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Jan 20, 2009 05:25 AM

which products have you stopped buying because of price increases or volume decreases?

we're having a discussion here in which some hounds tell us they've stopped -- or intend to stop -- buying certaIn products from certain manufacturers because the price has increased or the size or volume has decreased.

i'm curious as to how many of you have done this; specifically, which particular products have you stopped buying for either of these two reasons? be specific. also, if you wish, tell us what you "substituted."

we've hashed through the economics arguments, and the allegations of "thievery." so let's SKIP THOSE HERE, please. stay focused like a laser beam.

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  1. one example is fellow hound dolores, who has indicated that she will no longer buy edy's, turkey hill or haagen-daz ice creams, because of their reductions in product volume while keeping the same price. she hasn't indicated any acceptable substitute, afaik.

    dolores: please report and remove this if you don't want it here. thanks.

    2 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      Um...I don't think you you can go naming a particular hound and then also expect to keep her line of argument out of the thread. That doesn't seem fair.

      1. re: ccbweb

        Not a problem, as I've noted I have no problem with anyone who wants to pay more money for less product.

        To answer your question, and as you know, Turkey Hill, Edy's and now Haagen Dazs.

        Thanks for the callout, alkapal.

    2. Eh, so far I am just making sure I know what I'm buying. I will stop buying anything that doesn't seem like the appropriate amount, such as a smaller box of macaroni when I need a pound. (I haven't run into that problem yet that I can remember. Certain types of dry pasta such as tri-color rotini have always tended to come in 12oz boxes, but I still get Barilla elbows for mac and cheese in a 1lb box no problem.) If everyone switches to the smaller sizes, well, we'll have to see.

      Ice cream, which began the other thread, isn't a real issue to me. I try to notice if I'm getting less than a pint. I remember last year that I found some brand doing not-quite-pints, but it still varies. When you're at the 2-1.75-1.5 quart size, I hardly think it matters.

      I just looked at a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi we have in the office here. It's still 2 liters. What will we call it when they change that size? What should we call a "half gallon" of ice cream? I guess that's a different thread. ;-) I think if they change 12oz cans of soft drinks I might have a problem, but these guys seem to be content to jack up the price instead. 20oz bottles (remember when these were 16oz?) as singles are an insane profit machine. I can buy a liter of Italian sparkling mineral water for less than a 20oz soda. That said, I think the 20oz soda could be endangered and end up downsized to a half liter instead. This would make it more standard with other products, not to mention other countries....

      4 Replies
      1. re: CrazyOne

        Bottles of soft drinks in six packs have been half liters for a while, at least for Coke products. I agree that the prices for 20 oz bottles are amazing - often the price of a 2 liter bottle is less than a 20 oz one in the same store!

        1. re: mpjmph

          I wonder if that's regional? Or maybe it's just because I don't look at Coke products as much. Apart from the Dasani water which comes in half liters for multi-packs, I haven't really noticed that. Pepsi makes 12oz bottles now, in a 12-pack, but the six packs of bottles are the even larger 24oz bottles.

          The thing is, if I buy a 2-liter I'd probably only get through half of it before the rest was too flat for me to drink. Can't stand that.

          1. re: CrazyOne

            I got a coupon for a free 20 oz bottle of Dr Pepper and discovered you can only get them at 7-Eleven or Walgreens or places like that. It would have been $1.59!

            1. re: CrazyOne

              I don't know if it's regional, but it could be. I usually buy cans rather than bottles, but my parents buy bottles in 6-packs, they have been half liters for several years at least. Coke also has 8-packs of 12 oz bottles and the traditional 12-packs of 12 oz cans.

              I noticed yesterday that the Pepsi bottles in 6-packs looked really, really large compared to the Coke bottles I'm used to.

        2. in my original post 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).

          according to the parameters of this thread, WHY the cost has increased or WHAT we think about the company that made the increase is IRRELEVANT!

          2 Replies
            1. re: CoryKatherine

              corykatherine, i see you're new to chowhound, so i'll just say "you had to be there".

          1. al, I know you mean packaged items, but your point has a broader reach. I live mostly in Florida, a prolific tomato-growing state, with 2 harvests annually. They are cheap during the few weeks of the harvest.
            Yesterday I paid $2.89 /lb. for one tomato for my BLT lunch today. It is from Canada.
            When tomatoes cost more than ground beef, I usually modify the menu and hold off on the crab-stuffed tomato and caprese salad until they are 99 cents/lb.
            And I used to love artichokes, but they are now for rich people.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              veggo, i too am often surprised that in local markets in florida, the produce -- esp. tomatoes -- is not local and not good. you have to go to the farmers market for the best tomato deals. how is your local farmer's market?

              1. re: alkapal

                My old reliable farm and market on my bicycle course in Ellenton has been plowed under to make way for a colossal FedEx distribution center. My parking lot mexican produce stand on highway 301 has about 2/3 of the fruits and vegetables I use, for about 1/2 the price of the supermarkets. They are not waxed or airbrushed, they are from the earth. I used to have a garden, and I remember life before Saran wrap and sprigs of parsley. And it's very fresh. And I can buy mangoes grown in Florida, the second-largest mango producing state. The mangoes in the supermarkets are from South America, and are picked so green you could use them to crush walnuts.
                EDIT: The "ugly" tomatoes yesterday in the Publix were $3.49 l/b.

                1. re: Veggo

                  Just curious, what are grapes (red seedless) going for per pound? Apples (gala or fuji)? Bananas?

