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Fourteen ounces is the new pound

j
janniecooks May 19, 2012 12:47 AM

I couldn't help notice yesterday when I purchased a package of puff pastry that it is sold in a 14-ounce package. Most recipes that I can recall that specify pre-made puff pastry generally call for a pound package.

I also needed a pound of Great Northern Beans. The first bag I picked up was the Iberia brand, and as I was examining the beans inside the plastic bag I noticed that the weight was only 14 ounces. That kind of surprised me, as I had always purchased dried beans in 16-ounce bags, as least I always thought I was buying 16-ounce bags. Never paid attention to the net weight before, but now all the dried beans and lentils (Iberia, Goya and store brand) are packaged in 14-ounce packages. No longer one pound bags. Kind of annoying when most recipes that specify a quantity usually call for a pound of beans. In a soup the missing two ounces won't make much difference, but there was a time in my salad days when I might have thought I needed the exact ONE POUND measure and likely would have purchased two bags so I could obtain the missing two ounces. I've noticed the same thing on certain canned goods, where the net weight is an ounce or a couple ounces less than they used to be.

I know there have been other posts on shrinking package sizes, and this is is NOT a rant on rising food prices, evil food producers charging more for less, or food processors trying to fool or somehow take advantage of us poor consumers. But sheesh, I feel like I'm being nickel and dimed to death. Food manufacturers, please cover your increased costs and just charge a bit more, I'll gladly pay the cost for a full found of product. Don't pare away at the quantity in the pacakge, on a unit basis we'd end up paying about the same anyway.

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  1. PHREDDY RE: bagelman01 May 19, 2012 06:01 AM

    I liken it to "new packaging"....Tropicana OJ has re-invented the half gallon of OJ with a 59 ounce container....but their argument is that it is actually 1.75 litres!

    2 Replies
    1. re: PHREDDY
      bagelman01 RE: PHREDDY May 19, 2012 06:11 AM

      That same thing happened to half gallons of booze in the 1970s (handles). It was interesting that booze went down from 64 ounces to 1.75 liters, BUT soda went up from a half gallon to 2 Liters (67.x ounces)

      So it's not always down sizing. In fact there is a thread going about Tuna coming out in 7 ounce cans which disappeared and started shrinking 40 years ago.

      1. re: bagelman01
        PHREDDY RE: bagelman01 May 19, 2012 06:23 AM

        Another example is the pound can of coffee.....The cans are now collectable!

    2. CindyJ RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 06:20 AM

      And a "pound" of coffee has been 12 ounces for quite some time.

      3 Replies
      1. re: CindyJ
        Will Owen RE: CindyJ May 19, 2012 06:26 PM

        I beat that by buying my Peet's coffee from the Peet's store. Their per-pound price is roughly what Ralphs charges for 12 ounces, except when it's on sale there. I'd rather go to the Mother Lode anyway.

        1. re: Will Owen
          CindyJ RE: Will Owen May 22, 2012 05:30 AM

          It's also probably fresher there than the bagged stuff you get at the supermarket.

          1. re: CindyJ
            Will Owen RE: CindyJ May 25, 2012 01:41 PM

            Especially since I get it ground. (Yes, I know what a truly dreadful thing that is to admit these days, and I do have a perfectly good Peugeot hand mill. But I'm not only LAZY, I am also OLD, got NO SENSE OF SMELL and CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE.)

      2. g
        gfr1111 RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 06:22 AM

        The down-sizing of the pound happened in the 1970s. In the 1980s packages returned to their original size. The down-sizing was due to the lousy Jimmy Carter economy. I predict that we will know that the Bush/Obama recession is truly over when packages of beans, "half-gallons" of ice cream, etc., return to their true pound and half gallon sizes. But it's a sneaky thing to do. Do the producers of 1.75 quart ice cream containers and 14 ounce packages of beans think that we don't notice? It makes me think less of the manufacturer.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gfr1111
          TroyTempest RE: gfr1111 May 26, 2012 01:52 PM

          They will never return. Once everyone gets used to the new sizes, we'll never go back.

          1. re: gfr1111
            eclecticsynergy RE: gfr1111 May 26, 2012 02:06 PM

            Yah, that'll happen when gas at the pump returns to its pre-GeorgeW price of 95 cents.

            Then again, never say never...

             
          2. meadandale RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 08:29 AM

            It's called the "grocery shrink ray" and is discussed frequently on a consumer website I frequent. Companies routinely shrink the package size but keep the price the same. I guess they figure that people will be happy paying the same price for less rather than just raising prices. Most people aren't real happy with the approach. Consider that when they do this they incur fairly consequential costs for changing their packaging which further erodes their bottom line.

            Seems like it would be simpler and more honest to just increase the price rather than sell a 48oz container of ice cream and pretend that it's a half gallon.

            5 Replies
            1. re: meadandale
              j
              janniecooks RE: meadandale May 19, 2012 09:29 AM

              Yes,I agree with you. And I know the practice has been around for a while - I can't recall when coffee was actually sold in pound packages. For things like coffee, ice cream, orange juice, cereal and the like, the typical usage is to remove a portion for immediate use, rarely does one use up an entire package of coffee, OJ, ice cream, etc. at once, and the shrinkage while irritating and maybe noticeable, won't affect the end use. But when a recipe specifies a pound package of puff pastry, or a pound of dried beans, the shortage of 2 ounces will make a difference in the yield or the taste. Perhaps not significant, but noticeable. Yes, I wish standards remained standards.

