The Grocery Shrink Ray: Quietly Stealing Our Food For Decades

The Grocery Shrink Ray: Quietly Stealing Our Food For Decades

The Grocery Shrink Ray is what we call it when the manufacturers of food and consumer goods make their products smaller––sometimes almost imperceptibly smaller––rather than raise prices. You know what it looks like: it’s why your toilet paper doesn’t quite fill the holder anymore, and why you don’t get as many servings of hot chocolate as you used to. We know that it’s been in action for decades, but is there proof? Yes: one need only turn to collectors of consumer ephemera like boxes and cans. [More]

Borden Shrink Rays Cheese Package, Forgets To Destroy The Evidence

Borden Shrink Rays Cheese Package, Forgets To Destroy The Evidence

Elsie the Cow, mascot of Borden brand products, is good at many things. She can give milk, apparently. She looks very pretty, and can smile in her official portraits, even though we’re pretty sure cows can’t actually smile. What she isn’t very good at is covering her tracks. When Borden recently Shrink Rayed their packages of cheese to seven ounces, Elsie forgot to destroy the evidence. [More]

Walmart Shells 4 Ounces From A Pound Of Store-Brand Pistachios

Walmart Shells 4 Ounces From A Pound Of Store-Brand Pistachios

Ernest likes to eat pistachios. He’s also a good consumer, checking unit prices and choosing the store brand of his favorite snack. When he picked up a bag at his local Walmart recently, he noticed that something was missing. About four ounces of pistachios, in fact. [More]

7 ounces of Sunchips. (Photo: Coyoty)

Sun Chips Bags Shrink From 10 Ounces To 7 Ounces, Price Stays The Same

Usually, we try to stay at the forefront of Grocery Shrink Ray news, letting you know when we learn that a company has reduced the size of a product while keeping the price the same. Frito-Lay has been rolling out a massive shrinkage of Sun Chips, zapping bags from 10 ounces to only 7 ounces. Removing a third of the chips by weight? Noooo! [More]

Right Guard Shrink Rays Aerosol Can By 15%

Right Guard Shrink Rays Aerosol Can By 15%

Bob currently works in China, and stocks up on his favorite deodorant, one that he isn’t allergic to, during his visits to the United States. Historically, a can of the stuff has lasted him a year. That’s not going to be the case anymore, since each 10-ounce can has lost 1.5 ounces. [More]

Pantene Changes Anti-Frizz Rhetoric, Removes 1.7 Ounces From Conditioner Bottle

Pantene Changes Anti-Frizz Rhetoric, Removes 1.7 Ounces From Conditioner Bottle

Jeremy picked up a bottle of Pantene conditioner during his recent trip to Walmart. They made some changes to the bottle and to the company’s promises about what their product does. The redesign also included trimming the bottle size just a tiny bit. [More]

Toilet Paper Started Out 4.5 Inches Square

Toilet Paper Started Out 4.5 Inches Square

Earlier this week we shared with you the tragic Shrink Raying of Walmart’s White Cloud toilet paper from 4.2 inches by 4 inches to 3.9 inches by 4 inches. Yes, that’s a pretty small difference, even if it does result in an obvious height difference when you set old and new rolls side by side. What you may not realize is that our modern rolls would look puny next to your grandparents’ toilet paper. [More]

Toilet Paper Shrink Ray Hits Walmart Brand Rolls

Toilet Paper Shrink Ray Hits Walmart Brand Rolls

Our soft yet absorbent colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports have great things to say about Walmart’s house-brand toilet papers, but maybe that’s because horizontal width isn’t a factor in their scoring. Reader Andrew sent along these photos comparing his previous and current packages of TP from Wally World, and found that a barely perceptible size decrease adds up to 30 fewer square feet per package of 18 rolls. [More]

This Oscar Mayer Turkey Is Spicier, And There’s Less Of It

This Oscar Mayer Turkey Is Spicier, And There’s Less Of It

Sure, extra spices really add something to a prepared food item. Do they add enough to justify making packages a whole ounce lighter? Well… in the case of this Oscar Mayer shaved turkey that got slightly spicier but lost an ounce, the answer is “probably not.” [More]

