Grocery Shrink Ray Strikes Aldi Bread, Gillette Anti-Perspirant

The Grocery Shrink Ray quietly removes almost imperceptible bits of our packaged goods, gradually shrinking some products over time so manufacturers can avoid raising prices. Once you’re aware of it, you begin to notice it every time you buy a slightly smaller replacement for a product that you use regularly. Two readers who bought bread and deodorant noticed exactly that.

Eric bought a new loaf of sourdough bread at discount grocer Aldi, and noticed that the new loaf was a tiny bit smaller than the previous one. 3/10 of an ounce doesn’t seem like a lot, but it would make a loaf of bread smaller. Even a less-fluffy bread like sourdough.



The interesting thing is that Aldi, based in Germany, apparently doesn’t think that Americans are too swift with our metric conversions: both versions of the loaf give the weight as 690 grams, while neither is true. 24 ounces is 680 grams.

Jason, meanwhile, may find himself a little sweatier in the future.


The deodorant on the right is a nice, even 4 ounces, while the item on the left has been shrunk to 3.8. The packages look to be the same size, so this is likely an example of nonfunctional slack fill: there’s just more empty space in the package.

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