Jennie-O Reverses Grocery Shrink Ray To Add 10% More Fat Back In To Turkey Franks

Here we thought the grocery shrink ray only worked one way, but Jennie-O is blowing our minds with a subtle reversal of the ray, turning it into a zapper that adds 10% of the fat back in to its turkey franks.

The grocery shrink ray is a stealthy little weapon, turning everything from Lunchables to round Saltines into smaller versions of themselves, sold for the same price as the original larger offerings.

But as our reader J.G. notes, this time, Jennie-O is no longer offering turkey franks that are 50% less fat than USDA data for beef franks, but are now a bit fattier, at only 40% less fat.

Suppose this calls for a new term, Grocery Biggening Ray? Grocery Expanding Ray? We’ll work on it.


Edit Your Comment

  1. DJ Charlie says:

    Grocery Fattening Ray or Grocery Padding Ray.

  2. That guy. says:

    They look to both be 12oz, so they took out meat to put in the fat.


    • josephbloseph says:

      Everyone knows that the fat is where the animals hide all of the flavor anyway.

  3. Michael Belisle says:

    Of course the ray doesn’t only work in one way. It’s a marketing sleight-of-hand that’s more sophisticated than just shrinking products discreetly.

    The inverse ray is commonly trumpeted loudly, with a emblem like “Now 50% more for the same price!” And then people think “oh wow, that’s a good value,” conveniently forgetting the shrink a year ago. And then they shrink it again, and then expand it again…

  4. Tim says:

    It’s not 10% more fat; it’s 25% more fat. Plus, since it’s still 12 oz., they took out meat and replaced it with fat (which is cheaper).

    So really, it’s more like grocery shrink ray.

    • Damage Incorporated says:

      You mean 20% more? 10/50 = 20

      • minjche says:

        (Using arbitarily large numbers to make the math easier)

        So there are 100 ounces of product, 40 ounces of which are fat. If you increase the proportion of fat to 50 ounces but keep the product size at 100 ounces, then you have increased the amount of fat by 10 ounces.

        Since the original amount is 40 ounces, and you’ve increased it by 10 grams (which is 10/40 or 25% of 40 ounces), you’ve increased the fat by 25%, not 20%, when speaking of an increase relative to the original amount of fat.

        It’s a weird percentage math thing. If there was a decrease instead of an increase, like if it had gone from 50% to 40%, it’d be a 20% decrease (50-40=10, and 10/50=20%).

        (As an aside, another possible explanation is that the USDA data for beef franks has changed but the Jenny-O product hasn’t.)

        • fortymegafonzies says:

          This confusion often pops up in my line of work, and people often use whichever number makes their positions look the best. My solution has been to promote using the term “percentage points” along with percentage. The hot dogs went up ten percentage points in fat versus the hot dogs’ fat content increased by 25 percent.. Maybe it’ll become a new convention of language …or maybe it is already but has fallen by the wayside.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Actually you have it backwards, your example shows the 40% as the fat remaining not removed.

          For example, if a normal hotdog has 100 gm of fat, the 50% less one would have 50gm and the 40% less fat would have 60gm, which of course is 20% more not 25%.

          Now, if you look at fat removed it would be 25% less fat removed, but that’s not what’s being tossed around.

    • TRRosen says:

      actually would be 20% more if it’s true but we can’t read the actual fat content or see both “use by” dates to tell which is newer. As far as I can see the fat content is the same on both. The change may only be the USDA average for beef hot dogs may have gone down.

  5. Blueskylaw says:

    Jennie-O Turkey Franks – Now, with Less Lean!!!

  6. Cat says:

    More Fat Back, Mmmmm…

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    A company called Jenno-O Turkey shouldn’t be allowed to sell beef.

  8. j2.718ff says:

    I can’t read enough of the packaging to decide: are we certain these are the same product? Is it possible that one is a different flavor/variation, which happens to have a different amount of fat?

  9. nybiker says:

    Similar thing happened to the 90% lean ground beef that BJ’s offers for sale. About a month or so ago, I discover that not only did it become 87% lean, but the price increased by 20 or 25 cents per pound. Double whammy. I will be back there this weekend to see if they went back to the 90% version. If not, I may decide to get the 93% version (depends on how much more expensive it is – I need to compare it to regular supermarkets as well).

    • CubeRat says:

      This may be due to the pink slime thing, if BJ’s supplier used to use the filler and now they don’t, you will have more fat in the total amount. That stuff was marketed as lean beef filler and used to decrease the amount of fat per unit in the ground meat.

  10. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    //no longer offering turkey franks that are 50% less fat than USDA data for beef franks, but are now a bit fattier, at only 40% less fat//

    I assume the “USDA data for beef franks” got smaller due to the prevailing shrink-ray; thus any index measured against it must also be affected.

  11. CubeRat says:

    I’ve never seen the green packages fo Jennie-O, are they new? Or is it an old package?

    I see the withe one has a use by date of jun 30 12. I checked the Jenie-O website and they only show the white package, but they have regular Turkey Franks and Jumbo Turkey Franks. Where did the OP get the photo?

  12. KillerBee says:

    XX% less fat*

    *than USDA data for beef franks.

    It’s possible that the Jennie O product hasn’t changed, but the USDA data has. They may have had to adjust the label accordingly.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      That’s what I was thinking. With everyone trying to go lower fat the ‘average beef frank’ might have gone down in fat. We’d have to see nutrition info to be sure.

  13. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    It’s a Grocery Embiggening Ray.

  14. Hartwig says:

    If only the picture were clearer so we could see if anything actually changed about the franks. Consumerist what are nutritional facts?

    • Naked-Gord-Program says:

      Agreed. For both this and if the USDA stats have changed this article required a more in depth report from The Consumerist to be truly useful.

      Perhaps calling up the Jenny-O HQ and inquiring directly might be in order?

  15. dush says:

    Well did the USDA beef numbers also go down so that to be truthful they had to say they are only 40% less now?

  16. Pete the Geek says:

    I could be convinced that they put more fat in the turkey franks to make them taste better.

  17. Mr. Spy says:

    Some advertising guy said, “You know, nobody believes statistics that fall at quarters, it sounds too much like we are making it up. Lets change it to 40%, it’s more believable.”

  18. Eagle Eye says:

    Now with less protein to better serve our customers.
    /or something like that…

  19. J. Cohen says:

    Grocery Crapification Ray

  20. Lisa W says:

    Phew…they needed more flavor! ;-)

  21. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    these are disgusting and taste like I would imagine dog vomit would taste. they smell worse while being cooked.

  22. joako says:

    Hmmm we have all this fat we need to throw away. They charge us to throw away this fat. What could we do?


  23. RedOryx says:

    These are what show up on the website:

    Sooooooo is it possible, just possible, that the OP has the packages confused and the 50% is the new one?

  24. v1ctorsag3 says:

    embiggulator – a device that makes things bigger