saying "well at least they're being upfront about it"....isn't totally accurate.

                        I get the whole inflation thing, and "as long as you know" etc, but this kind of stuff is pretty sneaky to me. I mean, I would say that there are an AWFUL lot of people picking up groceries who wouldn't necessarily notice that a container has shrunk by a couple of ounces, grams etc, unless they were told otherwise, however they WOULD notice if a price increased, and I think the companies count on the oblivious customer to pull a fast one.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: im_nomad

                          Just a question..... did you have to be on some special mailing list to hear about this? Otherwise, anyone saying "well at least they're being upfront about it"....isn't totally accurate.
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          I do believe I was on some mailing list from logging onto the H-D site for an ice cream vote a few years back. I rarely get Emails from them - maybe twice a year about new flavors.

                          But I will agree that if you're not on their mailing list, most consumers wouldn't know about the drop in ounces per carton vs. no raise in price.

                          But do consumers expect that every time a manufacturer raises prices - for whatever reason - they should do a full disclosure/advertise it with ads in print/on TV? No - historically, when manufacturers raise prices - however they do it - it's done transparently and it just happens. It's one of those "hey! I just noticed these Oreos are $.35 cents more than they were 6 months ago - when the hell did they raise the prices?"

                          So for those of us who get Emails about it because we happened to sign up for Email updates a few years back, yes - they're being upfront as they can be without putting big red signs on each package for 6 months saying "YO! Consumers! We're dropping the amount in the carton but keeping the price the same!"

                          1. re: im_nomad

                            They also posted on their website. Compared to the companies that add hollow bottoms to their bottles, I think Haagen-Dazs is being quite upfront about the change. There's a limit to the amount of outreach that is appropriate or even reasonable, but they aren't making an effort to hide it.

                            1. re: cyberroo

                              cyberroo, you hit the nail on the head. They aren't trying to hide it, they aren't being deceptive. Inflation is very real, the price per ounce of ice cream has increased. H-D had to choose between increasing the price of a pint or decreasing the size of the carton. Apparently market research has led manufacturers to believe that people would rather have a smaller size than a larger price, so that's what they do. So yeah, it stinks that the price per ounce for H-D is going up, but at least they aren't trying to make the 14 oz container look like a 16 oz one.

                              1. re: mpjmph

                                Exactly. Consumers want to be able to reach for a pint of ice cream and NOT have to reach *deeper* into their pockets to satisfy their craving for that sweet creamy goodness. The HD 14oz "pints" allow for just that. At the same time, for those who consume an entire container in one sitting, it allows for portion control too. Everybody wins.

                                1. re: Cheese Boy

                                  But they're reaching for a pint or a half gallon and coming up short. Very short.

                                  Not everybody wins. But the manufacturer wins and that's the whole point.

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    Both the manufacturer and the consumer win. Because if the manufacturer can't be profitable (and when your costs rise, the best way to remain profitable is to get more money for the same product you've always made) then the manufacturer goes out of business. If the manufacturer goes out of business, then there's no Haagen-Daaz ice cream left for anybody, at any price point.

                                    People are so funny. Don't people who deprive themselves of food they love and can still afford and yet refuse to buy "for the principle" realize that they are essentially cutting off their noses to spite their face? I mean, fine, you've made your stand, drawn your line in the sand, but the world moves on, nothing changes for anyone else except for you. It's not like the manufacturer is going to go back to the larger size at the same price- at the most, they'd go back to the larger size at an increased price. (Of course, then you'd be complaining that they're charging more for the same product and you refuse to buy it based on THAT principle.) You get the sweet taste of sticking to your moral principles, I suppose, but you miss the sweet taste of ice cream. I know which I'd rather have.

                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                      >>(Of course, then you'd be complaining that they're charging more for the same product and you refuse to buy it based on THAT principle.)

                                      Actually, no you can't predict how I post at any moment in time. But if you want to continue the personal bashing that is taking place in this thread, be my guest.

                                      Oh, and be my guest in continuing to pay more for less product.

                                      1. re: dolores

                                        I was commenting on people- as I said, "people who deprive themselves of food they love and can still afford and yet refuse to buy "for the principle"". You may be in that group, but you're not the only person in that group, and I was sharing my opinions on how I feel that type of group reacts in a similar situation. Much as you've been sharing your opinion on consumers who would prefer to enjoy products they love. and pay what the product is worth to them, rather than watch those companies go out of business. I wasn't in any way trying to predict how you personally would post in such a situation... I don't concern myself that much over your viewpoint on things.

