Grocery Shrink Ray Is Reversed, Called A Bonus

CCM just sent us a photo she snapped of these Mission Soft Flour Tortillas. It’s kind of cool to see that in this age of the shrink ray, a company is actually giving you more bang for your buck. Except that in this case, the two added tortillas used to be there until a year or so ago.

This is a picture of Mission Soft Flour Tortillas (Medium size), which are the tortillas my husband has used for years for his Doggos. About a year ago, they were hit by the Grocery Shrink Ray – we were still paying for the 10-tortilla package, but it now came with only eight tortillas. It actually made my husband mad enough to try to find another brand, but none of them were exactly what he wanted – so we went back to them, grudgingly.

And look! Now they are generously providing us with *TWO* extra tortillas, bringing the total back up to 10! It’s kind of like daylight savings, I guess – you’re so happy to get the hour back you don’t notice it was the same one that was stolen from you back in the Spring.

Oh well, at least they didn’t call it a “super size” package and raise the price.

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  1. Donathius says:

    Ummm…hooray for getting the amount that we’re actually paying for?

  2. sir_pantsalot says:

    Getting extra Mission tortillas is not a bonus but a punishment. Paper towels have more flavor and are more pliable than mission tortillas.

    • jklug80 says:

      @sir_pantsalot: Generally the food you put IN the torilla has the flavor. Most tortillas have little flavor.

      • KyleOrton says:

        @jklug80: Real tortillas are awesome. I was just about to ask for some mail order or good suggestions.

        I have a favorite restaurant in the San Diego Mission District that I love hitting up on business trips. I could eat nothing but tortillas.

      • probablykate says:

        @jklug80: I have to agree with you with flour tortillas. Corn tortillas is where it’s at.

      • cerbie says:

        @jklug80: you need to get some real tortillas. They should smell like hominy, but stronger, and are all kinds of awesome. I just bought some today, and some beans soaking for tomorrow.

        @yasth: something locally made, less than a week old, if possible.

    • yasth says:

      @sir_pantsalot: What actually is a good brand of Tortilla, I have just been going to the Hispanic section, and grabbing whatever was cheap, with as much Spanish as possible.

      • firemunkie says:

        @yasth: exquisita tortillas or don pedro tortillas. i dont know if they are available in your area as they seem to be local companys even tho walmart and heb carry them.

        those are the closest i can find to “homemade” but they still pale in comaparison to moms or grandmas

      • ludwigk says:

        @yasth: We’re far from being experts in mexican cuisine, but my friends and I really like the Guerrero “Tortillas de Harina Fresqui-Ricas”. They’re ‘fresh’ style tortillas that are like half-baked, and require a quick pan-fry, or possibly a steam, to bring to life and eat. These might be in the refrigerated section in some grocery stores.

        We also like them because they say “Fresqui-Ricas” on them, which we enjoy saying even though we don’t know what it means. I usually get the mission brand ‘paper towel’ variety because they last forever in the fridge, but a “Fresqui-Ricas” tortilla quesadilla is hard to beat!

        • veg-o-matic says:

          @ludwigk: I think I’ve had those, they were good! No dairy or lard either! God I wish I could find fresh tortillas like that around here. Outside of actually freshmade, they really are the best.

          “Fresqui-Ricas” is a combination of two words meaning fresh and delicious. Actually, I think you could translate it as “freshilicious.”

          Fun fact: Guerrero, which makes those freshilicious tortillas, is owned by none other than horrible-maker Mission Foods.

          • ludwigk says:

            @veg-o-matic: “fresh-a-licious”? Really? OMG, I’m going to buy some more for that reason alone!

            “Fry, I know those cookies are freshalicious, but they produce an awful lot of trash”

            Guerro is owned by Mission, a subsidiary of Gruma Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gruma S.A. of which, Archer Daniels Midland owns a 27-29% share.

            Archer Daniels Midland is the largest recipient of government credits and subsidies, and is basically responsible for ethanol being added to gasoline. If you think about it for even a couple minutes, huge conglomerate multinational agribusiness corporations will scare your pants off.

      • FightOnTrojans says:

        @yasth: If your local store carries it, you should try the “Diana’s” brand. Their plant is here in my home city, so we get their stuff really fresh. Aside from my mother’s, grandmother’s and a few restaurants, these are some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

        [www.dianasnet.superpageshosting.com]

        Also, the Costcos around here (LA area) carry a “cook-it-yourself” tortilla. When my mom is feeling lazy, she uses those, and they taste really good.

        [chowhound.chow.com]

      • HeartBurnKid: Agent of R.O.A.C.H. says:

        @yasth: Trader Joe’s tortillas are nice. Then again, Trader Joe’s anything is nice.

        • ludwigk says:

          @HeartBurnKid: Agent of R.O.A.C.H.: I’d have to disagree. Some TJ’s stuff is not that nice. Their canned tomato products are hit/miss, and their Naan is atrocious.

