Four California counties alleged that the packaging of CVS products like this anti-wrinkle cream misled shoppers into thinking they were getting much more than what was inside.

CVS To Pay $225K For Misleading Packaging On Store-Brand Products

Isn’t it great when you buy a box that looks like it contains a large jar of face cream only to find out that what’s inside is much smaller than you’d expected? Drugstore megachain CVS recently agreed to pay $225,000 to settle allegations in California that it tweaked its packaging on nearly a dozen store-brand products to trick customers into thinking they were getting more than they really were. [More]

Guess the peanut butter is largely incidental.

Russell Stover Chocolate Peanut Butter Bunny Disappoints On Both Counts

Ed sent us these chocolate bunny photos after lunchtime on Monday, which we’re assuming means that he bought them on post-Easter clearance. Even if he did, that doesn’t give Russel Stover an excuse to sell him a skimpy bunny with a meager amount of peanut butter inside. [More]

Out with the "new." Also maybe out with two ounces.

Grocery Shrink Ray Hits Feta Cheese, Shrinks Product And Packaging (Updated: Not So Fast!)

UPDATE: Not so fast, Drew! Kraft, parent company of Athenos, contacted us to let us know that they sell six-ounce AND four-ounce packages. When Drew went to buy a package of Athenos feta cheese, he noticed something strange. ” Athenos not only did away with the recently ‘new’ flip top on their feta cheese, replacing it with a decidedly cheaper container, they also removed two entire ounces from the package,” he writes. “I may have to start getting all of my cheese at Sam’s Club now…” [More]

The gift card arrived safely.

Best Buy Makes Sure Gift Card Arrives Safely, Sends It Packed In Air Cushions

Kevin took advantage of a totally amazing Best Buy deal where he could buy a $100 iTunes gift card for only $80. The card came in the regular old mail instead of being virtual, though, and Kevin assumed that it would arrive in some sort of envelope. What with it being a small, flat object and all. But no! Instead, Best Buy sent it along in a cardboard box filled with air pillows. [More]

Amazon Keeps Sending Me Dinged-Up Graphic Novels

Amazon Keeps Sending Me Dinged-Up Graphic Novels

Yes, buying used books can save a lot of money, but Spencer went to the trouble and expense to buy a new copy of the trade paperback he wanted from Amazon. A Star Wars graphic novel, thank you very much. Only Amazon was unable to send any books to him in mint condition, or without getting banged up in the box or puny padded envelope. [More]

This Power Strip Is Ideal For Outdoor Use, Just Maybe Don't Use It Outdoors

This Power Strip Is Ideal For Outdoor Use, Just Maybe Don't Use It Outdoors

Consumerist reader Fred was strolling through his local Home Depot in Connecticut when he checked out this Belkin power strip, which says right on the front of the package that it is “ideal” for outdoor use. Apparently, “ideal” is Belkin-ese for “not advised.” [More]

Movie Studios Create Special Blu-Ray Slipcovers For Target, This Target Tosses Them In Trash

Movie Studios Create Special Blu-Ray Slipcovers For Target, This Target Tosses Them In Trash

Michael has a cool hobby that I had never heard of until today: collecting new Blu-Ray disc releases, especially limited editions and interesting slipcovers. Studios issue exclusive slipcovers to certain retailers: a great marketing opportunity and plenty of fun for collectors, right? Sure. If the employees at Michael’s local Target hadn’t been ordered to slip off those neat slipcovers and toss ‘em before putting new movies in plastic security cases before they go on the shelves. [More]

Batman Costume Package Vs Reality

Batman Costume Package Vs Reality

It’s not exactly the kind of crime the caped crusader would go after, but reader synimatik was a bit pissed when she opened her son’s Batman costume and found it didn’t match up with the image on the outside of the package. [More]