                                        Whew, I sure am glad I have your permission to pay for products that I feel are worth it, and to accept the fact that I live in a world where prices increase and manufacturers need to stay profitable to stay afloat!

                                        1. re: Chris VR

                                          Chris, we as consumers are welcome to pay ... or walk away. Some people are paying over 8 dollars a pack for cigarettes in NY, but I've walked away from that mess at the $3 mark many years ago. People can do the same with HD and their products.
                                          Fortunately, we live in a free society where we can spend freely and wisely. I guess we'll have to wait and see if ice cream addicts will be affected by any of this. ;> )

                          2. I just sent them an email expressing my disappointment for them jumping on "the less for the same price band wagon". Lucky for me I not an ice-cream person, but I do have a weak spot for their strawberry ice-cream. I'll be looking out for sales in the next few weeks before the downsized cartons appear.

                            1. Those little cartons really only have four servings in them to begin with. Take a few ounces away and it'll only be three - or over a dollar a serve!

                              1. The Consumerist is always crying about the "grocery store shrink ray" in regards to this happening, but I don't see a problem with it. It's simply marketing. People are more likely to not purchase something based on higher prices than reduced quantity. It's playing to psychology. As long as the information is on the packaging regarding truthful sizes, then it's a non-issue. If people can't be bothered to calculate prices per ounce, then that's their own problem.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Orchid64

                                  Re: Orchid 64's post above, about people not calculating price per ounce - I don't know if it is a law, but most of the grocery stores in Canada post this on the same shelf tag as the price is posted. Great for comparing different brands, or different sizes of one brand (as in jumbo v regular boxes of cereal).

                                  This whole thread is kind of silly. Would the original poster be complaining if Haagen Dasz stayed the same size but price went up 12%? I'm sure that the company has done a lot of research into what the max $ figure consumers will pay for a pint of their ice cream, and are just doing whatever it takes to maintain that maximum cost/unit.

                                  1. re: Dan G

                                    I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that the OP was the one to bring up a complaint because she did not. She was merely informing and even said, "I guess various uproars on consumers' parts perhaps encouraged them to preempt the same type of fuss on their packaging change. Not a bad decision on their part, IMO."

                                    It was subsequent posters that complained of the action on the part of Haagen Daz.

                                    1. re: KTinNYC

                                      Thanks KT - didn't read your post before I responded to Dan G. :-)

                                    2. re: Dan G

                                      Dan - I'm the OP. And I wasn't complaining. Not sure where you get the idea that I was doing so. I was just posting the information as an FYI. Now OTHERS have complained on this thread, but not I.

                                      Read my other posts - it's a fact of doing business. Either the price goes up, OR the quantity sold for the same price becomes less, which is what I've said several times.

                                  2. Reducing size but keeping the price the same (or even increasing it simultaneously) is sneaky. Hey, I understand about inflation, but don't play games with me. Just up the price and keep the amount of the product the same. Sheez!

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: gfr1111

                                      but here, price is same. i'm with orchid.

                                      do we think it is *reasonable* or logical to expect companies to always keep the same size package, or always keep the same price? that is just silly, imo. stop being "victims." if you're the consumer, you have a choice.

                                      if the company makes missteps, that is its problem, resulting in lost sales. the shareholders bear the brunt, and act within corporate rules to chasten management for decisions affecting shareholders' welfare.

                                      but nobody is *entitled* to haagen daz -- at any price in any size carton. get over it.

                                      haagen-daz clearly labels the package volume, the store posts the price. you like, you buy. you can't read a label? your fault. the company didn't ring you up to let you know they changed the carton? so sad.

                                      you don't want it because it is no value for you, then don't buy it. if you think the corporation -- through corporate management -- is doing you some disservice by maximizing shareholders' return on THEIR investment (which is management's legally-enforceable FIDUCIARY DUTY), then take your trade elsewhere. yep, just take those $3-4** and CHOOSE another ice cream that you find is a good value for the money. that's the way it works. how many ice cream brands are there, anyway? wait, i know: LOTS!

