Researcher Unearths Proof Of Grocery Shrink Ray From 1977

Lest you think the Grocery Shrink Ray, which reduces the size of a food product but leaves the price intact (or even makes that price increase), is a product of the Internet Age, here is evidence showing the Shrink Ray’s pernicious effects from 35 years ago.

Consumerist reader Clinton discovered the above AP story in an archived copy of the Tri-City Herald.

As you can see, the Shrink Ray — though its true name was not known at the time — was being put to use on various Hershey products, as the company reduced the size of its candy bars by an average of 12.8%.

Furthermore, “There is a distinct possibility that we may have to increase our prices with the result that our standard bar will have to sell for 25 cents or more in most retail outlets,” the Hershey chairman declared.

Interestingly enough, at some point between 1977 and the present day, Hershey Bars got slightly bigger. At the time, they were being reduced from 1.2 oz. to 1.05 oz. The current Hershey Bar weighs in at 1.55 oz, but it has also gotten more expensive. Even in bulk boxes of 36, you’ll pay anywhere from $.55 to more than $1 per bar.