          I can’t tell you how many hours I spent making red sauces and pizza sauces using their canned tomato products with mediocre results. I made dozens of batches of sauce, tweaking ingredients, trying different recipes. I tried roasting them, modifying their acidity and pH, adding wine, balsamic vinegar, more fresh herbs, different olive oils. This went on for almost two years! I developed this complex – I thought I couldn’t make a decent tomato sauce to save my life. I thought that I was doing something wrong and that my food suffered as a result, and I all but stopped making home-made pizza. Clearly, I take cooking far too seriously, but that’s a whole other topic.

          Finally, I went out and bought half a dozen other brands of tomatoes, and, as it turned out, it was all about the canned tomatoes I was using. It was an epiphany, nothing short of a life-changing moment. Stupid, I know, but I thought that with enough coaxing, and enough technique, I could get great results with any canned tomato. What I really needed was to upgrade my pantry.

          So, TL:DR – Trader Joes Canned Tomatoes almost ruined my life. In reality, I’m still awesome.

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      @sir_pantsalot:

      Eh? They’re among the softest, most pliable tortillas you can buy in a supermarket. (Won’t contest the flavorless part, though…they are pretty bland)

      Try heating them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

    • cuchanu says:

      @sir_pantsalot: Now with 20% more bonus hydrogenated oils!

      You can get good flour tortillas at costco in the freezer. You just cook them yourself and they are great tasting. Or, even better, learn how to make your own corn tortillas out of masa. It’s easy although it takes some time.

  3. wrjohnston91283 says:

    Let’s discuss the fact that they are being used for “doggos”. What ever happened to just eating cold hot dogs out of the package?

    • Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

      @wrjohnston91283:

      It is still being done. They already are fully cooked, after all!

    • TechnoDestructo says:

      @wrjohnston91283:

      Microwave ovens happened.

    • calquist says:

      @wrjohnston91283: I learned of cold hot dogs as an awesome ‘snack’ at my friend’s house. When my mom saw me doing it once, she had such a cow that I was convinced I was going to die of hepatitis. I now prefer my hotdogs super burnt on the grill.

      • redskull says:

        @calquist: We used to eat plain cold hotdogs when I was a kid, until my sister got one lodged in her windpipe. A chunk of hot dog makes a highly effective airway plug. After that mom always cut them up before giving them to us.

  4. Joewithay says:

    I remember Fritos had a similar thing. “Now 20% more Free!”

  5. MostlyHarmless says:

    On an off-topic but a meta note, is Consumerist getting the new comments upgrade that Lifehacker and Gizmodo are getting? Would be cool if they did.

    What say you?

  6. SexCpotatoes says:

    Maybe they did raise the price when it used to be smaller. I was looking at cookies the other day (for my mom to feed the grandkids). Now they are selling a TINY quarter of a full long plastic package for $1 for the generic walmart store brand, and a full sized package of cookies is like, $2.36. They used to be about a buck or a buck twenty-five for a huge pack of cookies. I refuse to pay inflated creme cookie prices!

    • tekkierich says:

      @SexCpotatoes:

      You have made some SAD grandkids. meany head

    • Stephmo says:

      @SexCpotatoes: It’s just their new marketing deal – they send coupons all the time through their newsletter and this was the message today:

      Now there’s even more to love about some of your favorite Mission tortillas. We’ve added two extra tortillas to each package of Medium Flour Tortillas, while packages of Small Flour Tortillas now include four extra tortillas. Customers in the North Central U.S. can also enjoy two extra tortillas in packages of Mission Caseras. These are just a few more ways we’re helping you stretch your food dollar a little further.

  7. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    Good thing there was a hyperlink on “Doggos” – since I had never heard of them before! (But, now, I want to go make myself some!)

    Question: do Doggos get ketchup and mustard on them like regular hot dogs, or taco sauce like tacos?

  8. Starfury says:

    The best way to get tortillas is to find a local shop that makes their own. They’ll be cheaper and better tasting.

    Mission brand tortillas are not that good.

    And I’ve had a “doggo” but I boil the hot dog instead of microwaving it.

  9. Michael Robinson says:

    Doritos have been doing this for a while. Their bags say “20% more!” after months of the size going down, and the price going up.

  10. GreatCaesarsGhost says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with raising prices or reducing the size to match a previous price point. It’s necessary as costs rise. The problem is when businesses try to hide the reduction by keeping the same package size.

    People understand that prices rise over time, but will always be offended by attempts to trick them.

    • frank64 says:

      @GreatCaesarsGhost: I don’t like it when my can of tuna makes 1 1/2 sandwiches though!

    • morlo says:

      @GreatCaesarsGhost: Necessary to reduce the size? Inflation is constant, and with time the contents of the package would approach zero. It’s true that without an increase in wages it is inevitable that we should begin to starve, but it will be somewhat offensive to have a kitchen filled with shiny packages, yet have nothing to eat.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Still not as bad as the ice cream companies. A “half gallon” of ice cream has shrunk to 1.5 quarts on some packages while the price has remained the same or even gone up. Just last week I saw one advertised as “bonus” because it’s “half gallon” now had 1.75 quarts instead of 1.5

  12. PillowTalk says:

    Argh, I hate these grocery shrink ray articles. The value of goods in our society is way off, we demand cheaper prices for things that are already priced a too low, and we’re frankly spoiled by it. The prices of clothing, and food, shouldn’t be this cheap – it causes a breakdown along the entire production line, forces people into below-minimum-wage labour, produces sub-par food and contributes (unshockingly) to lax standards that can lead to food poisoning breakouts.