              1. re: meadandale
                b
                blackpointyboots RE: meadandale May 19, 2012 09:06 PM

                It is everywhere. Ice cream is the worst. All of the major brands have shrunk packaging or added air. Now the price is skyrocketing on top of the shrinkage. Guess I need to make ice cream if I really want it.

                The best ways I have found to avoid the shrink ray is to buy out of bulk dispensing. IE: open bins of produce, meat out of the meat counter etc. Or buying larger bags of things like beans. I buy more of the dry kinds of things out of the bins at the local food coop since I know what I am getting vs. the price and the quality is usually better. Making things from scratch seems to help too since much of the shrink ray is in processed products.

                1. re: blackpointyboots
                  coll RE: blackpointyboots May 20, 2012 06:00 AM

                  For me, fresh cranberries were the worst. Since I only make them once a year, it took awhile to figure out why my compote was coming out so liquidy, but 4 oz out of 16 is a big drop.

                  From what I read here, I just went and checked my dry beans. I have two grocery brands plus Goya, and all are 16 oz.

                  1. re: blackpointyboots
                    c
                    causeimhungry RE: blackpointyboots Jan 18, 2013 12:10 PM

                    The other day I was excited to see Breyer's ice cream on sale for 2.50$ (it's usually about 7.99$ a container!). It wasn't until I was unpacking the groceries at home that my husband pointed out to me how small the container actually was. It had to have been at least a third smaller than previously.

                    1. re: causeimhungry
                      g
                      GH1618 RE: causeimhungry Jan 18, 2013 06:14 PM

                      If it's two-thirds the customary size, you got it for half price.

                2. lynnlato RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 08:48 AM

                  On the opposite - yet still gouging the consumer - I ordered a pound of deli meat at the local Harris Teeter yesterday. What I got was 1.2 lbs. which added a whopping $2.00 to the cost of the deli meat.

                  I complained to the customer service representative.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: lynnlato
                    j
                    janniecooks RE: lynnlato May 19, 2012 09:19 AM

                    Wow, I'm surprised that the deli worker didn't ask if you were okay with the extra amount. Whenever I order deli meat at Publix and they slice more than I asked for I'm always given the option of accepting what they've sliced, or just getting what I asked for. And they remove the extra cheerfully, no problems. Isn't Harris Teeter known for its customer service?

                    1. re: janniecooks
                      lynnlato RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 07:11 PM

                      Yes, they are typically known for their customer service. In fact, I was quite surprised by the customer service rep's response. Although, this particular harris teeter is known to have staffing & managerial issues. But yes, they typically ask you if the extra is ok - and that's only a couple of slices over - not 20% worth.

                      GH, I'm not sure I understand why you wouldn't have complained? I ordered 1 lb and got 1.2 lbs. Not too complicated but slightly shady on the part of the meat slicer. Fortunately, it's not something that has happened to me often. But I'll be paying closer attention from now on. Shame on me for being so trusting of the store where I shop just about every other day.

                    2. re: lynnlato
                      w
                      wyogal RE: lynnlato May 19, 2012 09:42 AM

                      I usually stand there as they weigh out the meat, and notice. They also ask if a bit over is O.K. But, that's because I am standing there, watching them weigh the product.

                      1. re: lynnlato
                        g
                        GH1618 RE: lynnlato May 19, 2012 11:03 AM

                        That's unusual. Every deli department I have used for years, and there are many, weighs it right in front of the customer, with the weight displayed, and the weight usually closer than that to the requested amount, unless the customer approves it. This is not general practice. It can happen only when either the scale is not located where you can read it (in which case shop somewhere else), or the customer is not paying attention. This isn't something I would complain about.

                        1. re: GH1618
                          Kajikit RE: GH1618 May 25, 2012 10:22 AM

                          Every grocery store where I buy sliced meat, if they go over what you ask for, they start to remove the extra or ask if it's okay. They don't just leave it in there unless you asked for a specific number of slices.

                        2. re: lynnlato
                          TroyTempest RE: lynnlato May 26, 2012 01:55 PM

                          why didn't you say something while you were at the deli counter. In this kind of case, It is not gouging. It is still the same price per ounce. Your argument makes about as much sense as if you would have said i got ripped off, i asked for a pound of meat, but got .80, but you would have paid 80% of the pound price.

                        3. hotoynoodle RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 10:52 AM

                          recently bought some bumblebee canned wild salmon. it was a 6 oz. can, but sounded very sloshy. i squished out all the liquid when i got home and weighed the fish. less than 3 oz.!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: hotoynoodle
                            EWSflash RE: hotoynoodle May 19, 2012 06:17 PM

                            Wow.

                          2. r
                            rochfood RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 11:16 AM

                            Yup..Hillshire farm (and others it seems) now offers their Polska Kielbasa in 14 oz packages and their turkey ones are 13 or 12 oz I believe. They used to be be sold as 1 lb rings. (and the turkey was 14 oz). Same prices however. At what point will be too small ? They will have to increase price at some point ? Or else the product will look semi ridiculous and they won't be "fooling" anyone. Zatarains jambalya mix calls for 1 lb of smoked sausage. I guess we should be eating less meat anyway ?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: rochfood
                              paulj RE: rochfood May 19, 2012 12:57 PM

                              Or use 7/8 of the jambalya mix.

