Grocery Shrink Ray Hits Kraft Swiss Cheese Singles?

Bruce sends in what he thinks is another victim of the Grocery Shrink Ray’s fell and indiscriminate wrath:

I was shopping at my local HyVee here in Iowa the other day and noticed that Kraft Deli Fresh cheese slices have new packaging. Being an avid Consumerist reader I immediately suspected the grocery shrink ray.

The old packet, still visible on the Kraft website, contains 11 slices and weighs 8 oz, compared to 10 slices and 7 oz in the new one. The individual slices a little bit thinner now too, 8/11 > 7/10. Bruce is exactly right, if you see your old favorite now being sold in a new packaging, that’s a red flag that you may looking at a slimmed-down package. However, Bruce did not send in shots of the price tags, which is necessary to determine if the item is truly grocery shrink ray shrunk. As such, we can only label this a potential victim for now.



Edit Your Comment

  1. emona says:

    It looks like the package changed to a reusable plastic container, like their line of deli sliced meats. I’m not excusing the shrink, but I love the packaging idea.

  2. SkokieGuy says:

    And what was the old / new price? What is the change in the price per ounce? Is there a change?

    This seems to be relevant information to determine if this is even an issue.

  3. dulcinea47 says:

    Skokieguy, the price is obviously going to vary from store to store. The point is that the price usually remains the same while the amount of food decreases.

  4. simplegreen says:

    so much for kraft resisting.. their salad dressing is immune but not the cheese baby

  5. Triborough says:

    Doesn’t anyone buy cheese that they either slice themselves or have the person behind the counter slice up?

  6. Gokuhouse says:

    There are going to be a lot more of these coming in over the next year. It seems like everything is either going up in price or down in quantity. Or even worse, both of those changes occur. It would be nice to get a compilation of all the noticed products and showcase them.

  7. Joewithay says:

    I like the new package too but not the shrinkage. However, too many times has that stupid old resealable bag didn’t seal right, and I was left with hard cheese the next day.

  8. SkokieGuy says:

    @Triborough: You can buy cheese that is sliced by the deli counter, but for some reason with the prepacked cheeses, unsliced swiss is very hard to find in the grocery stores, especially in larger sizes.

    Costco has several varieties, and at really good prices.

  9. battra92 says:

    @Triborough: I do. Processed cheese is hardly cheese at all.

    I do wonder, though, at what point does this stop? Do they just go in a cycle and have new larger version appearing as the larger size becomes the medium size, etc.

  10. ddockery says:

    I don’t understand why everyone likes the new packaging. It’s more wasteful AND it takes up more room in my fridge – where’s the upside here?

  11. apotheosis says:

    They cut the cheese?

  12. VA_White says:

    I’m following these shrink ray posts – this one isn’t tagged “grocery shrink ray” What gives?

  13. backbroken says:

    Clearly the new package is much much larger (4x) than the old package. Just look at the picture at the top of the article!

  14. Mira Mi Huevo!!! says:

    Don’t mess with the cheese… It is the guilty pleasure of america…

  15. Bagels says:

    @emona: Right, we need a package that’s twice as big for a lesser amount just so we can close it better…

  16. Bagels says:

    @apotheosis: LOLZ

  17. SkokieGuy says:

    Same size, larger holes?

  18. ekthesy says:


    Just ask the guy or gal at the deli counter to slice you a big hunk right off the block of Swiss. A deli slicer can open up to well over 2″, it’s just that there’s very few situations you would do so (one is ham steak, one is bricks of cheese so you can make canapes or cheese trays at home).

    I think you get the best quality this way. Finlandia Swiss, for example, is much better cubed than sliced, and the only way to get it is the deli counter.

    Pre-sliced cheese, such as the stuff here, is awful.

  19. theblackdog says:

    @VA_White: I think because it’s still unconfirmed that it is truly a victim of the shrink ray. If the price is still the same or higher, then yes, it’s been hit by the ray. If the price is less, then it’s not really a victim.

  20. SpdRacer says:

    Deli cheese is the best, but prepackaged cheese is generally cheaper per ounce. But yes, “Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food” is definitely not cheese!

  21. stacye says:

    @Triborough: My family just recently switched to meats and cheeses sliced in the grocers deli.

    I’m never going back to pre-packaged slices again.

  22. hymenopterans says:

    I think you’ll find that the grocery store shrink ray really targets the nutrition facts label on the back of the package.

    These guys


    and other have sued several companies over the issue of marketing dubious-nutrition food to children. The response wasn’t to stop marketing, of course, it was to improve the nutrition for each serving by reducing the serving size. It is easy to be cynical about that approach, but it is true that if you are eating something high in calories, it is healthier to eat less of it than more.

  23. alumicor says:

    Shrink ray = old news

  24. davekoob says:

    People from Iowa read and post on the Consumerist???

    GO IOWA!!!

    Proud shopper of the Waterloo/ Cedar Falls Hy-Vees myself!

  25. PinkBox says:

    @stacye: Same here. It’s been years since we’ve gotten meat/cheese slices that weren’t from the deli. It just tastes so much more fresh!

  26. ukthom says:

    I wonder at some point will they begin to do the “25% Free!” gimmick when they just sell the same amount they did 6 mos ago…

    It is, after all, a gimmick…

  27. bbagdan says:

    Dumbdumb: the new slices are larger than the old slices. It is not 8/11>7/10. It is now 10/7>11/8.

    New slices are 1.43oz, versus 1.38oz for the old slices.

    This bump in portion size will further contribute to the US obesity epidemic.

  28. tellervision says:


    Actually, the article is right. There are more slices than ounces, so a slice cannot exceed 1 oz.

    8oz/11 slices = .72 and 7oz/10 slices = .7

  29. Coles_Law says:

    @bbagdan: I thought that too at first. But check the math. If each slice weighed 1.43 oz, and there were 10, the package weight would be 14.3 oz. The original post is correct.

  30. Coles_Law says:

    @tellervision: Beat me to it.

  31. MKizzle says:

    @davekoob: “HyVee, Shop HyVee. Where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle!”

    I was born and raised in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area but live in Minneapolis now and the nearest HyVee is in Mankato (too far away). It’s been five years, and I still wish I could get groceries at HyVee!

    Go Iowa, indeed!

  32. oldskool71 says:

    Once again – Old news! This has been happening for years!

  33. boobaloob says:

    Hey, Ben, I heard you being interviewed on NPR about the shrink ray yesterday! When the news reporter was reviewing what the day’s stories would be, she mentioned a story on the shrinking of groceries, and I thought to myself, I wonder if they’re going to interview or quote Ben Popken. And sure enough, there you were. It’s great that you’re getting this information out there.