Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Here's What I Don't Get

We as consumers have been getting screwed on portions for quite a few years now.  You know, where they push up the bottom of your hummus container in the middle to make it look like a full 8 oz when they give you six.  Or when we recently discovered that the toothpaste we buy went down from 7.8 ounces to 5.8 ounces.  REALLY!?  Two whole ounces of cavity fighting goodness robbed out of my tube!?  I get it...life is tough all around when you're trying to do tricky marketing without letting your consumer knowing you're robbing them blind.  However there is something with this downsizing phenomenon that I don't understand.  I don't know if any of you saw this video way back when, with BJ Novak of The Office on the Conan show with my beloved Cadbury eggs.  (I want to apologize in advance for the HORRIBLE quality but it's the only one I could find.  Go in to about the 1 minute 30 second mark...its okay, I'll wait.  You don't even need to have sound on to get the picture.)

Cadbury Conspiracy

Alright, now I've seen Cadbury Eggs go down in size so the calories should do the same right?  The old Cadbury Eggs were 150 calories.  The new eggs are 170 calories.  Say WHAT!?  How am I getting less product for more calories!?  I'm seeing the same thing with other candy bars and even our beloved Trader Joe's is getting in on the shrinking product act without shrinking the calories with our cereal bars.  Can someone explain this to me?  I suppose the manufacturers could be putting more sugar or something but I'll take less sugar/fillers/fairy dust for less calories in a smaller product please.

Which of your favorite products have downsized on the down low?

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15 comments:

  1. I knew those eggs were smaller. I thought I was just getting greedier!

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  2. I've been noticing the same thing happening. In fact there are a few items that I've stopped buying or changed brands due to this. Yesterday I could have given a lecture complete with samples, but now that someone has asked me to share I can't think of anything specific. Let's hear it for the human brain and all it's funky obstinate-ness.

    It seems like everything from cereal, to laundry soap, to trash bags are shrinking. The price is going up. And now the calories are too?

    Maybe they have better calorie determining tools now? Those items always had that many calories but the technology wasn't all that accurate?

    Yeah - I know I'm just makin' stuff up.

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  3. Fortunately for me, I'm not fond of candy, at least the commercial kind. We won't talk about homemade fudge. But I'm old enough to remember when a standard can of vegetables was 16 oz, and now they're 14.5.

    My biggest gripe is when what looks like a single-serving package is actually 2, something I often miss in a quick perusal for calories. They should at least be made to print that in a bigger font for those of us whose eyes aren't getting any younger!

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  4. M&M Mars just announced that they are doing away with king/sharable size of all their products and limiting it to a 250 calories max. ARG! J loves peanut M&Ms and ocasionally we'll have a movie weekend at home and i'll buy a bag for us to share (because duh, theyre sharable). At wallyworld the single serve is 79 while the sharable is 1.29... so now those candy mother truckers are making me either share a tiny bag with J (which is definately out) or spend 20 more cents (and losing the romantic feeling of sharing a bag of m&ms with my love) so people who cant practice self control and moderation can be controlled.

    ARG!

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  5. Most recently I noticed in my Canadian grocery store that the box of pasta I normally buy at 454g has been repackaged at 375g but costs the same. I wrote to the company and they replied with something to the effect of, "costs have gone up, it's what we had to do to keep the same price". The packaging is almost identical. The only way I knew about the change is I had an older box in my pantry.

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  6. Bar Soap! I don't use the stff, prefering a body wash, but I buy it for hubby. I guess body wash isn't manly enough for him. A few years ago they changed the shape of the Dial soap bar and now it is not flat on the bottom but has a huge curved bottom. Not only does that mean LESS soap, but it won't stay on the soap tray in the shower. Coffee has gotten much smaller, those used to be 3-lb. cans, they're much smaller than that now. Did you hear Mars/M&M is not going to make any candy bar with more than 250 calories any more? So there goes the super-sized Snickers. I suppose that will give them an excuse to make their regular candy bars smaller too, but of course you won't see a price decrease!

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  7. Wow - the whole smaller size but bigger calories really is baffling. Maybe someone will sue and we'll find out the truth because that seems to be the only way companies ever own up to anything! LOL

    I think when I really noticed it was when a half gallon of ice cream was no longer a half gallon, but yet still looked the same on the outside! A-HA! The try to fool us all the time...

    I do appreciate that they are trying to keep costs "the same", but ultimately it's just trickery because the price ISN'T the same. You're paying more because you are getting less and it is deceptive to boot! If you're going to do it, be up front about it at the very least. You always see special packaging along the lines of "20% more!" because it's a good thing. Let's start seeing packaging that says "Same great price, 20% LESS!" Suckahs...

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  8. I've noticed this with SO many things I can't keep up! I get the whole economy and needing to make a buck... I just wish they'd be upfront about it. What bothers me more of late, is that I'm not sure we can trust product nutritional labels anymore (if we ever could). I've found several discrepancies on labels of products I use regularily... you can't have hydrogenated anything in the ingredients and have 0 trans fats, for instance; or have a significant carb count with no carbs in the ingredients. I really do think these things need to be standardized... right now producers see it as a big game to keep us buying, rather than an issue of integrity. Until that happens, I'm not sure there is anything we can trust.

    (now I sound like some sort of conspiracy theorist, LOL)

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  9. Eddie's yogurt has gotten smaller while the price has risen.

    I haven't noticed anything else though.

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  10. See, I knew I wasn't the only one noticing those things. But the one that just gets me is how something smaller can be the same or more calories. Less should be less, period.

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  11. I guess I haven't noticed anything like this lately. Interesting that you bring it up, now I'll keep an eye out. Those eggs are the devil anyway! All their creamy goodness.... Dang it, why did you say Cadbury egg! LOL

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  12. Oh gosh, I love those eggs. And the ones with the crunchy shells too, which I can never seem to find anymore. Despite my love for them, I didn't notice that they were smaller! Or that they have more calories! Boo. :(

    This is a side rant, but Trader Joe's is the worst when it comes to portions. So many things are, like, 3 1/2 servings or something off the wall like that. And when you look at what a "portion" is, it's miniscule. I love a lot of their frozen foods, but I get so frustrated with this.

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  13. My fat free snack pack hunt chocolate puddings have been 80 calories ever since I have been buying them now today at store when I went to buy my monthly supply they are 90 calories ????? Wth???? I'm not worried about 10 calories but makes u wonder what else is not accurate.

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  14. How the heck did they get 20 more calories in that tiny egg?!?!?!???

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