                              Question for the OP - why do you need exactly 1lb of puff pastry? Is your recipe so finely tuned? What probably matters is the area of the pastry sheets, which you can tweak by rolling them out a bit. I noticed from another thread that were used to using Peppridge Farm's PP, and this time bought a much more expensive all-butter brand. I wonder if the 16 v 14 oz difference has more to do with brand than with shrinkage over time.

                              1. re: paulj
                                EWSflash RE: paulj May 19, 2012 06:19 PM

                                I think her main complaint was that she felt like she was being nickel-and-dimed to death. It's certainly valid , given the other posts here.

                                1. re: paulj
                                  r
                                  rochfood RE: paulj May 19, 2012 07:14 PM

                                  I assume using the "7/8th" of the product is an attempt at humour. The less meat doesn't upset the balance of the jambalaya ..it's just an observation/ proof that smoked sausage until recently used to be packed in 16 oz sizes. Many recipes call for 1 lb of some type of meat. It is a relatively uniform standard of measure. Most items are priced X amount per pound.
                                  I assume you know all this but you seem to be missing an obvious point..intentionaly, I'm guessing.
                                  Cereal is a bad example off standard packing size increasing. There is no standard cereal box size. They vary brand by brand and little box to big box size.
                                  Also, packaged items are no longer a novelty and have been around for quite some time..and these items are are what are being "observed"...not from the shopkeep at the general store. Yes..we are talking about corporate packaged goods..and these companies do nothing "on the whim"..all these decisions about package size have been deliberated in boardrooms..that's what companies do. So..I would not use an example of your local general store guy..to corporate policy.where consistancy is the point. So, yes customers do notice..because they are deliberate decsions..not whims.

                              2. paulj RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 01:12 PM

                                http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq5....
                                lists cornflakes prices for many decades, with box sizes all over the board (not always decreasing): 6, 8, 10 12, 13, 18,24 oz.

                                There are a number of other interesting historic food prices lists on that page. For many decades, US food prices in inflation adjusted dollars were actually dropping.

                                Notice that all of these complaints about package shrinkage have to do with packaged goods, which in the big historical picture are a novelty. If we were buying most of our groceries from farmers and local producers (including bakers) we'd be used to prices varying with the season, even the time of day. The seller might feel generous and throw in a bit extra (yapita is a Spanish name for this), or he might try to cheat you with a thumb on the scale.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: paulj
                                  ipsedixit RE: paulj May 19, 2012 01:24 PM

                                  +1

                                  1. re: paulj
                                    l
                                    LisaPA RE: paulj May 23, 2012 09:40 AM

                                    Do tell, where can I find my local cornflake farmer?

                                    Seriously, "buying from local producers" is more of a historical novelty than packaged food. It was less than a century ago that most people lived on farms.

                                    1. re: LisaPA
                                      Karl S RE: LisaPA May 23, 2012 09:44 AM

                                      (and were thus growing their own food, not buying so much from other farms) - just to complete the thought for those who might not realize it.

                                      1. re: LisaPA
                                        paulj RE: LisaPA May 23, 2012 09:55 AM

                                        and selling their excess production in nearby towns, so they could buy things that they didn't produce themselves.

                                    2. ipsedixit RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 01:28 PM

                                      I apologize, and I don't mean to come off as condescending, but this entire meme is a bit tired and overplayed.

                                      There are essentially to things with shrinking product sizes.

                                      1. Price increase. Yes, it may be a covert way for the manufacturer to raise prices, but once you the consumer realize the smaller packaging, where's the harm? At the end of the day, it's a price increase. None of us like to pay more, but manufacturers are there to make money, and most of us own stocks (directly or indirectly) in major brands (P&G, Nabisco, Kraft, etc.), so indirectly we are benefiting from price increases.

                                      2. Recipes. This is a red herring in my opinion. Why are people letting a recipe dictate their shopping behaviors. If a recipe calls for a 1lb of something and you have to buy a container that is only 14 oz, simply make some adjustments to the recipe. It's basic fractions that we learned in 5th grade, or maybe the 4th. This really shouldn't rock your world.

                                      That's just my 0.02.

                                      Cheers everyone.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        EWSflash RE: ipsedixit May 19, 2012 06:20 PM

                                        +1- they never claimed to be not-for-profit. Caveat emptor.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          Karl S RE: ipsedixit May 22, 2012 05:56 AM

                                          That doesn't work well for baking and many other recipes. It's not a red herring.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                            l
                                            LisaPA RE: ipsedixit May 23, 2012 09:48 AM

                                            It's not rocking my world, it's an ongoing annoyance. It is, as you said, covert. Sneaky. Shady. That's the annoying part. In fact, I would bet that they are hoping that if you *do* notice the difference that you feel like you need to buy an additional package of their product. I'd rather just pay a slightly higher amount for the same size package.

                                            Why shouldn't I be annoyed that a company is trying to get one over on me? I'd be annoyed if a person did it - why is a corporation exempt from that reaction? They're not working in my best interest, so I need to keep an eye on them - that's what caveat emptor means.