                                      maybe some other company will meet your consumer demands, or maybe you might start your own company. <if so, i want to see how you manage to make cost-price decisions and trade-offs.> these are fundamental concepts of a free market. it would be fun to see how you "victims" would fare shopping in cuba -- or how haagen-daz -- or even this thread post -- would fare there. right.
                                      ______
                                      ** the value of the dollar, on the other hand, is NOT UP TO HAAGEN-DAZ! look to the politicos we elect, and fiscal and monetary GOVERNMENT policy.

                                      <ok, i'm retiring my soapbox...until i really feel compelled to haul it back out for some fundamental education. yes, i said it: education.>

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        Bravo.

                                        Do people really expect to pay $X in perpetuity for a carton of Haagen-Daz ice cream?

                                        Good grief, gimme a break.

                                        Get a grip folks, prices go up on ALL things in life.

                                        Either suck it up and pay the higher price, or stop buying and eating Haagen-Daz ice cream.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Jfood loves these threads. We start at a baseline that HD @$4-5 per pint is a good price point and equates to $16-20/half gallon. Then people get upset when the $5 64-oz package is reduce by 25% increasing the half gallon price to ~$6. Meanwhile they are out there buying all the more expensive product and complaining of the price increase. And they would be fine if the size was the same and the price went up the the EXACT price per ounce they are paying with a smaller package.

                                          Silliness personified.

                                          1. re: jfood

                                            For those of us who live in small households (or have few people at home who eat ice cream) and who place a premium on the quality of their ice cream, half-gallon cartons aren't as practical as pint cartons. Once the carton has been opened, the texture and taste of the ice cream begin to decline; ice cream from a carton that was opened several days earlier is just not as good as ice cream from a freshly-opened carton.

                                            It's the same problem we small-household folks face when it comes to shopping at warehouse grocers like Costco. There are savings to be made when buying "in bulk," but only if you can consume all that food while it's still good.

                                            1. re: racer x

                                              so you should be in favor of the 25% reduction in the half gallon size versus an increase?

                                              and jfood agrees since he buys almost nothing edible at Costco because the M&M's are empty nesters

                                            2. re: jfood

                                              I disagree that customers' dismay at this news is silly. As a realist, I know that prices go up. I also know that I am paying top dollar for a luxury item, by choice. That's logic in free market economics.
                                              But, psychologically, there is something disconcerting about quantities of long-standard sizes shrinking. A pint of ice cream is a pint of ice cream, much like a 64 oz. jug of detergent, a 12 oz. can of soda and 5 lb. sack of potatoes or flour. Consumers count on these as standard- it's a factor in their recipes, their budget, their long-standing habits. It's not as if prices haven't gone up- the price of HD ice cream has risen along with everything else.
                                              I know that I have no right to a permanent price. I, like everyone, have my personal comfort limits with regard to price, and my comfort limit for a pint of HD ice cream was surpassed some time ago (five dollars where I am in Manhattan), and I hardly ever buy it anymore. I don't eat ice cream very often, anyway, so this post is more a philosophical exercise for me. I really only buy it when I need it or for a rare treat. But because I believe that HD makes the best coffee ice cream, I will still buy it when I decide to have coffee ice cream. That said, I am not happy about the idea of a smaller package. My view is this: give me the pint that I have come to expect and I'll give you an extra 25 cents.
                                              I imagine that a lot of unhappy HD customers feel the same way- it isn't that they don't understand that prices go up and an oz. of ice cream will cost more either way (price increase or volume decrease). It's the reality of literally going home with less, and the idea that no consumer standard can be counted on. While the effect may be more psychological than logical, consumer dismay is not mere silliness.

                                                1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                  Of course it isn't silly, it's quite real as you note.

                                                  Instead of H/D, vvvindaloo, you might try Ciao Bella espresso gelato. It's stronger than H/D, but for the moment, it's still a pint.

                                                  1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                    Maybe a better term than silliness would have been less offensive, but look at the responses on this thread. Other than inconvenience and short term cash flow deltas, there is no difference. You can count on one hand the people who feel inconvenienced by the action and for them they have a sensible gripe.

                                                    But let's take an analogy of a Rolls Royce. If they decided to remove an item from their $350,000 car and keep the price the same many on these boards would say..."hey you want the best and can afford it, stop complaining." Isn't that the HD scenario, but on a much lower scale?

                                                    So jfood's point was that you start at the Rolls Royce of ice cream wrt price point then have incredible vitriol expressed over the downsizing.

