Scope (?):  All Topics
Hot or Not?

Downsizing - Instead of raising prices, companies shrink products

submitted on January 15, 2011 by HouTex in "Products / Gadgets"
Downsizing — charging the same price for a lighter package — is a sneaky way to pass along a price increase, especially if the packaging looks the same to the consumer. And it isn’t a new practice: In 1959 a Consumer Reports reader survey found that deceptive packaging was highest on a list of topics that should be more fully covered.

But the troubled economy is speeding the shrinkage. Consumer Reports published a list of 10 examples in their October 2008 issue -

And the practice is continuing:
From toothpaste to tuna fish, hot dogs to hand soap, companies have been shaving ounces and inches from packaged goods for years, usually blaming it on rising costs for ingredients and energy. They've got a point: Higher commodity and fuel costs are expected to cause a spike in food prices by as much as 3 percent in 2011. But if manufacturers are skimping when costs go up, why aren't they more generous when costs hold steady or fall?

Jif peanut butter is the last major brand to remain at 18 oz. When rival Skippy reduced its 18-oz. jars to 16.3 oz. a few years ago, Jif remained the same.

Here are some more examples of downsizing, from the February 2011 issue of Consumer Reports
Ivory dish detergent
Old: 30 oz. -->New: 24 oz.

Tropicana Orange juice / Florida Natural Orange juice
Old: 64 oz. --> New: 59 oz.

Kraft American cheese singles slices
Old: 24 slices -- New: 22 slices

Kirkland Signature Paper Towels (Costco)
Old: 96.2 sq. ft. --> New: 85 sq. ft.

Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream
Old: 16 oz. --> New: 14 oz.

Scott toilet tissue
Old roll: 115.2 sq. ft. --> New roll: 104.8 sq. ft.

Angel Soft toilet tissue
Old roll: 352 sheets --> New roll: 300 sheets, more narrow

Lanacane First aid spray
Old: 113 grams --> New: 99 grams

Chicken of the Sea salmon
Old: 3 oz. --> New: 2.6 oz.

Classico pesto
Old: 10 oz. --> New: 8.1 oz.

Hebrew National Franks hot dogs
Old: 12 oz. --> New: 11 oz.

What can you do about it to save money?

1. Compare unit prices when you shop
2. Try a different brand or store brands instead
3. Stock up during sales
4. Buy in bulk
5. Complain to the company
1. Which would you prefer to do?
 Downsize the product to keep the price the same
 Pay more to keep the product size the same
 or See Results 


  • 96500
    2 1
    12 8 1
    Posted by sandyshore on January 15, 2011
    [reply] 4 0
    This practice makes me angry. I'd rather pay more in most instances than to shrink the amount in the same size packaging trying to make us think we are still buying what we used to buy. Even if I'm fooled in the aisle of the store, I sure know when I get it home and use the product. It also has made an impact on my time honored and trusted recipes I've had to convert them to differing amounts instead of 1 pkg of a certain product I now have to know the exact amounts to accomodate the shrinkage when it comes to baking in particular.

    I especially love when they tout weeks after changing a size to sometimes have more in the same package free when it is the same size you used to buy 6 weeks ago.
  • 96542
    23 14 8
    12 10 2
    Posted by CouponNut on January 15, 2011
    [reply] 2 0
    Coffee can sizes shrinking from 33 oz to 26 oz and the price is still the same!
  • 96544
    23 14 8
    12 10 2
    Posted by CouponNut on January 15, 2011
    [reply] 2 0
    I always check the sheet count of rolls of toilet paper, so far I find Angel Soft with 360 per roll at WalMart, good deal! Sometimes store brands will even have a higher sheet count for what they call a double roll.
  • 96580
    1 6 2
    11 4 1
    Posted by Solstice on January 15, 2011
    [reply] 5 0
    Honestly, for some of the foods it does not bother me.
    I probably eat heather by eating slightly less without even knowing it.
    Just trying to find the bright side of it. Smile
  • 96610
    Posted by HouTex on January 15, 2011
    [reply] 5 0
    Well, it does play havoc with recipes when a can of something has less ounces in it. It's not so much the price, as the inconvenience of changing how you prepare or serve something, especially if you don't realize it until you're ready to use the ingredients. Or if you're counting on having a certain number of things in a package to cover a group of people and you run short, it's embarrassing.
  • 96621
    9 5 2
    Posted by gabyperu on January 15, 2011
    [reply] 3 0
    What's next, shrinking the products to sample size? Mr Green
    • deby32953
      Posted by deby32953 on January 16, 2011 [reply] 0 0
      I live on all the free sample size products I get here. Haven't bought toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, etc. in 9 months!
  • 96706
    Posted by deby32953 on January 16, 2011 [reply] 0 0
    And that I get free w/coupons/Buck at Target, CVS, Walgreens & Walmart.

Leave a Comment (members Sign in to comment)


E-Mail (will not be published)

2 x 3 = ?


'Mr Green''Neutral''Twisted''Arrow''Eek''Smile''Confused''Cool''Evil''Big Grin''Idea''Red Face'



Browse by tags