                                            I have no idea what you mean by indirectly owning stock, unless you assume everyone on this board has a mutual fund invested in those brands. I do not own stock in any of those companies, so it is not a boon to me when they increase prices. That's a pretty weak argument even if I do own stock in them. Their stock price doesn't increase when they reduce package sizes. Getting an extra few million from us while (as noted up thread) having to spend millions to redesign the package and reconfigure the assembly line is not going to increase the share price.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              j
                                              janniecooks RE: ipsedixit May 24, 2012 01:31 AM

                                              If you read my original post, you will see that I did not intend the topic to be a rant against price increases or against food producers. I tried to make clear that I would willingly pay more for the same size product and prefer that for certain goods over shrinking package sizes. Why should I have to purchase two of something to make up for the missing 20%, and end up with more than I need or want?

                                              As for recipes, no it is not a red herring. And of course a recipe dictates shopping behaviors: I choose to cook the things I do and then must purchase the ingredients to support that choice, since I am not a farmer, rancher, grower or food producer. Using the example puff pastry illustrates this perfectly.

                                              I needed a pound of puff pastry, and I was filling the pastry with another ingredient set, also a specific measured quantity. These quantities of pastry and filling had been worked out to yield 12 pieces. I only wanted to make 12 pieces, that I would/could cut in half to yield 24 pieces. The recipe assumed a certain dimension for the puff pastry sheet in order to yield 12 equal size pieces of puff pastry. But 14 ounces of puff pastry provides a sheet that is roughly 20% smaller than what I needed, and rolling out the pastry thinner changes the character of the pastry--it doesn't rise and becomes like cardboard. So I ended up with 10 pieces, not the 12 pieces I wanted. I didn't want to make the recipe with two packages of puff pastry ($20 for the pastry, for one thing, the extra work for another, and not wanting so much food or leftover pastry).

                                              So I was not able use up all the filling that I prepared. I have a bit of left-over filling that I didn't want and probably won't use or re-purpose. Does that rock my world? No, but either way it ends up being a waste of food and a waste of money - either too much stuffing or too much expensive puff pastry.

                                              Shrinking the package size to allow the manufacturer to raise prices is covert only if the shopper pays no attention to size. I always regard package size, I am a careful shopper. I have no problem with producers needing to maintain a certain profit margin, but to do it by reducing the amount of product offered is often detrimental to end consumer beyond the unit price. I wish it would stop, I wish for a return to standard sizing, hence my post.

                                              1. re: janniecooks
                                                ipsedixit RE: janniecooks May 24, 2012 08:25 AM

                                                Why be a slave to a recipe?

                                                1. re: janniecooks
                                                  paulj RE: janniecooks May 24, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                  This was the first time that you used DuFour puff pastry, right? And you previously used Pepperidge Farm? I wondered where you got the 80%, but then realize that PF does NOT sell a 16oz package, but a 17.3 oz (hence a 81% difference).

                                                  While I have seen DuFour at Whole Foods, I have never bought it. But there are several reason to think it might never have been 16 oz.

                                                  - I found a 2005 egullit thread that mentions 14oz (and a price similar to the current)
                                                  - the company primarily sells to bakers, non consumers. Most of their items come in 10# boxes (e.g. 6 sheets).
                                                  - the packaging consists of a generic aluminum tray, with a cardboard lit printed with their name.
                                                  - their best known competitor does not sell a 16oz package
                                                  - the area of a puff pastry sheet is more significant than its weight.
                                                  - this is an expensive product sold in upscale markets; these buyers are not price sensitive
                                                  - most of production cost is in labor, not raw ingredients. Shaving a few oz off the weight doesn't not save the producer much.

                                                  It's too bad that this product does not fit with your recipe, but I don't think you should accuse DuFour of duplicitous behavior..

                                                  1. re: paulj
                                                    j
                                                    janniecooks RE: paulj May 25, 2012 12:59 AM

                                                    Paulj, thanks for the info. Yes, this was the first time I had used Dufour pasry, and I wasn't necessarily holding Dufour responsible for the whole shrinking package thing, but I suppose my post does seem to accuse them of the practice.

                                                    It is interesting that neither of the two manufacturers sell or sold its product in pound packages. I suppose pound specification is more convenient when writing recipes; it would be more useful to specificy dimensions needed. But if the packaging doesn't identify sheet dimensions, where does that leave the consumer? Actually I'm not sure if the Dufour package stated the sheet dimensions and I've discarded the cardboard lid. The website states the sheets are 11 x 11 x 1/4 (though it only specifies food service packages), however once unrolled the sheet I purchased was more like 9 x 10. I might have been happier if it really were 11 x 11 and of uniform thickness - the sheet was perforated and tissue-thin at the folds.

                                                    I don't believe I was accusing Dufour of duplicitous behavior, I specifically stated my post was NOT A RANT AGAINST MANUFACTURERS. Dufour happened to be the packaged food product I purchased around the same time I purchased a bag of dried beans, that used to be sold in one-pound bags. I used those two products as specific examples to make a generalization.

                                                    1. re: janniecooks
                                                      paulj RE: janniecooks May 25, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                      Trader Joes sells (possibly seasonally) puff pastry in 1 lb boxes. It comes in 2 square sheets (not folded) about the size of the box. The dimensions are probably printed on the box. It uses butter but includes some sugar. Price is about half of Dufour.

                                                      1. re: paulj
                                                        j
                                                        jmnewel RE: paulj May 25, 2012 10:58 AM

                                                        I bought the TJ product once. Never again. It isn't even half as good as Dufour. If you care about the quality of your finished product, it is worth the money for Dufour. PF is in the middle in terms of quality, in my opinion. I have no connection to any of these companies.