                                                    Many wanted the price increase, many applauded HD for being forthright about the change and others understand the economics are the same on a per ounce purchase. If someone is upset about the inconvenience only then jfood retracts the "silliness" comment but his point was that HD is already priced at the highest level of the spectrum. It is multiples of other choices and and if HD would have kept the size the same and increased the price that would be fine with many here who have posted but would definitely have suffered the wrath of the "do you believe they raised the price" crew.

                                                    You are on the side of raising the price and keeping the same size as are many others. Others have the contra-view. But other than convenience you are still paying the same ultra-premium price in either event (assuming they do the math correctly). The silliness absolutely comes into play when you remove the (in)convenience and refuse to accept the fact that prices rise and if you pay $0.45 per ounce in a 13, 16, 23, 26.99887686oz container it is still the same price per ounce.

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      Rolls-Royce deciding to remove a, say, $300 part (or even a, say, $10,000 part) from a $350,000 car seems an absurd analogy to offer here.

                                                      On another note, while it's true that a pint of HD costs more than most competing brands' pints, it still costs less than a cinema ticket, a bottle of fine wine, or a 30-minute massage. So it's not that expensive in terms of luxury items.

                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                        Okeedokee, since you don't want to come into jfood's sandbox, let's bring the analogies to two of your example of luxury items.

                                                        bottle of wine - would you boycot your favorite if they reduced the bottle 4oz
                                                        massage - would you not go to your favorite masseuse if the time went from 30 to 26 minutes

                                                    2. re: vvvindaloo

                                                      When I was a kid and we went to the beach sodas came in 10oz and 16 oz bottles. Now they come in 12oz cans and 20oz plastic bottles and more expensive sodas sometimes in 12oz glass bottles. For a while there were 24oz bottles and even 24oz cans. There are also 8oz cans. I only see ginger ale, tonic and club soda in 10oz bottles in the supermarket anymore. Coke still comes in 8oz bottles though it's getting harder to find around where I live.

                                                      Flour comes in 1lb, 2lb, 5lb, 10lb in my grocery store. It also comes in 25lb and 50lb at Sam's Club.

                                                      Point being, I can see where people might get irked for a bit, but the sizes we're used to are just that...sizes we're used to. They really do change over time and not all that infrequently.

                                            3. I just find this to be so discouraging. I sometimes walk through the grocery store shaking my head and not buying items I used to because I feel like I'm being so ripped off AND that I'm being treated like an imbecile.

                                              I would much prefer that the sizes stay the same and the price go up. That way I can make a direct comparison. What happens now is I look at the shrinking package and see that it is the "same" price as before and I'm mad because I want a 1/2 gallon of ice cream, not 2/5 gallon (or whatever.) Then, inevitably, the price goes up anyway.

                                              I noticed the other day that a brand of granola-type bars I used to buy (usually on sale) now have only 5 bars per box instead of 6. When did this happen? I know there were 6 in a box last fall.

                                              Just venting, but, to repeat, I would fell a lot less ripped off if sizes stayed the same and the price goes up. I GET that. Just like a pound of chicken goes up, or a gallon of gas goes up.

                                              1. on another note re: packaging.... and not just with ice cream....but what about all those recipes that count on "one can" of something etc ? Personally i'd rather see a price increase of old standby items, rather than shrinkage.

                                                As for the ice cream.....whatever their reasons were, it still doesn't make much sense to me. They've not got to redesign newer packaging, get someone else to supply the smaller cartons etc etc.

                                                I still think it's sneaky in general for those who do this. I'm fine with paying a higher price for something, or knowing up front that i'm buying a smaller item, than say one that's larger for the same price. Heck, I do it all the time, I pay lots for my food in general, and I know I do. I still tend to lean towards these companies counting on the average consumer not really noticing in any event.

                                                33 Replies
                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                  Sorta like the way that Jack Daniel's has gone from 92 proof to 88 proof to 84 proof over the last decade or so. Did they lower the price when they lowered the ABV? Not!! Caveat freakin' emptor. I'm for higher prices and pints remaining pints. I miss my 6 1/2 oz. cans of tuna; you can't even get 2 sandwiches out of a can anymore. Stop the insanity!! Adam

                                                  1. re: adamshoe

                                                    Does a lower alcohol by volume somehow make the Jack Daniels less good?

