Walmart Beef Jerky Hit With Grocery Shrink Ray & Label Hyperbole Laser

Consumerist reader Joshua popped into his local Walmart the other morning to get his beef jerky fix, only to find that his snack of choice been hit with the Grocery Shrink Ray. Making matters worse, someone had tried to disguise that fact with a blast from the Label Hyperbole Laser.

Writes Joshua, who sent in the above photographic evidence:

Not only did they shrink the 12 ounce bag of jerky down to 10 ounces, but they also added a ‘ Mega Pack’ label to the bag which is now 16% smaller. Did I mention the price remains unchanged?

But maybe he’s looking at this the wrong way… Isn’t it possible that they’ve actually enlarged the smaller size package? If so, then this could be considered a “Mega Pack.” It’s like being the tallest of the short kids.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Bunnies Attack! says:

    With packaging like that, I almost expect it to say “meat jerky”

    • guroth says:

      Now with more artificial real-meat flavor!

    • jefeloco says:

      Or “meaty* jerky”

    • downphoenix says:

      Walmart’s Great Value brand is made “cheap looking” on purpose, but don’t judge it by the packaging, the Great Value products really are great, me and my folks agree on this that they are just as good as the products they are competing with, I always get great value unless we have a couple or the name brand is on sale for the same price basically.

  2. StuffThingsObjects says:

    Damn Wal-Mart, always jerkin’ us around.

  3. framitz says:

    I’ll stick with a brand I know and trust. I don’t mind paying a little more for something that I trust.

    Who knows where Walmart gets this stuff, who knows if it’s beef?

    • krutan says:

      Hate to break it to you but the “brand you know and trust” probably sources their product from the same place as Walmart. The colorful packaging and money they spend on marketing to make you feel like it’s higher quality just makes it cost more.

      • edman007 says:

        Often the difference is the brand name stuff is the better product, the B grade stuff gets made into the no-name stuff, it is still perfectly edible, but in this case it is probably a different cut of meat run through the same process. Often things like flavoring mixes are different too, the brand name things have their own specific spice mixes that the no-name brands can’t use.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      The nutritional information on the back knows!

    • thomas_callahan says:

      How do you know if ANY beef jerky is actually beef (besides the “nutrition” facts)? I’ll admit to eating jerky of some kind at some point in the past, but I’ll be damned if I could tell what I was eating, let alone what specific kind of meat substance it was. (Yes, it was in college).

  4. Rocket says:

    Jack Link’s FTW

  5. knoxblox says:

    Another thing Joshua missed…

    “This is America! ‘Round here, we speak American!”

  6. William Mize says:

    The one on the left was evidently imported (or perhaps smuggled) from Mexico.
    That’s the reason for the discrepancy. Bastards.
    “Mexico! Now with MORE Beef Jerky!”

    • guroth says:

      I’m guessing you think that it is from Mexico because it has Spanish writing on it. It is extremely common for packaging to have both English and Spanish in many of the southern states where there is a large portion of Spanish-only speaking consumers.

      • jefeloco says:

        And at least one semi-Pacificish, Semi-North Westish state, Idaho. We have a very large portion of our population that speaks Spanish so the vast majority of products sold here through local channels have English and Spanish.

  7. He says:

    I bought that stuff while on a 13 hour road trip this past weekend. It was almost all connective tissue. Needed like a mile of floss when I got home. Never again. It’s still cheaper than brand-name stuff though.

    • Altari says:

      It is cheap, but it also does taste like [censor]. I don’t mind paying double for something that’s edible.

      My guess is the Wal-Mart ninjas stalked people and discovered on average consumers throw away 2 ounces. :P

  8. ArgusRun says:

    Okay. I get that the Wal-mart “brand” is all about value, but graphic designers are really, really, really cheap these days. Hell, I could have done a better job of designing a package with photoshop. Even just using the bland blue, white and brown coloring.

    This is the opposite of appetizing. Maybe the design works on toilet papter, but on food, it just makes it look artificial and manufactured (which might make it the most honest packaging out there if you ignore “mega pack”)

    • galm666 says:

      You seem to be mistaken in thinking that designers of any real merit would actually work for Walmart.