                                                  2. re: janniecooks
                                                    b
                                                    bernieg1 RE: janniecooks May 20, 2014 01:55 PM

                                                    I linked to your article from mine, http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2014... , and noted that a new 14 oz pound is okay if you have to add a new 28 oz quart of sauce or whatever - the ratios stay the same - everything should come out OK.

                                                2. s
                                                  sueatmo RE: janniecooks May 19, 2012 06:15 PM

                                                  14 oz is the new pound until the 12 oz package comes out.

                                                  1. c
                                                    cantkick RE: janniecooks May 20, 2012 04:11 AM

                                                    Would you rather what Mars Candy did a couple months ago? They very publicly announced that they were shrinking their candy bars - Snickers, Milky Way, etc. - because they were trying to improve the health of their customers. Of course they didn't shrink the price.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: cantkick
                                                      j
                                                      JudiAU RE: cantkick May 22, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                      All and all, probably a positive change.

                                                      1. re: cantkick
                                                        lynnlato RE: cantkick May 22, 2012 04:49 PM

                                                        Do people really eat whole candy bars anymore? I never see anyone walking around eating a Snickers, Milky Way, etc. Maybe I live in a bubble though. Most folks here eat protein or healthy granola-type bars or miniature candy bars at the most.

                                                        1. re: lynnlato
                                                          bagelman01 RE: lynnlato May 23, 2012 11:15 AM

                                                          absolutely, just ask my 15 or 23 year old, my wife or MIL. They all hit Walgreen's yesterday cause snickers, musketeer and milky way were 2/$1, spent $20 for 40 bars. But you won't see them walking around eating them. Choclate is too messy for that. They eat them while sitting at home or in the car or in class (the 15 year old that is)

                                                          For her birthday in February the 15 yaer old rec'd a 5 pund Hershey bar, she was thrilled.

                                                          1. re: lynnlato
                                                            LMAshton RE: lynnlato Jan 18, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                            We buy the mini chocolate bars - the ones that are a couple of inches long by an inch wide. And we still sometimes share one.

                                                        2. eclecticsynergy RE: janniecooks May 22, 2012 12:22 AM

                                                          I'd been waiting for some crafty marketer to tell us that they're really doing it for our own good....

                                                          Wish I'd saved a letter my bank sent me a few years back telling me that for my convenience they were shutting down the branch here on the corner and making me bank at another branch a mile across town. For MY convenience! Right.

                                                          "In order to better serve our customers we have eliminated our customer service department. Please press 1 to return to the main menu..."

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                                            CindyJ RE: eclecticsynergy May 22, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                            "Your call is important to us. Your estimated hold time is 47 minutes."

                                                            1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                                              n
                                                              nitekatt2008 RE: eclecticsynergy Jan 18, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                              Soon, we will see an ad, "half dozen" on sale for $, get the pack home, you find 5 items. Words changed around and haven't a definite meaning anymore. The only thing I can see is to alert the seller and request going back to standard sizes and content, same price or find competitive alternates that offer the products at the old standard at the original cost.

                                                              1. re: nitekatt2008
                                                                g
                                                                GH1618 RE: nitekatt2008 Jan 18, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                                No, packages are labelled with their correct weight, even when the package size is reduced. The units haven't changed.

                                                            2. h
                                                              helou RE: janniecooks May 22, 2012 05:43 AM

                                                              One of my favorites is Quaker Oatmeal. Years ago the printed recipe on the round box for a single serving had 1/3 cup of oats. I even have a blue measuring cup, embossed with the Quaker logo, that was part of a promotion all those years ago.
                                                              Somewhere along the way they changed the recipe to 1/2 cup of oats per single serving. what a clever way to ge people to use up the product more quickly.

                                                              And don't even get me started on tuna fish! When I got married the standard can had 7 1/2 ounces for the solid white albacore. They inched it down, down, down, keepint the can itself about the same size. Then the downsized the can to the 5 oz. it has today. Costco still sells a 7 oz. can, but even that's not the 7 1/2 it used to be.

                                                              1. Kajikit RE: janniecooks May 25, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                Depends where you go. Bacon is down to 12oz in most brands. Eventually they'll have to relent and introduce a new 'larger size' again, but for now things just keep on shrinking...

                                                                1. rcspott RE: janniecooks May 25, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                                  More than price/profit the shrinking of packaging gets my goat more for the fact of increased waste in our landfills. Best Foods Mayo, "the quart" size is 30oz now instead of the 32oz it was for ever. Every sixteen jars or so another is needed . I know some of it gets recycled but the production, trucking and disposal, all this energy consumption drives me crazy.

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: rcspott
                                                                    paulj RE: rcspott May 25, 2012 08:38 PM

                                                                    You could always switch to an organic mayo in a 16oz glass jar!

                                                                    1. re: rcspott
                                                                      PHREDDY RE: rcspott May 26, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                      you are so correct....never thought of that......

                                                                      1. re: rcspott
                                                                        paulj RE: rcspott May 26, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                                        Why should the cost of more smaller bottles bother you any more than it bothers the mayo maker? They are the ones who have to pay the cost of production and shipping. Admittedly they don't pay the cost of disposal.

