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Sep 19, 2011 04:40 PM

ALERT: Smaller package sizes = higher prices. Guilty parties listed herein . . .

I want to start a thread with a list of manufacturers that are surreptitiously reducing package size while keeping the price the same (or raising it).

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is an increase in price.

I'll start:

Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Chips:

Old size: 11.5 oz
New size: 10 oz

You now get 10% less product for the same price. Of course, the packaging has stayed the same so most people don't notice.

Anyone else have any they've noticed?

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    1. I think it would be easier to list things that haven't shed weight. Still 12 eggs in a carton, for starters.

      But seriously, I think most people *do* notice. They just can't do much about it, except not buy the offending product. I seek out 6 oz. cans of tuna, like Whole Foods & Trader Joe's house brands, and I buy my coffee in bulk by the pound, rather than the 12 or 15 oz. package.

      12 Replies
        1. re: Chowrin

          Does that save you any money? The only place near me that sells unroasted coffee beans charges the earth for them, so I never gave it serious consideration.

          1. re: small h

            $5 a pound, or so, if you get their samplers. It saves me a ton of money -- it'd be at least double if I got it from a store, and for lower quality. And we have a master roaster in town.

            1. re: Chowrin

              Holy cow. That is interesting. I wonder if I could find anyone to roast it for me in my neck of the woods (Manhattan). Thanks for that link.

              1. re: small h

                I roast at home, using a fan in my apartment. If you've got two outside windows, it's doable, I figure.

                1. re: small h

                  Do some googling. I've been roasting single batches in an old air popper (well, 3 old air poppers in rotation). It's not difficult, and you tend to get really quality coffee, and more control over what stage you stop roasting (light vs. dark).

                  1. re: Ninevah

                    ... or tom's got quite a few roasters on that site i linked.

                    1. re: Ninevah

                      I did do some googling, and I'm a bit concerned about ventilation, and chaff. I live in an apartment, and while it's reasonably airy in here if I open all the windows, I think roasting coffee might set off my fire alarm. And my neighbors' fire alarms. And their neighbors' fire alarms.

                      1. re: small h

                        I haven't set off any smoke detectors yet, but it does get reasonably smoky in the house. As for the chaff. . . you can place the 'blower' end of the popcorn popper pointing at a sink that's got about two inches of water in it. Catches nearly all of them.

                        Except for the first two batches, I've been doing my roasting outside, because of the smoke and the smell.

                        1. re: small h

                          we use fans! and using my behmor, it never sets off anyone else's smoke detector (have used at multiple places, with just a cross current of air -- two windows open)

                          1. re: Chowrin

                            Alright then. I'll keep my eyes open for a second-hand hot air popper. Conceivably, I could roast on my balcony if necessary. I can't see that being prohibited as it's not an open flame.

                            1. re: small h

                              if you buy a behmor, it's really just a few lightbulbs.

            2. The Ghirardelli thing PISSED me off.

              others i know...
              Haagen Dazs
              Nabisco Graham Crackers
              Kellogg's Cereals
              Reese's PB cups

                1. Your post might just as well have been titled "Alert: Rising food costs cause producers to raise prices". Really, are food producers expected to keep the prices they charge for the food they produce the same, when the cost of raw ingredients is rising? And since the package weight is clearly printed on the package, what is surreptitious about it? The cost of beef has risen dramatically, while the cuts/packaging remain the same. Is that another example of surreptitious price raising? The cost of cotton goods has gone through the roof, so you are paying much more for your t-shirts, sheets, napkins and the sort, no different than what food producers are doing.

                  Increased costs at the producer level are reflected in increased prices at the retail level. That's normal in a free market. How they increase price differs - offer less product at the same price, or keep product quantity the same and raise the price. Basic free-market economics.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: janniecooks

                    I hear you. I just wish they'd raise the prices if they need to and keep the package weight the same.

                    1. re: Whinerdiner

                      I agree. I understand that prices fluctuate, but I'd rather they just change the price of an item and not the package size. Or if they are going to change the package size at least make it clear that it is different.

                      1. re: viperlush

                        Now presenting your favorite "X" -- same great flavor you know and love, now available in a smaller package!

                        Prices may vary.

                        1. re: Emme

                          "Because our customer research told us they prefer less of our fantastic product but want it to take up the same amount of storage space."

                    2. re: janniecooks

                      The surreptitious part is yes, it is labeled but especially with coffee, you need a magnifying glass to read the weight.
                      What bothers me, is that many recipes call for amounts based on old package and can sizes so many times you have to by more of something than you need.

                      1. re: janniecooks

                        Thank you for being the voice of reason, Jannie. People hear about rising fuel costs and droughts and for some reason it takes them by storm every goddamn time that the price of FOOD goes up. Christ on a bicycle, people, get a clue! Food is one of the things that gets caught in every single resource tangle and the price goes up- hurricane in the Baja? Yuma raises their lettuce or cabbage prices.Storm falters before it hits the Baja Peninsula, no effect on the Yuma crops from the hurricane. Price stays the same. I hate the hell out of it, but that's how it goes.You should not be surprised that it happens.

                        1. re: EWSflash

                          Well, there are a gazillion posts about this on this board. So for the gazillionth time, it is NOT the smaller package size. It is the deceipt by companies of shaving off an ounce or two and hoping customers don't notice. Just raise the price and be honest about it. Also, as someone said, it screws up recipeis.

                        2. re: janniecooks

                          Of course not. I understand input costs are rising.

                          People shop by price. This is why they reduce the size of the package rather than increase the price.