    In order for things to get a little better, like people demand, we need to pay more. This is also ignoring that many companies are struggling to still exist in this economy, and in order to still make profit they have two choices: sacrifice quality, or quanitity. I’ll take that latter. But I’m getting sick of people getting pissed that yes, they may have to pay more for less if they still want the items they know & love to even exist (especially since they were being spoiled with a great bounty of cheap food before).

    • morlo says:

      @PillowTalk: Please feel free to send a donation to companies that underprice their goods. There are 40 million Americans who receive food stamps, and even average income families can have difficulty affording food. Food and clothing markeups are on the order of 500-1000% percent, so they are by no means cheap, except to those for whom money is no object.

      You are deluded if you think that paying more will increase food safety or wages. Every cent will go to increasing profits, if not to lobby/bribe government to break unions and relax regulations.

    • Michael Robinson says:

      @PillowTalk: I don’t mind the shrinking or the pricing, but they need to be honest about it.

  13. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @MostlyHarmless: I hope not, after the upgrade my work pc now blocks comments on Deadspin. I don’t want to lose another productivity hampering site.

  14. Pop Socket says:

    Ten is the standard package for all the brands of tortillas, so obviously their shrink ray ploy didn’t take. Now if only we could get ice cream ‘half gallons’ back up from 1.5 to 1.75 quarts.

  15. AngryEddy says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: I’m in the same boat. No need to ruin Consumerist for me too!

  16. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Wow… how did this delicacy elude me for so many years?? I love hot dogs and manwich… this could be the start of a wonderful, weight-gaining friendship. (with sour cream, of course….)

  17. wheresmymind says:

    So basically, a couple years ago they responded to increases in fuel and commodity prices by reducing the amount of product per package, instead of increasing the price of their product. Now that the prices of fuel/commodities have stabilized somewhat, they’re increasing the amount of product rather than decreasing their price. And they’re advertising that on the packaging. How dare them…

  18. JulesNoctambule says:

    @MostlyHarmless: I hope not; the ‘upgrade’ comes across as unwieldy and cumbersome so far.

  19. razremytuxbuddy says:

    If this reverse shrink ray catches on, maybe Kibbles and Bits will add a 20% bonus to the bag of dog food, bringing the weight back up to 50lbs. Oh, and drop the price $6, back to what it was a year ago.

    Of all the things I’m paying more for than a year ago, the % increase in dog food price, plus the 20% product shrinkage, is the most outrageous.

  20. JulesNoctambule says:

    @MostlyHarmless: Because the internet needs more popularity contests!

    Seriously, though, it’s horribly clunky and the greyed-out comments of non-cool-kids makes things amazingly difficult for myopic me to read. I like to read the comments more than the articles sometimes, and I know this will lead to fewer pageviews from me.

    • MostlyHarmless says:

      @JulesNoctambule: Yeah, and I absolutely detest how the comments are now half-columned. Its unsettling. So are the huge stubs of related articles.

      Though seriously, they have an edit button. AN EDIT BUTTON I TELL YOU!

  21. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    They already did that with Doritos. Down to 10 oz from 12, then “NOW 12 Oz.” !!!

  22. Michael Belisle says:

    This is how the game is played, ladies and gentlemen. It’s just like a liquidation sale: raise all the prices to MSRP, then advertise the “deals” as 50% off. I know there are other examples, but I think it boils down to keeping the product in the consumer’s mind by rearranging the deck chairs regularly.

    I hope they apply the “33% more!” magic to ice cream soon. I switched to the store brand because 1.5 quarts is a pathetic size. Perhaps it’s time to send a nastygram letter to Breyer’s.

    • nybiker says:

      @Michael Belisle: My ‘letter’ to Breyer’s said in so many words: I am no longer buying your product. Ok, so I didn’t actually send them a letter. I just haven’t bought their product ever since I discovered why a half-gallon didn’t last as long as it used to last. And it wasn’t because I was eating a larger quantity of it at every sitting, no, it was because the package shrunk to less than 64 ounces (and the price either stayed the same or even went up).

      I also waiting for Utz & Wise to bring back their normal size bags of potato chips. I keep feeling like a glutton if I buy 2 bags of 3.75 or 4.0 ounces each just to get what was a normal amount of chips years ago. And that’s one part of the GSR problem. Yeah, prices increase – we understand that. But, as has been said before, recipes & habits were developed that were based on a non-changing quantity for a given item – the 1/2 gallon & pints of ice cream being 2 perfect examples.

  23. Bryan_E says:

    It is all a marketing game based on psychology. Reduce the size of the product for a while. People will be upset but will still more than likely buy it anyways. Then increase the size to the original size and call it “free” or “bonus”. This will make your returning buyers happy and bring in new buyers because they think they are getting a deal.

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    As you can imagine, it requires that you leave your home computer up and running.