                                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                                      Hmm.... let me think....umm....YES. (being that they changed their 100 yr. old recipe)

                                                      1. re: adamshoe

                                                        Ok: they changed the recipe. It's got less alcohol by volume. To me, neither of those things are a problem by themselves. If it tastes worse than it did before, that's a problem. Personally, I didn't notice the changes in my glass but I don't drink much Jack Daniels so I haven't had a lot of chances to see. I'll have to pay attention the next time.

                                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                                          ABV does influence the smoothness and flavor profile of beverages.If the shelf price remains the same and the ABV was reduced,that is a PRICE INCREASE.Part of the price is an excise tax calculated to ABV.Lower ABV =
                                                          lower excise tax,if the producer to shelf price was not reduced there is an increase of revenue for the "producer".A sneaky or hidden increase is all too likely

                                                          1. re: lcool

                                                            Oh, I wasn't trying to argue that it wasn't some sort of price increase or change or something. And I don't know the rules on excise taxes or whether those are federal or state. Certainly many prices have gone up, some bottles have gotten smaller and some things have been reduced in terms of ABV. I'll certainly pay attention to the combination of those things to see if I can tell the difference. Thanks for the info.

                                                  2. re: im_nomad

                                                    I think someone wrote something about this upthread somewhere: for some folks, they're willing to spend no more than X amount on a carton of ice cream. Say X = $4. If the price for a pint of Haagen Daz is $4 then these people will buy it. If the price goes up to $4.50, they will stop buying it because they're not willing to spend more than $4 on ice cream. They'll just stop buying ice cream or they'll buy a brand that is no more than $4 for a pint. Many of those same people, though, may like Haagen Daz better than the other stuff. If Haagen Daz is 14 ounces instead of 16 ounces but costs the same $4 they'll choose the Haagen Daz.

                                                    For people who really like Haagen Daz and are willing to spend more than X on ice cream, they're going to keep buying it anyway, just like they would have if the container stayed at 16 ounces but the price went to $4.50.

                                                    The only people Haagen Daz loses by moving to a smaller amount are those who are upset by that particular change. On the face of it, to my mind, that seems the smallest group of the available choices.

                                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                                      There are several reasons why restaurants go under in the first year.
                                                      Cutting back on quantity is one of them.
                                                      Pass on product increases to me, the consumer, but do not cut back on the amount of the food to maintain a profit margin.

                                                      1. re: latindancer

                                                        Restaurants are a different case than pre-packaged items in a grocery store.

                                                        You noted above and echo here the idea that it's "basic business 101." My point in the post above is that these companies aren't making it up as they go; they're testing and researching and have determined that it's a better business move overall to make the amount smaller than to increase the money one must spend to get the product at all. As I noted, some will not like that but it seems their research and experience tells them that the end result will be better than if they'd held the quantity stable and raised the price.

                                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                                          Restaurants and pre-packaged items are the same in principle when it comes to this subject.
                                                          Cutting back on product and asking the consumer to continue to pay the same price is not smart business.
                                                          The jury is still out on this particular business decision at HD.
                                                          Time will tell.

                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                            Ok, we'll disagree on all of it save for the jury bit.

                                                    2. re: im_nomad

                                                      >>but what about all those recipes that count on "one can" of something etc ? Personally i'd rather see a price increase of old standby items, rather than shrinkage.

                                                      Yes, absolutely, how nice that you can see that. Cake mixes long ago did the less product for the same money scam, and if you use a recipe that MUST use a certain amount of ounces, then thought has to be put into it, thanks to the thieves behind the cake mixes. Same with the former pound boxes of macaroni. ALL macaroni recipes call for a pound of macaroni at a time -- but the thieves have lowered the box amounts, so TWO boxes have to be bought.

                                                      >>I still think it's sneaky in general for those who do this.

                                                      You're absolutely right.

                                                      >>I'm fine with paying a higher price for something,

                                                      Again, absolutely right.

                                                      >>I still tend to lean towards these companies counting on the average consumer not really noticing in any event.

                                                      Absolutey correct.

                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                        ALL macaroni recipes call for a pound of macaroni at a time -- but the thieves have lowered the box amounts, so TWO boxes have to be bought.
                                                        ~~~~~~~~~
                                                        You need to look for other recipes then. Since when do "ALL recipes" using elbow macaroni require a lb. of the noodles? Many recipes call for 8 oz. or less! Some examples:

                                                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          'I' need to look for other recipes??? What a perfect example of the power of the press. Ronzoni gives less product for more money and 'I' need to look for other recipes.