                                                                        By the way, how much does an empty 30oz bottle weigh? How does it compare with a 32oz? compared to the full item?

                                                                        And if energy cost is so significant, why does anyone make 16oz or 8oz squeeze bottles of anything? Why don't we all buy 1 gallon bottles of the stuff? I've seen mayo in many different sizes - 1 gallon, 64 oz, 48oz, 32, 30,28, and on down.

                                                                        1. re: paulj
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                                                                          GH1618 RE: paulj May 26, 2012 01:21 PM

                                                                          In a restaurant, many years ago, mayo came in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box. It must have been about five gallons. That was pretty efficient packaging.

                                                                          1. re: GH1618
                                                                            coll RE: GH1618 May 26, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                            Still comes that way, except in a plastic bucket and you can reuse the bucket for other storage needs. And it is 5 gallons vs 4 single gallons in a regular case for only maybe 50 cents more. For some reason, only the biggest users go for it.

                                                                            1. re: coll
                                                                              paulj RE: coll May 26, 2012 03:11 PM

                                                                              I have several 1 gallon plastic jars that I scrounged from a commercial kitchen some years ago. They are pretty handy for storing things like dog food.

                                                                              We didn't worry about energy costs years ago when mayo came in heavy glass jars, and lids had paper liners, which didn't lend them to multiple uses. The plastic jars now have plastic lids, but it isn't a particularly useful storage size or shape, regardless of whether it is 32 or 30 oz.

                                                                              There's no reason a food package has to be a particular size. Convention, history, convenience, usage rate, storage space, production costs all play a role, both in the sizes that the manufacturer offers, and sizes the consumer chooses.

                                                                          2. re: paulj
                                                                            rcspott RE: paulj May 26, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                                            "They are the ones who have to pay the cost of production and shipping."

                                                                            Really?

                                                                            1. re: rcspott
                                                                              paulj RE: rcspott May 26, 2012 09:07 PM

                                                                              Yes, production and shipping of the empty containers to their plant. Shipping of the full containers is covered by the distributor and retailer. With modern plastic bottles, engineered to minimize material costs, nearly all of the weight of the shipped mayo is mayo itself.

                                                                              An empty plastic 1/2 gallon juice bottle weights 2.87 oz.; a full bottle 73 oz (64 fl oz volume). So only 4% of the weight is plastic

                                                                        2. q
                                                                          Querencia RE: janniecooks May 26, 2012 04:29 PM

                                                                          A supermarket chain in Chicago advertised (in its newspaper ad) "a 12-oz pint of blueberries". How stupid do they think we are? And, janniecooks, please feel perfectly free to rant. Have you checked out your half-gallon ice cream package lately?

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Querencia
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                                                                            GH1618 RE: Querencia May 26, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                                            That's a "dry pint." A pint always contains 16 fluid ounces, but the weight will vary. When a pint volume is filled with a dry product such as blueberries, the weight will be less than a pound. A pint of blueberries probably does weigh close to 12 oz.

                                                                            http://www.blueberry.org/forms/forms-...

                                                                            We do this to keep European invaders confused.

                                                                            1. re: GH1618
                                                                              paulj RE: GH1618 May 26, 2012 09:11 PM

                                                                              A dry pint is defined in terms of cubic inches, and is actually a bit larger than a liquid pint.

                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_...

                                                                              Due to a difference in packing density, fruits and vegetables can vary widely in weight per volume, whether stated in pints or bushels (64 pints)
                                                                              http://www.pickyourown.org/info.htm

                                                                            2. re: Querencia
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                                                                              Fatboy_Slim RE: Querencia Jul 4, 2014 12:19 PM

                                                                              I just purchased 4 x 1 dry pint of blueberries and it only came out to an average of 10 oz. per pint :(

                                                                              1. re: Fatboy_Slim
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                                                                                GH1618 RE: Fatboy_Slim Jul 4, 2014 01:29 PM

                                                                                Do you mean 10 oz. of weight? The weight of a dry pint depends on what it is. Blueberries should be about 12 oz.

                                                                                1. re: GH1618
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                                                                                  Fatboy_Slim RE: GH1618 Jul 8, 2014 04:13 PM

                                                                                  Yes, 10 oz. of weight of blueberries per dry pint container. I poured the contents of all four 1 pint containers into a separate container and then weighed it all together to eliminate any random variations and it came out to 40 oz. weight total, so an average of 10 oz. weight per dry pint of berries.

                                                                                  I bought a couple more pints today, and got the same result.

                                                                                  So I don't know if the blueberries may have lost some moisture weight in transport, or if those pint containers were deliberately underfilled.

                                                                                  1. re: Fatboy_Slim
                                                                                    paulj RE: Fatboy_Slim Jul 8, 2014 06:06 PM

                                                                                    I wonder there's a difference in size between the 12oz/pt berries and the 10oz/pt ones. Larger ones won't pack as tightly, so could weigh a bit less.

                                                                                    Also the open pint baskets can vary in how full, or over full, they are.

                                                                                    1. re: paulj
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                                                                                      Fatboy_Slim RE: paulj Jul 8, 2014 08:07 PM

                                                                                      Don't know, never took notice.

                                                                                      The berries came in closed, lidded containers. There does appear to be a bit of clearance between the surface layer of berries and the lid. I wonder if that would make a difference? But a 14.3% difference seems like a lot.

