Pet Store Takes Advantage Of Grocery Shrink Ray

Dan sent in this pic from a local pet store. It reads, “After January 1st, bag sizes will be decreased, and these new prices will stay the same. For the rest of 2009 you will save 12.5% on all big bags of Science Diet dog food!!” I like how they’re spinning the reduced packaging in a way that benefits them and the customer, while also making sure nobody is fooled come January 1st.


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  1. The Cheat says:

    nice… so they could halve the amount of food in the bags and you wouldn’t know till january. good times.

  2. zerj says:

    Actually isn’t that a 23% decrease in price? Where does 12.5 come from?

    • Aphex242 says:

      @zerj: I think it’s adjusted for the reduction in product as well… which seems like a very legitimate way to measure the savings.

      • zerj says:


        That possibly makes sense, although completely changes the point of this post. It’s not really ‘grocery shrink ray’ if they are reducing the price as well and in fact reducing the price even more than the weight.

        I guess it is post worthy that there is an extra good deal for dog food for a month.

        I had just assumed the 35 vs 40 lb thing was a variety difference. That they had already shrinkrayed some of the costlier specialty varieties to keep them all the same price per bag.

    • andyparkerson says:

      @zerj: The best I can figure is that the bag sizes are being reduced from 40lb to 35lb, and the prices are being reduced from $45.59 to $34.99, respectively. The resultant price decrease per pound is 12.28%, which is 12.5% rounded to the nearest half percentage point.

    • chalmo says:

      @zerj: 40lb – (40lb * 12.5%) = 35lb. I have no idea why they have written this though.

  3. Trance1861 says:

    But if both the size and price decreases, how is that the “grocery shrink ray” effect?

    I thought that only occurs if the size decreases, but not the price.

    …..I suppose it could be a shrink ray effect if the size and price decrease is not proportional.

  4. idip says:

    Kudos to their marketing department.

    I mean, they’re in it to make money.

    You can’t expect them to say, “Were making our product smaller and lowering the price in the same proportion!”

  5. pop top says:

    Science Diet is shitty food anyway. Take this opportunity to switch to a better brand of food for your pet. Dogs: Innova, Wellness, Blue Buffalo; Cats: Innova, Wellness, Solid Gold (this is what I feed my cat).

    Just take a look at their very basic adult dog dry food, which they recommend for show and working dogs ([]); the first three ingredients are “Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Animal Fat”, which is absolutely horrible.

    Next time you’re shopping for pet food, do me a favor and take a look at the label. You’re most likely feeding them something that is the exact opposite of nutritious.

    • hotdogsunrise says:

      @squinko: Agreed. It may be more expensive, but it’s your puppy! They deserve a nutritious diet.

      • thompson says:

        @hotdogsunrise: Also check out the products from Halo — no by-products or meals, and all their meat is sourced from the US (no melamine, yay!)

      • pop top says:

        @hotdogsunrise: Not necessarily. I used to feed my cat Nutro, and that was $35 for a 20 lbs. bag, whereas Solid Gold is only $30 for a 20 lbs. bag. Also, with Solid Gold, I’m only feeding 1/2 c./day, but Nutro was a full cup. So even if it costs more than what you’re feeding now, it may work out in terms of amount fed per day.

    • merely_a_muse says:

      @squinko: Science Diet is the only cat food I’ve tried that doesn’t make my kitty’s stomach a mess :( so I’m sticking to it.

      • pop top says:

        @merely_a_muse: Have you only tried crappy brands like Iams, Meow Mix and Purina? Try some of the good stuff. You can e-mail them and get free samples or buy a small bag from the pet store.

    • PinkBox says:

      @squinko: Agreed. Science Diet is all about the marketing. The ingredients are pretty poor.

  6. henrygates says:

    What about the cat food??

  7. kexline says:

    The sign actually makes it sound like this is not a grocery shrink-ray story.

    It seems to say that the current 40lb bag was $45, and that the same bag will be $35 until New Year’s, after which point they’ll sell 35lb bags for $35. Yeah, the unit price is set to go up, but $1.00 per pound (the 2010 price) is unequivocally better than $1.12 per pound. Isn’t it?

  8. rob_p says:

    By my calculations the current price per pound is $1.14 and it is going down to $1.00 per pound after the first of the year. Hence you are saving money. The bags will be smaller but so will the price in a way that is more than proportianal, it is a “12.5% decrease”. Terrible sign but no matter what you do, buy now, buy later, you are going to save money.

  9. savdavid says:

    If you buy Science Diet you’re not doing your wallet or pet any favors. Most any pet food is as good and the majority of brands are much cheaper than Science Diet. It is all marketing. They have to raise prices and shrink packages to pay for advertising.

  10. LoneReefer says:


    I was fretting because 50 pound bags of “OL YELLER”,have gone up to $12.99 per bag! I didn’t know there was such expensive dry dog food out there.

    My dogs do great on cheap dog food. Always healthy. They are mixed breeds.

    1. Buy Rabies, and 7 way vaccine at the feed store and administer my self.

    2. Use Safegard horse wormer for intestinal worms twice a year. (Same stuff the vet uses)

    3. Use Ivermectin Horse wormer once a month for Heart Worms. (Same stuff as heart gard) A tube lasts several years.

    Ya’ don’t hafta spend a fortune for dogs.