Banquet Foods wasn’t satisfied with reducing the size of their mac & cheese meals by a third, from 12 ounces to 8 ounces. They also increased the price, notes our reader Richard, who confirmed the price hike at both his local Seattle supermarket and at Walmart (although Walmart’s prices were lower in both versions). Funny, we thought the whole argument for the shrink ray was that it protected consumers from paying more.
Fork over your personal information and the Mars chocolate company will snail mail you a free coupon for one full-sized Mars candy bar in 6 weeks. We mentioned this in Morning Deals in May, it’s still going on, and will continue on Fridays through September. They’re calling it the “Real Chocolate Relief Act,” a tie-in to two different news stories: 1) Economic bailout plans and 2) Some corner-cutting candymakers not using 100% cocoa butter and putting more oil inside – a basterdization known as “mocklate.”
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.
Bryan, a longtime Naked Juice customer, noticed that that Strawberry Kiwi Kick brand he always bought had a different colored cap. He writes, “Alas, the ‘Kick’ is no more. Gone are the supplements, including plain ol’ Vitamin C. Strawberry Kiwi Kick is just fruit juice.” When he contacted them to complain, they responded that their “devotees” preferred it that way, and they sent him a coupon and a temporary tattoo. Because if there’s anything that says “we take your input seriously,” it’s a temporary tattoo. (Or maybe they’re trying to tell him what they expect of real devotees.)
Looks like the power of taurine, caffeine and glucuronolactone is no match for the Grocery Shrink Ray. Alert reader Denis sent us this side-by-side comparison of the new “large” Red Bull (left) and the old one. Original: 16.9 ounces. New, taller, thinner version: 16 ounces. We’re not sure when the Bull’s wings flew off with the remaining 0.9 ounces, but we already miss them. When it comes to caffeine (and glucuronolactone, of course), that bit can just make the difference between crashing on the couch, or sprinting into the office (or at least that’s our excuse, and we’re sticking with it).
When the cost of propane shot up to $1.70 or more per gallon last year, propane dealers quietly cut the amount they were putting into refilled tanks without telling customers. Now the cost of propane is under a dollar per gallon, but retailers aren’t increasing the amount back to previous levels.
Reader Dan noticed something different when buying a new can of formula for his daughter (at left.) Her delicious colic-preventing formula had been hit by the dread grocery shrink ray. Waaah!
1 pint = 16 fluid ounces — at least mathematically. In the ice cream world, however, there seems to be some shrinking going on.
With the the cost of ingredients, gas prices, and interest rates dropping, why are food manufacturers continuing to hike prices and shrink products? According to the L.A. Times, supermarkets don’t know, but they’re as pissed as we are.
A grocery growth ray is set to hit a popular condiment and several kinds of baked corn with names ending “tos.” To push the brands as being good values, Heinz will be selling slightly larger ketchup bottles, and Frito-Lay is adding 20% to Tostitos, Fritos, Cheetos and Doritos – without raising the price. Unlike the grocery shrink ray, you can bet this change will be loudly trumpeted on the package.
When Fosters-owned Cascade beer (different from regular Fosters in that it tastes decent) switched to 330ml from 375ml while charging the same price, consumers let their discontent be known in a highly visible fashion: they stopped buying it. Fosters reported a 33% drop in sales and some retailers reported up to a 50% drop. In response to the steep drop-off, Fosters is going back to 375ml, the standard size for canned beers in Australia.
Yours truly Ben Popken was featured ever so briefly in a NBC Nightly News report tonight about the Grocery Shrink Ray.