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Everything Seems To Be Shrinking

Doctormhl1 Dec 18, 2009 02:27 AM

Have you noticed lately that every time you buy a box of cereal or a bag of potato chips, for example, that the amount of product is less but the price, of course, remains the same -or higher? How much longer can this go on?

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  1. nofunlatte RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 18, 2009 02:33 AM

    It will go on as long as people buy processed foods, since I haven't noticed this in, say, bags of beans. But the boxes of WW pasta I buy have decreased to 7 svgs/box from 8.

    And they will buy, since people don't seem to be shrinking!

    2 Replies
    1. re: nofunlatte
      rockandroller1 RE: nofunlatte Dec 18, 2009 03:01 PM

      Well, we no longer have a "10 pound" bag of potatoes, I just figured that out in the store last weekend. Used to be a 5 pound or a 10 pound bag, all my life. I picked up the heavier/bigger bag and was like hey, wait a minute. Looked at the bag - 8 pounds. Same price as 10 pounds used to be. And these aren't processed, so it's happening to everything. There's no more one pound can of coffee either.

      1. re: rockandroller1
        dagwood RE: rockandroller1 Dec 18, 2009 04:40 PM

        I don't think there's been a one pound can of coffee in a long time.

    2. b
      blackoak RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 18, 2009 07:23 AM

      Just a head's up/link to another thread on the subject of smaller packages - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/664152 - (and there are probably other threads also).

      1. d
        dagwood RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 18, 2009 08:28 AM

        This isn't new though. I worked in a grocery store as a scan coordinator 15 years ago, and one of my responsibilities was to make sure the shelf tags were accurate. Every week I was changing them because some product or other had reduces its package size.

        1. Kajikit RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 18, 2009 09:42 AM

          Sadly it's nothing new... everything gradually shrinks over time except the prices!

          1. chef chicklet RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 18, 2009 09:44 AM

            They are getting smaller, however yesterday much as I didn't want to, I purchased a bag of sliced criminis. Offered was a pound sliced all up in the bag, and they not only looked fresher than the ones being offered whole in the bin, but it was $1 a pound cheaper. Pays to check it all out.

            5 Replies
            1. re: chef chicklet
              Whats_For_Dinner RE: chef chicklet Dec 18, 2009 02:13 PM

              Same thing happened to me with criminis yesterday! Usually I don't even glance at the presliced stuff, but it's worth a passing glance at least, just in case.

              1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                chef chicklet RE: Whats_For_Dinner Dec 20, 2009 11:58 AM

                Yeah me too, usually not interested in bagged food. These days I'm looking at everything carefully. Check out the canned sweetened condensed milk. Ridiculously priced! Go to the Mexican section, half the price. Now why is that? And by the way I bought it and it was terrific.

                1. re: chef chicklet
                  BobB RE: chef chicklet Dec 23, 2009 09:41 AM

                  Not quite on the original topic, but another bargain in the Mexican section of my local supernarket is spices. I can refill a $4 jar of dried oregano or thyme with the contents of a little $0.79 plastic bag from the Mexican aisle.

                  1. re: BobB
                    alkapal RE: BobB Jan 5, 2010 06:59 AM

                    the "badia" brand spices in the mexican food section of grocery stores are a super-duper bargain compared with their "mcCormick's" correlates.

                    1. re: BobB
                      Val RE: BobB Jan 5, 2010 07:04 AM

                      I also appreciate the Badia spices in a bag...bay leaf, peppercorns, oregano, thyme, ...I don't think their cinnamon sticks are very good, though.

              2. alkapal RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 19, 2009 01:47 PM

                it will go on as long as businesses want to stay in business and still make a profit while paying increased costs for all manner of inputs (raw materials, energy) and taxes, healthcare premiums, regulatory compliance, equipment purchases and maintenance, employee raises and bonuses.......

                1. l
                  LeslieB RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 19, 2009 01:58 PM

                  It's even happening with beer. Have you noticed that quite a few brands are now in 11.2 ounce bottles instead of 12?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LeslieB
                    dagwood RE: LeslieB Dec 19, 2009 02:18 PM

                    I hadn't noticed that! I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for that one!