                                                                            3. n
                                                                              nitekatt2008 RE: janniecooks Jan 18, 2013 11:42 AM

                                                                              The new 14 oz. "pint" size of such items including premium ice cream, sold at the same price is unacceptable IMHO. I personally refuse to buy any 14 oz. item and look for similar products that are 16 oz. The only way to stop the practice is not buy these products that have less content. If enough consumers follow this practice, perhaps manufacturers will rethink their marketing concepts. Just MHO thanks

                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                              1. re: nitekatt2008
                                                                                CindyJ RE: nitekatt2008 Jan 18, 2013 02:12 PM

                                                                                So the pint of ice cream is based on volume (16 oz. = 1 pint) and not weight (16 oz. = 1 pound). I have to admit, I've never paid enough attention to notice how much a pint of ice cream weighs. I hate the practice, though, of reducing the quantity of a product and using the same packaging. It's blatantly deceptive!

                                                                                1. re: nitekatt2008
                                                                                  The Professor RE: nitekatt2008 Jan 18, 2013 03:01 PM

                                                                                  Some bars/restaurants sell 'pints' of beer that fall short of measure as well. The practice is becoming fairly rampant.

                                                                                  Next time you order a 'pint' of, say, Sam Adams and especially if it is delivered in one of their pointless and goofy branded glasses, just know that you'r probably getting closer to 12 or 13 oz rather than a full pint.

                                                                                  Even the "shaker" pint glasses used by some bars are actually "cheater" pints designed to hold several ounces less.

                                                                                  1. re: The Professor
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                                                                                    nitekatt2008 RE: The Professor Jan 18, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                                                    Yep, well the definition of a pint is 16oz. Perhaps the newer 14oz pint should be labeled pint modified for less content. Many consumers are not aware or have read labels to check on the weight or content of products they buy. I was fooled too until I started reading labels. For instance, premium ice cream pint containers look the same at 14oz as they did when they contained 16 oz. Crafty packing design and deception. This will continue and more content will be modified unless consumers speak up. This time next year the 14 oz pint might be labeled 12-13 oz. We have lived with a set of standard measurements and now that standard is continually being modified. Just MHO.

                                                                                    1. re: nitekatt2008
                                                                                      paulj RE: nitekatt2008 Jan 18, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                                      Can someone provide an image (own photo or link) of a product that is labeled as both '1 pint' and '14 oz' (or 414 ml)?

                                                                                      It is one thing to change from a 16oz container to a 14oz, labeled appropriately, and quite another to equate 1 pint with 14oz.

                                                                                      1. re: paulj
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                                                                                        GH1618 RE: paulj Jan 18, 2013 06:25 PM

                                                                                        There are none. This is a baseless complaint.

                                                                                    2. re: The Professor
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                                                                                      GH1618 RE: The Professor Jan 18, 2013 06:24 PM

                                                                                      As a frequenter of many watering holes over my moderately long life, I can't remember a patron worrying about the precise measure of a glass. If you order a Belgian or other European beer, it's likely to be served in a metric glass. I'm drinking a Warka right now — it comes in a 500 ml bottle.

                                                                                      1. re: GH1618
                                                                                        The Professor RE: GH1618 Jan 19, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                                                        Well, I don't obsess about it. But if I'm in an establishment where the barkeep gives me the choice of a 12oz glass or a pint (using those words) I don't think it's at all unreasonable to be a bit puzzled when the "pint" arrives and it is obviously 2-4 ounces less. These"cheater pint" glasses, by the way, are actually sold to bars and restaurants as a way to get more servings out of a keg of beer.

                                                                                        As I said, I don't obsess about it...but it does seem a bit misleading and dishonest to me. But maybe it's just me.
                                                                                        Your mileage may vary.

                                                                                        1. re: The Professor
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                                                                                          GH1618 RE: The Professor Jan 19, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                                                          I don't even hear the word "pint" much. Seems to me it's more of a British thing to order a "pint." I'm not sure what the common large glass is in my area. Maybe I'll ask my current barkeeper.

                                                                                          There's no reason why the ideal size of a glass of beer should be a pint, anyway. It's rather arbitrary. I think a US pint is a little large, and 14 oz about right.

                                                                                          1. re: GH1618
                                                                                            paulj RE: GH1618 Jan 19, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                                            The Imperial Pint is larger than the US.

                                                                                            Back in the Middle Ages, English bakers could be fined for selling underweight loaves.

                                                                                            1. re: paulj
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                                                                                              GH1618 RE: paulj Jan 19, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                                              I know, which is why I wrote "US pint." In the land of liberty, you can sell food in any size you please as long as it is accurately described. Europeans seem to be more uptight about standard sizes and units. There was a dustup a few years ago when the European Union objected to British pubs selling beer in pints. I think the EU relented on this, but in the US such a disagreement never happens.

                                                                                    3. re: nitekatt2008
                                                                                      monfrancisco RE: nitekatt2008 Jan 18, 2013 04:45 PM

                                                                                      Haagen Daazs (I probably didn't get my fake spelling correct, apologies) has been on embargo in my place for just this reason. However, I caved this morning due to a supermarket-card special deal that made the price about right for me. I'm not really proud of myself, and I hope it tastes good. Dilemmas!

