Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 16, 2009 03:54 PM

Size of Tunafish Cans??

I just got home from the grocery store, and while unloading the bags, I happen to put the tuna cans next to the cat food. The cans of tuna are SMALLER now, than cat food cans, by 1/2 an ounce! When did they start reducing the size of tuna they sell?? It used to be a can of tuna was 6 ounces, and could make four small or three normal size sandwiches; now I've noticed when making tuna salad for my boys, one can barely makes two sandwiches?? The food I serve my pets is now bigger than that for my children?! And paying $2 a can (sale price, btw) for less product? Sorry if this has already been discussed, but I can't help but rant about it because I feel like I've been duped! Has anyone else noticed this? Thanks for letting me vent!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. My Bumble Bee solid white albacore in oil is down to 5 ounces, and is the size of a hockey puck. With one slapshot, the tuna can be back in the net for the second time in its career.

      15 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        Yea. apparently that is now the norm. My DH couldn't understand why I was blowing a gasket when I figured it out but it's robbery, and I'm just a little fed up!!!

        So it's the same south of the border, huh? Probably a universal decision on their part. Sad state of affairs, when the food companies feel they need to rip you off, to make a decent profit. What is happening to my country?????!!! Okay, I won't go into that!

        1. re: Phurstluv

          Aw come on, they can either raise the price (even more) or reduce the size. I don't know why reducing the size seems to incense people more than raising the price.

          1. re: c oliver

            c, there have been numerous threads discussing the size vs price issue, and the most common complaint among CHers regarding downsizing appears to be a somewhat valid one, if only because it's a nuisance. many recipes call for a specific size package/container of certain ingredients, and the changes in size can throw everything out of whack...particularly if you don't notice the change until you're elbow-deep in tuna & mayo, or chickpeas & tahini, or pumpkin puree and pie crust...

            personally i'd prefer it if they just raised the price.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Good point. It's like packages of10 hot dogs and 8 rolls, spreading like a fungus of indivisible numbers.

            2. re: c oliver

              <<I don't know why reducing the size seems to incense people more than raising the price.>>

              I'm fairly confident reducing the size is more irritating because people have recipes that call for a certain amount (size) and reducing it messes up the it seems underhanded. The price is going up? Why not just charge more rather than retool the packaging, reduce the amount and piss people off? Listen to the Jimmy Dean sausage complaint below (I learned of it here on Chowhound):


              I don't eat cans of tuna, but I do use sweetened condensed milk and the volume of that can has changed over the years. That's a PITA when you go to make magic cookie bars and don't have quite enough SCM to top the bars. I'd rather pay more than come up short of an ingredient each time I make a recipe.

            3. re: Phurstluv

              It is incumbent on consumers to compare unit cost prices. The trend toward smaller packages is because the price appears more palatable, and inures to the disadvantage of the manufacturer, consumer, and stresses landfills. Manufacturers of packaging materials profit handsomely. It's really not a rip-off by the food companies. They know you only have 30 bucks to spend on groceries these days, and they want you to have a little bit of theirs. There is still opportunity for smart shopping.

              1. re: Veggo

                I regularly compare the unit prices and make my buying decisions partially based on that. The item that's on sale may not in fact be the best buy.

                1. re: c oliver

                  For many food and consumer products, the packaging is more expensive than the product. Beer. Soda. Saltines. Lipstick. Hundreds of others. A special case is sardines, where the more sardines packed in a can, the more profit to the producer, because the oil is more costly than the fish. And the can costs more than both. Lesson: BUY LARGE SIZES.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    And I ONLY buy spices in "bulk." What I'd pay $4-5 for in a jar with a lid and a label (and not as fresh), I can buy for 50 cents perhaps (or less).

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Veggo, buying large/bulk items isn't always a viable option. as a single, relatively petite woman who lives alone, there's no way i could use up most economy-size items in a timely manner. and considering that my refrigerator and freezer are both already packed to the gills with the things i keep on hand for regular use, there would be no place for me to store the excess of anything perishable for use at a later time.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Yes. Frugality includes not wasting unnecessarily. I DID go shopping with a couple of 'hounds in Manhattan who bought a single jar of a particular condiment with the plan to share/split it.

              2. re: Veggo

                Just got them at Costco, still 6 oz. cans.

                1. re: cstr

                  In which case Bumble Bee is offering two sizes. Mine are 5 ounces/142 grams.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    In the mega-mart or Costco? I've also seen 7 oz cans.

                    1. re: cstr

                      Mine are from the Publix and Sweet Bay grocery chains in Florida. For my purposes, a 5 ounce can is a reasonable single serving size and I have no complaints. Solid white albacore in oil, usually $1.79.

              3. I have noticed this move in a lot of food related issue.. now don't bust my chops but as a teenager Burger King chicken sandwiches the breaded fried ones were much bigger While my waistline may have grown over the years my hands have not and the food is smaller. Arby;s my mom used to take me there after martial arts class when i was Tune fish was a staple in my young adult lifr know i pay more for less

                1. jfood would rather they raise the price versus changethe size for the recipe reasons listed by others and on other numerous threads. But to jump to they are ripping me off is an unfair statement. The price and size are both clearly marked prior to purchase.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: jfood

                    I understand that there is nothing nefarious going on in that the weight has to be on the can, and I can look at the unit prices, which I normally do. But the grocery stores know how to get your attention by putting big red or yellow tags out claiming SALE!!! So, you figure all the tuna cans are the same weight, and therefore, I'll be getting the ones on SALE. My only point was that the sizes are smaller now, so you are actually paying more for less. And it does stick in my craw that now recipes are useless, when you have to .buy 2 cans to do the job one used to. And what to do with the leftover half-used cans? It just irks me to no end.