Laundry Shrink Ray Zaps Tide Slightly, Keeps Number Of Loads The Same

Laundry Shrink Ray Zaps Tide Slightly, Keeps Number Of Loads The Same

Can you shave a few milliliters off the amount of detergent that you use in every load of laundry and still get your clothes as clean? You probably can, but we’re curious after checking out this slight change in the amount of Tide detergent in a bottle while the number of loads per bottle remains unchanged. [More]

Grocery Shrink Ray Ladles Out 2.5 Ounces Of Del Monte Pasta Sauce

Grocery Shrink Ray Ladles Out 2.5 Ounces Of Del Monte Pasta Sauce

Del Monte recently redesigned its cans of pasta sauce. “New look, same great taste!” brags the label. Yes, the new label is bright and cheery, emphasizing fresh tomatoes. Very nice. Reader Joey spotted an older can on the shelf, though: one with two and a half ounces more of saucy goodness. [More]

Breakfast Shrink Ray: Chobani Yogurt, Special K Shave Off Weight

Breakfast Shrink Ray: Chobani Yogurt, Special K Shave Off Weight

When food companies need to work on their profit margin but don’t want to raise prices, they deploy the Grocery Shrink Ray. The Shrink Ray lets them charge the same amount for fractionally less food. Today, we have most of a Shrink Rayed breakfast: it’s been deployed on Kellogg’s Special K Protein cereal and Chobani yogurt cups. [More]

30 Tissues Disappear From Redesigned Kleenex Box At Costco

30 Tissues Disappear From Redesigned Kleenex Box At Costco

As we all know, Costco is the place to get the hottest deals on huge quantities of consumer goods. For example, you can buy a box of Kleenex tissues that contains 260 pieces. Which isn’t a very big quantity, come to think of it…but now it’s shrinking. [More]

Grocery Shrink Ray Shaves An Ounce Of Precious Vegetables From Reader’s Diet

Grocery Shrink Ray Shaves An Ounce Of Precious Vegetables From Reader’s Diet

Reader Jen admits that her diet is not perfect, but she does eat some vegetables. She enjoys buying Birdseye microwaveable frozen vegetables, the Steamfresh kind that cook right in the handy bag. Only the company has taken away a precious ounce of veggies by deploying the Grocery Shrink Ray on her veggie pouch of choice. [More]

Charmin Deploys Toilet Paper Sheet Shrink Ray, Slims Rolls Down

Charmin Deploys Toilet Paper Sheet Shrink Ray, Slims Rolls Down

Sad news, Halloween pranksters: if you want to decorate a neighbor’s house with toilet paper (say, if they hand you a letter calling you fat instead of candy or a cheap toy) the property might seem slightly less decorated than in the past. Why’s that? The TP sheet shrink ray.  [More]

Appearances Aren’t Deceptive: Axe Didn’t Shrink-Ray Hair Products

Appearances Aren’t Deceptive: Axe Didn’t Shrink-Ray Hair Products

It’s probably sad that we have to go out of our way and celebrate every time that a company redesigns a product’s packaging and doesn’t reduce the amount of product in the package while keeping the same price. Yet it’s a noteworthy enough occurrence that we like to call attention to and praise the companies that aren’t shaving a little or a lot off in the name of cost-cutting. [More]

Now I Get Less Paul Mitchell Hair Styling Product For More Money

Now I Get Less Paul Mitchell Hair Styling Product For More Money

JD uses a hair product. A tea tree oil-infused styling product from Paul Mitchell, to be precise, that he picks up at Supercuts. He recently got a new supply, but noticed something terrible when he picked it up. The price was slightly higher…and there was slightly less in the jar. It’s the Manly Hair Care Product Shrink Ray! [More]

Ghirardelli Shamelessly Removes 5.5 Ounces From Hot Chocolate Can

Ghirardelli Shamelessly Removes 5.5 Ounces From Hot Chocolate Can

We could feel Brian’s despair through the screen. How else should a person feel when they lose five ounces of Ghirardelli hot chocolate powder? “Downsized!” he wrote to us using the Consumerist tipster app. “Price stays same!” [More]