                  1. re: enbell

                    Around Tampa Fuji's and Gala's go for $1.99/lb. regular price. $1.59 on sale, occasionally $1.29.

                    1. re: enbell

                      i just bought red grapes on sale at 99 cents per pound. but, craving some "real" tomato flavor (i grew up in florida, so i do know that deliciousness), i paid $4 for a small clamshell of "campari" tomatoes.

                      i only buy hellman's, but stock up on sale. summer and labor day and memorial day are good sale times (@ $2-- 2.50), and usually near thanksgiving and superbowl -- when people are entertaining with dips! christmas it is a bit higher in the sale prices.

                      i buy whatever good bread is on sale. pepp farm country white is quite nice, and is now 'BOGO' -- making it $2 each (and with BOGO at harris teeter, you don't have to buy two to get the BOGO price! yay!). this goes well with the excellent deli roast turkey breast @ $3.99 per pound on sale. i just got a great deal on eggs. 30 large eggs -- $3. quiche, baby, here i come; hello, mr. omelette! deviled eggs, talk to me! ;-).

                      i always scour the sale flyers from three nearby chain markets. whenever there is a good deal, i'll stock up.

                      the artisanal loaves are a treat. currently, i have a great fruit and nut bread from harris teeter, but it is sliced, and frozen. i treat myself every few days by toasting a slice, and smearing it with butter. maybe a little shake of cinnamon-sugar!

                      1. re: enbell

                        en, red seedless grapes are $1.79, bananas are $.59 /lb.
                        Florida tomatoes will be on sale tomorrow for $.99 l/b at Publix, at least in my area. I still do better at my mexican roadside stand for the items they have (no grapes or apples)
                        P.S. Interesting new avatar, Erin. Can you explain it to us? Thanks.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          Thanks for the "price check, aisle nine." Totally comparable to the going prices in Boise. A few Asian groceries have harder to find items, but no real roadside stands up here...bummer. Even Reno had a good size Mexican grocery store.

                          So, the avatar is just your basic animal cell (complete copyright infringement straight from the web site of an old textbook, shoot - I hope they're not on to me). I am just an old science geek at heart, and racerx, another hound, actually had the same biohazard sign for an avatar. I'm not a fan of duplicates, and thought I'd give this a go...whaddya think?

                2. If I ever stopped buying something because of the price increase (or volume decrease) I would end up starving to death ... All foods increase in price at some point.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Actually, they're reducing the quantity rather than raising the price.

                    Macaroni is now sold in boxes under a pound, requiring two boxes to make a recipe calling for a pound of macaroni.

                    Tuna has shrunk, as has the mayo, and no doubt the relish. The prices have stayed the same or have gone up, so people are paying more for less.

                    Guldens took away the former 1 pound plus jars of mustard in most supermarkets, replacing them with a shiny toy for those not paying attention, i.e., a squeeze bottle. Per ounce, I'm sure the cost is laughable. I managed to find the former pound plus jars and stocked up.

                    Of course, as more and more manufacturers lower the quantity while keeping the price the same, it will be harder and harder to find the products in their original form.

                    1. re: dolores

                      Dolores, I'm sure you're tired of talking about this, but I'm very curious as to why you refuse to purchase a product if they reduce quantity but keep the same price but it's okay when they raise prices and keep the same quantity. Is it a matter of principle? Or is it because you use these products for certain recipes that call for things like a box of cake mix or a pint of ice cream?

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        Miss Needle, my opinion would involve the words 'thievery' and 'duplicity' and alcapal made it quite clear that this thread is about something else.

                        1. re: dolores

                          Yeah, I won't go down that road too far except to point out that these same companies that are complaining about rising costs don't seem to have a problem spending all the money on redesigning the packaging (especially in order to disguise the volume decrease) and, in many cases, retooling their plant to deal with the different packaging. One has to wonder how much higher the price of that Breyers half gallon of ice cream would really need to be if they hadn't switched to a 1.75 qt and then 1.5qt package over a short period of time?

                          And, yes, I've boycotted further purchases of Breyers because of their heavy handed employment of the 'grocery shrink ray'. I wouldn't have had a problem if they had just raised the price but object to their obvious attempts to 'slip one past' those of us pushing the shopping carts.

                      2. re: dolores

                        << Macaroni is now sold in boxes under a pound, requiring two boxes to make a recipe calling for a pound of macaroni. >>

                        So? I mean, unless you're cooking for 6, that's a huge recipe to begin with, so aren't you likely to be reducing it anyhow?

                        1. re: tmso

                          Believe me tmso, you're fighting a losing battle here regarding a discussion of reductions in the sizes of recipes.

                        2. re: dolores

                          reducing the quanitity IS raising the price

                          1. re: thew

                            I know that, thew, that's my point to those who insist it is not. I reread my post and of course you are correct.

                            Not only is it raising the price, but it is duplicity on the part of the stupid consumer who is happy that the price isn't being raised, when in fact it is being raised with the lowering of quantity. And the further lowering of quantity is a continued raising of price. And then the manufacturer will come out with a PR release that due to the pressures on them, that they just HAVE to raise prices on their 4X lowered quantity items, BUT the quality won't be reduced.

                            So, if the consumer is stupid enough to buy all this, they are more than welcome to it.

                            1. re: dolores

                              um, the point has ALWAYS been that it is a PER UNIT COST INCREASE to keep the price the same, but reduce the quantity. no one has said differently, have they?

                        3. re: ipsedixit

                          I totally agree. Good food is a necessity. If you're buying junk like soda and ice cream and chips then there's the problem.