When I got my $.99 Peter Pan peanut butter at Festival last night I noticed it wasn't an 18 oz. container. I did a little research and I haven't been paying attention for too long... peanut butter packages shrunk over a year ago! This week Piggly Wiggly has Skippy for $1.49 which isn't a great price and it's made worse by the fact that it is, again, the smaller 16.3 ounce jar.
Companies are trying to cut back and save money. I understand that. Instead of raising prices (which might affect customer loyalty) they lower package sizes and hope customers don't notice. What I don't agree with is the deceptive practices, like making the jar appear the same size while using an large indent in the bottom of the jar to reduce the amount inside. Did you ever notice the manufacturers are always more than happy to point out when a package has "33% more" or "25% more free" but no one points out that containers are now "15% smaller"?
Then manufacturers make up lame excuses for reducing the size. Tropicana says they decreased the size of their juice container so it "poured easier with less spillage and less gurgling." Kraft Foods said they downsized Chips Ahoy cookies to offset the cost of a new package that keeps cookies fresher longer. Well, frankly, I'm sure most people are more concerned about cost than gurgling or special packaging. But maybe I'm out of touch.
Downsized packaging might be a good reason to take a few minutes to send an email to a company and let them know you aren't happy about the change. Who knows what excuse they will give you for the decrease but along with their response you might get a couple coupons to make it worth your time.
No matter what the reason for the decrease in size is, we as consumers have to continue to pay attention to prices, especially unit prices. Buying groceries is a game and it's two against one, us against the manufacturers and stores.
Have you notice any shrinking packages lately?
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