                                                          I come from three generations of Italians who would laugh out loud at a macaroni recipe that called for eight ounces or less.

                                                          I'll correct my statement -- all decent Italian recipes call for a pound of macaroni.

                                                          1. re: dolores

                                                            The Ronzoni macaroni and cheese recipe has always called for 8 ounces of macaroni, at least on the boxes I've bought and their web site calls for 8 ounces as well.

                                                            1. re: KTinNYC

                                                              I've never made macaroni and cheese with anything less than a pound of macaroni and enough cheese to choke a horse.

                                                              But hey, if some people want to skimp on the macaroni in their macaroni and cheese, that's their choice. Interesting how even less macaroni for more money is defendable to some.

                                                              1. re: dolores

                                                                Dolores could you please take a few minutes to answer my question to you below? TIA

                                                                1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                  I did KT and it is gone.

                                                                  Ooops, no it isn't. Same as the answer to Miss Needle. The answer involves the words 'thieving' and 'duplicity' and I would be chewing my cud.

                                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                                    You mean this answer? "Miss Needle, my opinion would involve the words 'thievery' and 'duplicity' and alcapal made it quite clear that this thread is about something else." It doesn't answer any of my questions at all but it certainly is your prerogative not to answer.

                                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                                      If you've answered these questions, "Could you please, please explain how decreasing the size of the product is thieving or a scam in your eyes? We all agree that prices are never stagnant, right? So if the company decides they need to either keep up with cost or increase their profit they have 3 choices, either raise the price of the product, give the consumer less product and keep the price the same or give the consumer an inferior product", please point me to the post.

                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                        Why on earth does this matter? There's someone out there who doesn't see things the way you do. I get that this is a conversation site and there's debate and it's good and fun but at some point, doesn't everyone just move on?

                                                                    2. re: dolores

                                                                      is there any cud left, dolores? LOL! (please don't be cross. i'm having a little fun.).

                                                              2. re: dolores

                                                                Since WHEN do all "decent Italian recipes call for a pound of macaroni"? If you're making enough for 8-10-20 people, perhaps. But many, MANY recipes aren't created to serve 8-10 people. As KT said - Ronzoni's recipe has always called for 8 oz. The Mueller's box recipe has always called for 2 cups. I've been using that recipe for more than 25 years. Eight ounces is not a pound. And it's NOT skimping, as you seem to think. It's a smaller recipe. Which many macaroni boxes use as their standard recipe. And have for years and years.

                                                          2. re: im_nomad

                                                            The only thing that had bothered me about the decrease in size of containers is that I can no longer find a pint of milk. I don't use a lot of milk and a pint was perfect for cooking. Now I can only buy them in 14 oz containers or larger.

                                                            1. re: KTinNYC

                                                              Where is this? Milk in pints is available in all of the markets in my town. (It's usually in small plastic bottles instead of cartons around here.)

                                                              1. re: ccbweb

                                                                All over Manhattan. The small plastic bottles are not a full pint. They are 14 ounces.

                                                                http://www.farmlanddairies.com/Farmla...

                                                                1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                  That's highly inconvenient. I totally understand your taking umbrage at that. And they're still doing their cream and whole milk in pints. Odd things in the world.

                                                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                                                    Not that I would ever suggest what Americans should do, but ever since we changed to metric units in Canada, we bought milk in litres instead of quarts, and fractions thereof. A litre is slightly less than a quart, but near enough as d*mn is to swearing.

                                                                    Now, we buy individual servings of milk, or small containers of cream, in 250 ml containers, larger ones in 500 ml containers, and bigger ones in 1L or 2L cartons. Most milk is bought in bags (one large one containing 4 separate 1L bags). Same thing for almost all bottled drinking liquids - water, juice, pop - although can sizes still are odd (355 ml is a standard pop can, 284 ml is a standard condensed soup can, lots of sauces and canned vegetables come in weird sizes like 490 or 640 ml, etc.). I strive to make sense of it all..

                                                                    1. re: KevinB

                                                                      A liter is a swallow MORE than a quart, unless HD makes the swallow.