                    And I generally do buy the costco tuna - at least it's still 6 oz, if not a name brand. Guess that's what I'll keep doing, until they decide to follow the major manufacturers do.

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      Okay, I see you have your knickers in a knot but take a deep breath :) There are 12 half ounce portions in a 6 ounce can, right? So now there are 11 half ounce portions in a can. If you could make 2-3 sandwiches with 12 portions, I have to believe you still can with 11 portions. And what recipes do you have that are so precise in their measurement of tuna that they are now useless. I think we've all gotten accustomed to the price going up rather than the volume going down.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        I wasn't referring to any recipes made with tuna, I was agreeing with the other posts re: sweetened condensed milk to make magic cookie bars, canned pumpkin for pumpkin pies and breads, and the bags of cranberries, that apparently make for a runnier cranberry sauce / relish. I haven't made any of these things yet, as it is still summer, but was commiserating with them as to what they've revealed.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          c, if you think Phurstluv's knickers are in a twist, you should read the similar threads about the changes in the size of Haagen Dazs containers! ;)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I can only imagine :) I'm not a dessert person but I can just guess the horror!!!

                            I know it doesn't work in all cases but I find reducing recipes quite easy. Today I had 3# of ground turkey and the turkey burger recipe called for 4#. I just got out my little calculator and did the math. As I say, I know that for some baking you can't do that (I don't bake so I only read that) but I do it regularly.

                        2. re: Phurstluv

                          But it was you who used the following..."I was blowing a gasket when I figured it out but it's robbery" and "Sad state of affairs, when the food companies feel they need to rip you off, to make a decent profit". If robbery is not nefarious then what might it be?

                          And the recipes are not useless, c'mon. Unless it is a baking recipe which needs the correct X:Y combination for chemistry reasons that's just nonsense. Jfood's key lime pie will not suffer a lick if the size of the condenced milk is reduced from 15 oz to 14.5 oz.

                          1. re: jfood

                            Last time I looked, magic cookie bars & pumpkin pie & bread ARE baking.

                            And I find it a little deceitful on their part, b/c they know you don't read the unit prices all the time, and no one is going to tell you, hey we've reduced the can size by an ounce, btw. They won't tell you, b/c by informing you, you then have the knowledge & may buy something else.

                            And it's obvious you don't go grocery shopping with two little boys in tow, trying to get through your list without having to stoop down on the floor, looking at every store tag, with the unit prices, if it's even there to begin with.

                            1. re: Phurstluv

                              jfood has two daughters so, no, he has not been there with 2 boys, just 2 girls. And while he shopped with the little jfoods as they were growing up he took the time to teach them how to shop, how to be a smart consumers and how read labels. He then taught them how to adjust recipes so they understood the relationships between the different flavors. The older one started baking with Mrs jfood at 4 weeks in a front pouch. The younger daughter has a keen sense of flavors and organic versus non-organic foods (must have received that training from Mrs jfood). The older daughter is working towards her Masters in Nutrition. But thanks for asking.

                              Since Katykats only brought up Magic Cookie Bars, here is a recipe:

                              Two points - the condenced milk has absolutely nothing to do with the chemical reactions that make baking a science. It is poured over the top.

                              And with respect to the other items, i.e. pumpkin and cranberries, why don;t you wait until you actually try the product and the size before expecting the worst.

                              1. re: jfood

                                I don't need the recipe, thanks, I've been making them for, well, lets just say since I was a little girl.

                                And is it a crime to commiserate with those that HAVE made the recipes and decided that the reduction in the canned product or the use of 2, without finishing the first, is a pain in the ass? No, I guess I'm supposed to wait until I make them myself, and not take these other cooks or chefs' word for it.

                                But I'm supposed to take your word for it, especially since you've come to the conclusion that , at least in your baking, it's not an issue.

                                Sorry, can't have it both ways.

                      2. I haven't noticed that the cans themselves have gotten smaller, but there's definitely been a change in the amount and quality of content ("solid white tuna") for most major brands.

                        Also, have you looked at the ingredients list? Most cans of tuna contain preservatives. That really bothered when I discovered it.

                        In the Boston area I've found a few brands of tuna (solid white in water) that are reliable for both amount of content and no preservatives: Market Basket (local supermarket) brand, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Prices are $1.25 - $1.50/can for white albacore tuna. And Trader Joe's sells cans with no salt added, too.

                        Also re: preservatives, I was buying packaged whole walnuts recently and noticed a major difference in sell-by dates between brands. Looking at ingredients lists, I was surprised to see that 3 Diamonds brand contains preservatives. It's disturbing to find preservatives added to products like that. Buyer beware.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Niblet

                          love the TJ's no-salt-added tuna *and* salmon!

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Really, is it good, GHG, the TJ tuna?

                            I will have to pick some up next time I'm there, thanks. I've always been reluctant to try another's brand of tuna, we get so used to the National brands, but I'm tired of the cat & mouse games they play with us, the consumers. So I will definitely give TJ's a try.