Extra Sneaky Grocery Shrink Ray Hits Sun Detergent

Extra Sneaky Grocery Shrink Ray Hits Sun Detergent

It looks like our good old friend the Grocery Shrink Ray has zapped bottles of Sun detergent. The after effect is a little extra trickier than usual, though. The new smaller size screams, “50% MORE LOADS!” while in tiny print underneath that it says “vs. 29 load size.” In reality, it has three few ounces than the older version. Sly! [More]

Packaging-Free Grocery Store To Open In Texas

Packaging-Free Grocery Store To Open In Texas

While there are plenty of farmers’ markets or bulk spice shops you can go to buy fresh goods with zero packaging, some entrepreneurs in Austin, TX, are aiming to open what they say is the first 100% packaging-free grocery store in the country. [More]

Ben Popken On NPR Talking About Shrinking Food, Higher Prices

Ben Popken On NPR Talking About Shrinking Food, Higher Prices

I got to verbally joust with the wielders of the Grocery Shrink Ray yesterday on NPR on the Diane Rehm show. Scott Faber vice president, the Grocery Manufacturers Association talked about how food makers have to pass on their rising costs somehow and I agreed, but took issue with deceptively designed packages and the misleading marketing practices. Just be upfront about it! [More]

Barilla Redesigns Pasta Package To Let Consumers Know That Pasta Package Is About To Be Redesigned

Barilla Redesigns Pasta Package To Let Consumers Know That Pasta Package Is About To Be Redesigned

The redesign of a familiar package is apparently a frightening and confusing time for consumers. That’s why Barilla was kind enough to redesign its whole-grain pasta package in order to let us know that the package is about to be redesigned. [More]

When Large Packaging Disguises Tiny Content

When Large Packaging Disguises Tiny Content

One way around the Grocery Shrink Ray is to leave packages the same physical size, but put less product in them. Two readers recently noticed that they weren’t getting as much value for their money as they thought when shopping at Walmart. [More]

Duracell Battery Pack Comes With Free Glue Stick. But Why?

Duracell Battery Pack Comes With Free Glue Stick. But Why?

Here’s an interesting cross-promo. Reader Ally spotted a pack of Duracells at her lokcal Hannaford that came with a FREE glue stick. It wasn’t something that the store had shrinkwrapped together, but the glue stick was actually in the package itself. What’s the marketing strategy here? Maybe because they’re both supplies you put in your desk drawer. Maybe the glue makes the electrons stick together better. Inquiring minds want to know. [More]

Happy 2011, Your Calendar Comes With Year's Supply Of Packing Material

Happy 2011, Your Calendar Comes With Year's Supply Of Packing Material

Reader Cyndi ordered a calendar from Amazon.com, but what she actually got was more like she’d ordered a bunch of packing material and got a free calendar. Like when you order Chinese food, ya know? Except less tasty. [More]

This Bottle Of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Is Incredibly Accurate

This Bottle Of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Is Incredibly Accurate

Don’t you love it when products at the grocery store do the math for you? Take for instance this spray bottle of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. [More]

Whole Grain Wheat Thins Are No Healthier Than Regular Ones

Whole Grain Wheat Thins Are No Healthier Than Regular Ones

Here’s a perfect example of why you should ignore what’s on the front of a product package and go straight to the nutritional info instead. Kraft’s Wheat Thins now come in a “100% Whole Grain” variety, which you might think translates into more fiber for your digestive tract. It even says on the front that one serving packs 22g of whole grain versus 11g for regular Wheat Thins. It turns out, however, that both crackers provide the same amount of dietary fiber and fat–and the whole grain version also has more sodium and is made with high fructose corn syrup. [More]

Behold One Day's Worth Of Stupid Shipping For A Retailer

Behold One Day's Worth Of Stupid Shipping For A Retailer

Reader E works for a division of RadioShack and would like to let us know that stupid shipping isn’t exclusive to consumers — retailers are inundated with it. He sent us the following series of images. He says these photos represent one day’s worth of stupid shipments. This apparently happens several times a week. [More]