                    1. re: dagwood
                      Cheese Boy RE: dagwood Dec 20, 2009 08:30 PM

                      Yup, beer, tuna, peanut butter, toilet paper, coffee, chocolate bars, ice cream, frozen tortellini, etc. The OP brings up an interesting point though. 'How much longer can this go on?'. Will toilet paper eventually become the size of ez-wider? Will beer be poured out of 8-ounce bottles where we can tell a bartender, "I think I'll have a cup of beer please." Will chocolate bars all become the size of Hershey's miniatures? Our incredible shrinking world has to stop at some point, and consumers are just going to have to pay more for what they want.

                  2. jfood RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 20, 2009 12:14 PM

                    Yeah lots of threads. Businesses need to meet payroll and stay in business.

                    Question is how come if all the packaging is shrinking everyone is getting fatter.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jfood
                      Doctormhl1 RE: jfood Dec 20, 2009 02:47 PM

                      I guess we're all becoming couch-potatoes-or should I say computer-potatoes.
                      Sitting at our computers for hours certainly doesn't help the waist-line does it?

                      1. re: Doctormhl1
                        alkapal RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 21, 2009 12:48 AM

                        one month sitting for chowhound yacking costs one day shoveling east coast blizzard snow from driveway.

                    2. f
                      foodseller RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 21, 2009 09:56 PM

                      Its easier to shrink packaging rather than raise the price. No customer uproar.

                      1. r
                        rubinow RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 22, 2009 09:09 AM

                        consumerist.com has been covering this for a long time (search for "grocery shrink ray").

                        1. Paulustrious RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 22, 2009 09:48 AM

                          The indexed price of food has been going down in the USA for the last 50 years. That rather goes against the sentiment expressed here. Pick any normal food - say pork, coffee, milk, corn flakes, honey, bread, butter,eggs, tomato sauce, bacon, pasta - and look at the cost per pound / unit twenty years go and compare with today after removing inflation.

                          Certainly food consumes a far smaller part of the family wage packet.

                          1. lyndak RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 22, 2009 12:26 PM

                            HA HA - when I initially read the title, I thought you were refering to clothes (which always seems to be shrinking! - well mine do anyways!)

                            1. BobB RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 23, 2009 09:35 AM

                              While it is true that almost everything seems to be shrinking, my reaction to that falls into two distinct categories.

                              On the one hand, there are items that we use incrementally - peanut butter, say, or mayonnaise, or cereal. Smaller packages just mean you need to restock sooner. No biggie.

                              On the other hand, there are items where we tend to purchase and use a full container at a time: canned tuna is a prime example, or pie fillings. There, a smaller container means you may have a screwed-up recipe because the proportions are no longer correct. THAT ticks me off!

                              1. m
                                midclass RE: Doctormhl1 Dec 24, 2009 07:01 AM

                                yea, it's a sneaky way for some manufacturers to pass on a price increase and it needs to be monitored more closely, especially in the food store. "Caveat Emptor" and check your packaging carefully before you buy. It would be interesting to know what kind of response you get back when you contact them..

                                1. a
                                  aynrandgirl RE: Doctormhl1 Jan 4, 2010 05:57 PM

                                  Most "half gallon" ice cream cartons have shrunk from 2 quarts to 1.5. At least a pint is still a pint.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: aynrandgirl
                                    Cheese Boy RE: aynrandgirl Jan 4, 2010 08:00 PM

                                    Uhhh, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but check this thread out ...
                                    The NEW 14 ounce pint makes it debut --> http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/634275

                                    1. re: aynrandgirl
                                      Paulustrious RE: aynrandgirl Jan 5, 2010 04:48 AM

                                      Not really. A pint is 20 fluid ounces - except in the US.

                                      1. re: Paulustrious
                                        aynrandgirl RE: Paulustrious Jan 5, 2010 08:46 AM

                                        The US doesn't use Imperial gallons either. So?

                                    2. alkapal RE: Doctormhl1 Jan 5, 2010 07:02 AM

                                      I'm nominating all of the "shrinking food -- rising price" threads for the "how can we do the thread over and over again?" award.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: alkapal
                                        jfood RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2010 10:07 AM

                                        And when they get to that heated furor they become the incredible shrinking threads...thanks Mods

                                      2. t
                                        therealdoctorlew RE: Doctormhl1 Jan 5, 2010 10:54 AM

                                        Help! The last yardstick I bought only had 34 inches!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: therealdoctorlew
                                          dagwood RE: therealdoctorlew Jan 5, 2010 11:42 AM

                                          ha! that made me LOL for real :)

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