                                                                      1. re: therealdoctorlew

                                                                        Here in Canada, a litRE is quite a bit less than a quart - almost a cup less. Our quarts are bigger than your quarts (40 oz vs 32 oz) and our ounces are not exactly the same either. It can be great fun to convert these measures in recipes.

                                                                        1. re: embee

                                                                          Ooops. I forgot the Imperial system has great big quarts! "A pint's a pound the world around, except an imperial pint of water is a pound and a quarter."

                                                                      2. re: KevinB

                                                                        What an idea. Make the switch here to metric and the consumer wouldn't even know which way was up! All KINDS of change could then be perpetrated while the consumer was kept in the dark, and happy for it.

                                                                        1. re: dolores

                                                                          Or the consumer could learn the metric system and not be fooled. It's not exactly secret information. We seem to manage purchasing soda in liters.

                                                            2. I'm curious as to how much Häagen-Dazs pints cost around the country.

                                                              Around Manhattan, prices currently range from about $4.29 to $5.19, with most grocers charging $4.49 - $4.69.

                                                              How much are they in your neck of the woods?

                                                              9 Replies
                                                              1. re: racer x

                                                                $5 for a pint of HD; 2 "half gallons" of Edy's or Turkey Hill on sale for the same $5. Pretty easy decision for jfood.

                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                  Easy decision if jfood likes Edy's or Turkey Hill.
                                                                  Also easy for those of us who don't care for those particular brands (I'll fork over the $5 for a pint of HD rather than pay for the others, even if the price of the others is lower -- unless Edy's brings back their Dreamery Vanilla, RIP).

                                                                  1. re: racer x

                                                                    not that easy.

                                                                    jfood is not allowed to bring in flavors that mrs jfood will eat while he travels. That eliminates most chocolates. You have no idea how hard it is to stop crying standing at the grocers in front of cartons of chocolate marshmallow ices cream, or double chocolate brownie, knowing there is no chance i ever hitting a bowl in jfood's house.

                                                                    now that's love

                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                      Turkey Hill and Edy's are also playing the thieving game of less product for the same money.

                                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                                        Could you please, please explain how decreasing the size of the product is thieving or a scam in your eyes? We all agree that prices are never stagnant, right? So if the company decides they need to either keep up with cost or increase their profit they have 3 choices, either raise the price of the product, give the consumer less product and keep the price the same or give the consumer an inferior product.

                                                                        I can see how you would consider the 3rd choice a scam or if the company was extremely deceptive and sold the consumer 15 ounces in a 16 ounce container. But selling less product for the same cost is just a price increase and price increases happen.

                                                                  2. re: racer x

                                                                    Ice cream tends to be a spur of the moment purchase for us as opposed to a weekly grocery trip purchase. So we only get Haagen-Dazs at our nearby Korean delis. At the closest deli to my apartment, it is $6. At the deli a couple of more blocks away, it's $6.50.

                                                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                      And I thought I was being ripped off at $5.19 a pint!!

                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                        Come to think of it, I would theoretically be paying $6, too. I believe I misstated the price when I wrote $5 earlier- that was the price before it went up to $6. Miss Needle's post just reminded me of that, since I would probably end up buying my occasional pint at a similar local Korean deli, and that is indeed the current price. It's a good thing I don't have an ice cream habit- the price has gotten painful.

                                                                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                          LindaWhit's post about $3.29 pints at Target reminded me that I saw HD pints being sold in Hong Kong recently for the equivalent of about $7.00.
                                                                          So $6.50 for them here in the US seems pretty steep.

                                                                  3. go here anyone who wants to tell us which products they no longer buy -- or will buy -- because of price increases or volume/size decreases: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589268#

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      Oh, I really wish those hadn't been conflated. The one thing I really took from this thread is that many people don't see them the same way at all.

                                                                      1. re: ccbweb

                                                                        many people don't understand economics or the mechanisms of a free market, either.

                                                                        but what is conflated? i've outlined the two scenarios in which the PER UNIT COST has INCREASED.
                                                                        reduced ounces in package at same cost = higher per unit (ounce) cost.
                                                                        same size/volume package/container at higher cost = higher per unit (ounce) cost.

                                                                        that some will pay a higher unit cost in one circumstance but not the other is quite fascinating to me (as mr. spock might say).

                                                                    2. I just picked up a twin package of Coke Zero at Walmart. 2 for $2.50. They were the newly designed bottles. Down from 2 liters each to 1.5 liters. Has anyone else experienced the size reduction in their Coca Cola products? Maybe Birmingham is getting hit early because we're so close to a bottler.