    • MDSasquatch says:

      Photoshop is a raster-based application and while it is very good with photos, it is not very good for designing artwork. You would be better off with a vector-based software such as Illustrator.

      Just saying

    • guroth says:

      Yes the design is bland but I think you are underestimating the procedure for designing cheap bags.

      The process for large scale factory printing on bags is a lot different than what your printer at home is doing. Here is an example

      . Although these aren’t plastic bags, the process is similar.

      The main point is that seemingly simple changes can have a huge effect on how much it costs to print 10,000 packages.

      • guroth says:

        Here is one on the making of plastic bags, but it doesn’t go into the printing of them too in depth

      • theycallmeGinger says:

        This. Cheap, mass printing has to be really simple. Only solid colors — no screens/tints or mixtures. Everything is knocked out. In fact, the use of a 2nd color is probably breaking the bank already. Could be the reason for the shrink ray in the first place!

    • Macgyver says:

      It’s only food who care’s what the packaging look’s like.
      As long as I know what’s in there. I wouldn’t care what the packaging looks like.

  9. Thyme for an edit button says:

    The shrink ray is making me crazy with canned ingredients for recipes. A recipe will call for a certain number of ounces in a canned product, but them the actual product has an ounce less than that. It’s messing up my pumpkin chocolate chip cookie mojo!

    • Rommel says:

      … *whistle whistle*

      … *Steals cookies*

    • Promethean Sky says:

      Probably the only practical application you will ever have to remember stoichiometry from high school chem class. Of course, you need massive batches to make it work, but don’t worry, we’ll help you eat them.

  10. klwillis45 says:

    Glittering Generalities FTW

  11. pegasi says:

    I’d still rather buy the brand name, the walmart stuff is too tough, it’s the “b” grade jerky, like someone else said, all hard bits and not much “real meat”. I’ll get the good stuff, thanks!

  12. Buddha says:

    This is the second time. It actually used to be 16 oz. for the same price.

  13. raybury says:

    Actually they reduced it by more than 16 2/3 % — according to the gram weight, going from 340 to 280 grams is a 17.64% reduction. Oh, and 280 grams is only 9 7/8 ounces, not 10. Maybe it’s the 10 ounce class like a 23.5 inch PC monitor is in the “24 inch class.”

  14. Foot_Note says:

    Walmart.. we sell you less

  15. mike says:

    I love the label hyperbole laser…

    I never speak in hyperbole.

  16. backinpgh says:

    On a related note, I’ve been dying to express my disappointment with the redesign of Great Value packaging. It looks simply awful. I think they were going for minimal, like Target’s house brands, but what they ended up with was bland looking packages that look like the generic boxes you find in the background of movies and cartoons. It really does their products a disservice.

  17. Promethean Sky says:

    I get my jerky from The Jerky Outlet. No, really, it’s a real place in Michigan. And I never worry about weird meats in my jerky, because they sell the weird meats (ostrich jerky, alligator jerky, etc…) separately.

  18. Conformist138 says:

    “It’s like being the tallest of the short kids” that’s kinder than what we say: “That’s like being the smartest kid with Down syndrome”

  19. CPC says:

    Walmart jerky is made by Jack Link’s. Almost all their store brand products are made by big name companies. Jack Link’s bags also say “Mega Pack” now, too. I bet they’ve shrunk theirs, too.

  20. nonsane says:

    I’m wondering what consumers expect of people when a supplier changes their sizes like this.
    For example, if i sell products in 4 ounce, 6 ounce, and 12 ounce, but i want to reduce the 12 down to 10, what is an acceptable way to let people know this while still maintaining the brand?

    Seems the general concensus is it’s okay to raise the price, but not leave the price the same and reduce the product.

  21. Mihai says:

    In Romania all chain stores are required by law to put on the label the cost per measure unit (kg, liter), so that consumers can easily compare (real) prices of different brands that comes in different size. This also makes the shrink rays hits more visible.