                                                                                    4. m
                                                                                      masha RE: janniecooks Jan 18, 2013 02:46 PM

                                                                                      I recently noted that what had been 1 PT plastic containers of Deans Half & Half are now 14 oz. Nonetheless, a recent weekly circular of one supermarket was advertising a sale for 1 "Pint" of Deans. The quart containers are still 32 oz, but who knows for how long.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: masha
                                                                                        paulj RE: masha Jan 18, 2013 05:42 PM

                                                                                        http://www.deandairy.com/products.php...

                                                                                        on this Deans page, the Dean Chug half and half pint is still marked as 473 ml

                                                                                        1. re: paulj
                                                                                          m
                                                                                          masha RE: paulj Jan 18, 2013 06:05 PM

                                                                                          That may be but I've seen the 14 oz half & half containers at both Jewel and Caputo's in the Chicago suburbs.

                                                                                      2. j
                                                                                        janniecooks RE: janniecooks Jan 19, 2013 01:29 AM

                                                                                        The downsizing continues. My bag of coffee beans, once 16 ounces, then 13 ounces, now weighs in at a mere 11 ounces. The large bag of coffee beans I also regularly buy, formerly 3 pounds, now weighs 2.5 pounds.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: janniecooks
                                                                                          n
                                                                                          nitekatt2008 RE: janniecooks Jan 19, 2013 05:14 PM

                                                                                          True, my expresso cans were 16, 14, now 12 oz. Same can, same price, or perhaps a bit higher. The pint measure is really not related to beer pubs per say, only to consumer food products. It will be an ongoing debate of what consumers expect in content, quality and competitive pricing which will establish a marketing set of standards. For some it's an issue, for others, not so much. But for the current trend, I look for products with the original standard measurements, 16 oz, pound, gallon, yard, etc.

                                                                                        2. Bryan Pepperseed RE: janniecooks Jan 19, 2013 03:34 AM

                                                                                          Look on the bright side: since (if we're to believe the packaging) one roll of paper towels is now really two rolls, perhaps 16 oz packages will reappear as a "mega-pound".

                                                                                          1. coll RE: janniecooks Jan 20, 2013 03:17 AM

                                                                                            There's a big uproar on Facebook right now that Subway's one foot heroes are only 11 inches. They are apparently trying to hide the fact that they cut back on the meat portions. Lots of photos with rulers on top of the sandwich. Buyer beware!

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: coll
                                                                                              PHREDDY RE: coll Jan 20, 2013 05:46 AM

                                                                                              Coll....their response was typical..."Footlong" is a trademark and is only a "nominal" description....of course they cut back simply to make more money....The concept of that big sandwhich, and a cost of only $5.00 created more traffic for them and then they eventually weaned the menu to include only a few select footlong items, some of their other footlong sandwhiches are now $5.50, $6.00 etc.

                                                                                              Perhaps they should go back to a smaller size sandwhich and again focus on a healthy ,alternative to the other fast food chains.....

                                                                                              I have always had one question, if you can freely refill your drink @ Subway as many times as you like, why would you order a large?

                                                                                              1. re: PHREDDY
                                                                                                coll RE: PHREDDY Jan 20, 2013 07:00 AM

                                                                                                Probably so you can get it to go and not have to smell that stinky smell that permeates their store!

                                                                                              2. re: coll
                                                                                                Jay F RE: coll Jul 8, 2014 05:19 PM

                                                                                                How can you cut back on the meat portions at Subway and still have something to sell?

                                                                                              3. s
                                                                                                sandylc RE: janniecooks Jul 8, 2014 06:40 PM

                                                                                                So, I bought an 8-oz bag of dried beans and wanted to use half of it for a recipe. My scale was out, so I threw some into a bowl on the scale and weighted out 4 oz.

                                                                                                Well...I looked at the bowl and looked at the bag, and they didn't seem like equal amounts. So I threw all of the beans into the bowl and weighed them.

                                                                                                Seven and three-quarters ounces. A quarter ounce short. Only about 19 beans to me, but quite a savings to a large company to short every bag by a quarter ounce.

                                                                                                Sigh.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: sandylc
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                                                                                                  GH1618 RE: sandylc Jul 8, 2014 07:12 PM

                                                                                                  Have you calibrated your scale?

                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618
                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                    sandylc RE: GH1618 Jul 8, 2014 07:22 PM

                                                                                                    I check it periodically.

                                                                                                  2. re: sandylc
                                                                                                    g
                                                                                                    GH1618 RE: sandylc Jul 8, 2014 08:28 PM

                                                                                                    There are several factors to be considered:

                                                                                                    1. Weight is checked for a lot.  Reasonable variation is allowed within a lot.  The average package weight within a lot is what matters.

                                                                                                    2. Additional variation is allowed when moisture content can vary.  Dry beans can lose or gain weight with changes in humidity.

                                                                                                    3. Even disregarding variation due to moisture loss, an individual package which is 3% under the marked weight is within the maximum allowed variation.

                                                                                                    See this document from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):

                                                                                                    http://www.nist.gov/pml/wmd/pubs/uplo...

                                                                                                    See Table 2.5. Maximum Allowable Variations (MAVs) for Packages Labeled by Weight on page 98.

                                                                                                    I suggest you buy a case of beans and check the weight before making an accusation of short weight.

                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618
                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                      sandylc RE: GH1618 Jul 8, 2014 08:38 PM

                                                                                                      Excellent information. Thank you.

                                                                                                      It WAS a short weight - not an accusation of one.

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