                                                                      1. I quickly skimmed through this thread....was resisting doing so because these type of threads generally get a lot of posts.

                                                                        What is interesting to me is everyone commenting about the reduced product/same price. Somewhere in the company, there must be a complete re-tool to accomodate the re-packaging! That costs a lot of $$$. New packages from the supplier, recalibrating the machines to fill the packages. Maybe changing the shipping packages to handle the new package size.

                                                                        Seems like a lot of $$$ to make the package smaller. It would probably be cheaper in the long run to keep the same package size and increase the price. However, the consumer is rather focused on out-of-pocket amounts and would see the smaller package as the lesser of two evils.

                                                                        Just my .015 cents.

                                                                        1. They needed to increase the price and leave the quantity alone.
                                                                          Stupid move.

                                                                          1. It's all about the bottom line. HD and other companies making size reduction decisions rather than a price increase are doing it to improve their margins. Savings in raw materials, shipping, energy, labor and who knows what else. Sales of everything are going to be down significantly including discretionary items like HD ice cream. In anticipation of lower sales the defensive measure is to manage the margins.

                                                                            Look at McDonalds they can't decrease the size of their product so they increase the price-- 2 Big Macs are now $3.50 (was $3) and remove the Double Cheeseburger from the Dollar Menu and call it a McDouble Burger-has one less slice of cheese. http://apps.mcdonalds.com/usa/food/do...

                                                                            Classic example of size reduction would be the Hershey chocolate candy bar. Some of us will remember the 5 cent Hershey bar which over the years has gone through size reductions and price increases.
                                                                            Hershey Bar Index: http://www.babylontoday.com/general_a...

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: monku

                                                                              but I would think that if they are anticipating lower sales, that they'd want to remain competitive with others, not start taking the risk of pi$$ing off the customer by shrinking or driving the prices up or maybe cutting a quality supplier to save a few bucks. In tough economic times you're taking the risk of your previously contented customer going over to the other guys.

                                                                              1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                You can't remain competitive if you're losing money. They're only shrinking the packaging, nothing said about cutting quality suppliers to save money. There are definitlely going to be lower sales in the "tough economic times", whether or not they shrink the size of the package or increase the price. I'm sure they figured shrinking the packaging is the lesser of the two evils.

                                                                            2. This economic downturn is a great barometer to see how/what businesses survive.
                                                                              It will take creativity and great business minds in order to prevail. Fifty years ago we had about 5 different brands of icecream to choose from, if that.
                                                                              We'll all watch HD with interest.

                                                                              1. I guess we're not quite at "late January" yet. The pint of vanilla I bought on Saturday night Jan 24th was still a pint.

                                                                                In this size and the way we use it, it probably won't matter. BTW, if you're buying it at "non-sale" pricing, it's a lot cheaper at Target. I think it was $3.29. But they don't have many flavor choices.

                                                                                1. In January 2009 I wrote in this thread:
                                                                                  "Around Manhattan, prices currently range from about $4.29 to $5.19, with most grocers charging $4.49 - $4.69."
                                                                                  MissNeedle and Vvvindaloo said that Häagen-Dazs "pints" (14 fl oz) at the nearest delis in their neighborhoods cost about $6.00.

                                                                                  Well, I stopped eating Häagen-Dazs maybe 9 or 10 months ago, I think. And I haven't bought any in Manhattan in a year.

                                                                                  I just checked the supermarket chain branches in Manhattan where I used to be able to buy it for under $5. They are now charging $6 ($5.99), bringing them in line with the nearby convenience stores.

                                                                                  It's gotten so ridiculous that one store had the half-gallon container on sale for $5.29 while the smaller "pint" was still priced at $5.99. I asked the night manager there whether the "pint" was also on sale, and he said they never run sales on the pint size.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: racer x

                                                                                    yeah... it's sad. i recently saw it for $6.50 in a deli in the west village. i bought maybe three "pints" over the past year. i am sorry to say that my favorite flavor, coffee, doesn't even taste quite the same anymore.

                                                                                    1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                      does anything taste the same anymore? i got a butterfinger candy bar the other day out of some strange nostalgic craving. it was terrible. i don't normally throw away candy, but half that bar went into the dumper.