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May 18, 2009 05:23 PM

Now canned tuna has downsized

If you have any recipes, be aware that at least Bumble Bee chunk light tuna is now a 5 oz can.

I've been counting calories and was punching info into spreadsheets and noticed the change. I thought the cans were looking a little slimmer lately.

It seems like instead of ticking off consumers and ruining long-time recipes ... it may be time to switch to the metric system. Then they could easily disguise picking customers pockets. Most people would be too confused by the change to figure out they are paying more for less.

What next? One damn less sardine in a can?

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  1. On the upside RW, Just came back from a (San Leandro) Costco run and guess what? Chicken of the Sea is touting their 7oz.(!!!!) tuna cans. Imagine that... the same size they used to be way-y-y back when. Same thing for the Kirkland tuna; I think it was 7 oz., too. I was so giddy that I forgot to check the price, since I already have some good ol' TJ's tuna @ home (6 1/2 oz... I think) I just wish they'd sell a tuna packed in olive oil since it's so much more tasty that way. 5 oz. of tuna is barely enough for one sandwich, let alone two.
    But we've hashed this topic to death re: the grocery store shrink-ray!!! adam

    11 Replies
    1. re: adamshoe

      Yup, they have them in 7 oz cans, but they're about 50% more expensive then the 6 oz cans were about a month ago. I hate this.

      1. re: adamshoe

        Weight includes the packing water. So who knows what you're
        getting in comparison to whatever it was you used to be getting.

        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

          That is true. Unfortunately I don't remember the brand ... it was one of the big brands ... but I opened it up and only 1/3 of the can was tuna. As far as the new 5oz BB can, 1 oz is water, so there's 4 oz tuna in reality.

          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

            Not true. The packing liquid is not counted in the weight for canned goods. At least, not if it gives the weight as "Net weight."

            I suspect that what RW is seeing is that they didn't downsize the can as much as the amount of tuna, so there's more packing liquid in the can. If they reduce the amount of tuna 18 percent (6 oz. to 5 oz.) but they only reduce the size of the can 10 percent (so that it doesn't look obviously smaller) there's going to be more liquid in the can.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              That's "drained weight". Net weight includes everything except the can. And there does not appear to be a standard governing the relation between net and drained weights.

              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                I happened to have noticed the smaller can today. Counting Calories as well to make sure I can enjoy my desserts all summer, hehe. The can contents after draining is 4 oz and I wondered the same thing. Plus I did not even do a thorough squeeze drain which may crush me if I do and I find out my now 5 oz can of tuna is really 3.5 ounces.

                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                  Wow. I've had that wrong for years. Even more reason to buy unprocessed foods!

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Me too; had it wrong until about a year ago when I bought big package of cans in an apparently good deal at costco, opened one, did the same "wtf?" that's going on here, and sent off a few polite (heh) letters of inquiry to the chicken of the sea folks.

                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                  On the tuna with a lot of water and 1/3 tuna, can't say what the can said because I didn't look. I just thought it was a mistake.

                  However, on the BB 5 oz can which I'm looking at

                  The front says Net Wt 5 oz

                  The Nutritional info says

                  Serv size 2 oz drained
                  Servings: about 2

                  I'm sure the 'about' doesn't mean you are getting more than 4 oz of tuna. Haven't opened one yet.

                  1. re: rworange

                    I just opened 3 cans of Chicken of the Sea Tuna. Cans said 5 oz. NET WGT. After draining the cans, I weighted each on. #1 can: 2.8 oz of tuna; #2 can 2.7 oz and #3 can 2.3 oz. I weighed all the cans of tuna I have in my cupboard. They all weighed different, ranging from 5.8 oz to 6.3 oz. ANd the serving size said 2 oz drained (just like rw says above. But the 2.3 and 2.8 oz does not compute to 2 servings. When I first met my husband, I would put a thin layer of meat in his sandwich. He complained that he couldn't taste the meat. I guess now, he won't have a choice unless I make the can of tuna into 1 serving and not 2. The public is really getting screwed. More money for than product and less than what it says! I would like to contact Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea, but they both have addresses to contact them and no phone number. They probably wouldn't answer anyway.

