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]
Mary Rose happened to notice that her latest jar of Jif reduced fat peanut butter spread was a little lighter than usual. No, it was because the jar itself had lost some weight. Two ounces, or 11% of the total contents of the jar, to be exact. [More]
Richard spotted this change to Angel Soft toilet paper while shopping at Walmart. The package has a lovely redesign, but it also no longer brags that it contains “70% more.” Why is that? Well, they’ve shrink rayed the total square footage and number of sheets while keeping the price the same. [More]
We’ve seen many different variations on the Grocery Shrink Ray over the years, but somehow never anticipated this: a Warranty Shrink Ray. A sneaky tipster who works at Best Buy noticed that the same product, a Seagate hard drive for notebook computers, had a lovely redesigned box. And a few years lopped off the warranty. Much like how other products change the size of an item just a tiny bit rather than raising the price, Seagate cut back on the warranty. [More]
Jeff needed some plastic hangers, and found some at Kmart that cost just a little more than he wanted to pay. But the odd thing was that the signage wasn’t quite right: the price given was for ten hangers, and the packages actually on the shelf contained eight hangers each. Okay, it’s not a big deal. And broken down, only a few cents’ difference per hanger. That doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying. [More]
Richrecruiter picked up one of those large bottles of Aussie Moist shampoo from Target recently, and noticed that it was smaller than the previous bottle he had purchased. Why, about 20% smaller, but at the same price. The Grocery Shrink Ray is on the attack! [More]
Fans of Nestle’s perfectly dessert-sized mini Drumsticks will be disappointed this summer. While the individual cones have stayed the same size, there are now only ten to a box instead of the former twelve. Update: Nestle let us know that the change is actually the other way around: the package is becoming less lil’, not more. [More]
When the economy began circling the drain a couple of years back, everything began getting smaller, from the cars we drive to the number of banks we have to choose from. And according to the Census Bureau, even our homes were nailed by the recession shrink ray. [More]
Consumerists, I think we’ve been wrong about this Grocery Shrink Ray thing all along. We’ve long believed that companies deploy the Grocery Shrink Ray to imperceptibly decrease the amount of product in a package without customers noticing. But maybe–just maybe–there’s a higher purpose. Maybe they’re trying to save us from consuming a precious few calories and use social engineering to get us to snack less over time until at some point we’re hardly snacking at all. Consider this exhibit: the shrinking Double Gulp cups at Chris’s local 7-11 in Maryland. [More]
Greg is unhappy with Gilette, the maker of his favored razor. He writes that first, they raised the prices (at Walmart, at least.) Then the number of razors in each package decreased, from four to three and from eight to six. Will the indignities never end? [More]
Alexey has found the ubiquitous Grocery Shrink Ray is also zapping toys. The pictured Imaginarium blocks used to come in sets of 200, as is reflected in the old price tag, barely visible at the bottom of the screen, but has been shrunk down to 150.
If you want to slather your Jack in the Box grub in sweet & sour sauce you’re going to need to grab more packets, because as Jason spotted in this photo, the amount of sauce in each mini-container has shrunk from 1 ounce to 0.875 ounces.
The latest issue of GOOD magazine, which arrived in our mailbox yesterday, seems to be equal parts tongue-in-cheek and an actual attempt to save money on printing. To be honest, it’s the first time we ever made it entirely through a magazine in one sitting, so in that sense we kind of like the new format, even if it’s just for one issue. Of note: if your resume sucks, you can enter it in their resume-makeover contest.
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.
We’ve seen food items, airline mile programs, and credit card limits all shrink as the economy worsens. Now it’s time for other rewards programs to become just a little less rewarding—and somewhat sneakily, too, in these two stories recently sent in by readers.