                    1. re: JDRMPrice

                      Well.................. it would seem pretty CS :o) of Chicken of the Sea to expect that anyone would include the water in a serving of canned tuna. Unfortunately, I think the law would allow them to include the water in the net weight calculation anyway.

                      Somewhere above I gave my rec for Kirkland water-packed tuna at Costco as seeming to have more tuna in the can, and at a good price.

            2. That explains it. I was noticing that the three cans I opened and made tuna salad with made about the same as two cans.

              Thanks for letting us know. The better buy might be the larger can at this point, or depending on the sale...

              1. That's okay. A "quart" (32 oz) of Hellmann's Mayonnaise now only contains 30 ounces, so maybe you can still get the same number of tuna salads with the two of them, just not as many calories.

                I don't know about you guys, but I'd much rather see a price increase on the quantities I'm used to than have the price stay the same while the quantity dwindles. The math gets sooooooooo much more complicated when a "quart" is no longer a quart! <sigh> When I run the world, things will be better.

                4 Replies
                  1. re: GretchenS

                    How long do you think you need to convince the rest of the world that I'm their best hope? I'm ready! '-)


                  2. re: Caroline1

                    I'm with you, I checked my (3) jars of Best Food mayonnaise and you're right.
                    Ok I guess I sort of understand their reasoning, because of (bottom line) oil prices cost must go up. But what is the thought process behind making smaller jars, etc? You would think their marketing would want to some how give the consumer the idea that they're getting more for their money by purchasing their product. Regardless, I would also rather be charged more, and spare my poor brain from trying to figure out their schemes.

                    We first this product package shrinkage with the detergent containers, however there were a lot promises for better cleaning, eco friendly detergent, etc., and so it was reasonalble to a certain degree. But what can they rationalize with mayonnaise and tuna? Maybe they want to help us all to diet. Keep this up, and it could work!

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      By reducing the size, they increase the frequency you will visit the store to buy more. If prices are going up, this benefits the producer, rather than the consumer. As a consumer, you want to stockpile at the lower price. As a producer, you want to sell as much as possible at the current price -- the ideal situation for a producer in a rapidly rising market would be to sell mayo in single-servings and one per customer per day.

                      When prices are going down, it's reversed; consumers should buy the smallest amount necessary.

                  3. I noticed this recently, and decided that I'm just going to buy my tuna at Trader Joe's. The quality is better and it's still a 6 oz can.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: DanaB

                      I don't know about tuna (I almost never eat it) but Kraft's pulled a swifty on their cheese... I went to get some on the weekend because it was on sale and I thought 'that packet looks extra-small'. Sure enough, all the reduced-fat cheeses are now in a 7oz bag. The change must have been so sudden that the sale labels on the shelf still said '8oz'!

                      1. re: DanaB

                        Update: as of the can of tuna I opened today, Trader Joe's tuna is now 5 oz as well. I usually have a little bit of tuna salad left over when I make a sandwich, and this time I didn't and it made me go, "HMMM." Checked the can, and sure enough, TJs has joined the shrinking tuna parade.

                        1. re: DanaB

                          Whole Foods house brand 365 tuna is still 6 ounces...the solid white is still solid white, nice big chunks. $1.49 for a can, I know it's more expensive but I get what I want...and I can buy the salt-free version to boot!

                          1. re: Val

                            The "6 oz" on the can label has no relation to the actual weight of the tuna. You need to drain the fish and then weigh it. And keep track of the results over time to see if they're playing games, replacing tuna with water.

                            1. re: Val

                              Hi Val,
                              Actually the tuna I saw at Whole Foods, red can (without added salt) is now a whopping $1.79. They must be crazy. I am just north of Boston...I am going to complain to the WF regional manager.

                              1. re: LeeLeeK

                                ARGH!!!! Haven't been there in weeks since WF CEO wrote a horrific op-ed piece in the WSJ *my opinion* on August 12th (told myself I was boycotting WF) don't know if the price has changed here also or not. Crikey...I really did like that tuna; white, firm and in large chunks, not the mush they sell in some other brands now.

                        2. We've been buying Chicken-of-the-Sea (in water) at Costco for years and sampled their own Kirkland brand one day a few months ago. Lower price, tasted just as good, if not better. Got it home and found that their is really noticeably more tuna in the same size can.