Grocery Shrink Ray Strikes Cascade Complete Pods, Febreze Air Effects

When companies slightly reduce the size of a product instead of raising the price, that’s called the Grocery Shrink Ray. It’s often deployed at the same time as a packaging redesign to make the shrinkage harder to notice. Two brands from Procter & Gamble, Febreze and Cascade, have done this with their products recently, and our observant readers noticed.

First up, Cascade Complete dish detergent pods, which are a convenient option for washing your dishes, but you’ll need to go to the store to pick up more a little more often: The bag contains 23 packs instead of 25 now.

Reader Daniel shared this on our Facebook page. While it does bring the package size down to a nice and simple 12 ounces, it also takes what used to be “8X” packages an turned them into “12X” packages. What do these numbers even mean? Do they get my dishes clean? That’s all I need to know.

Jill, meanwhile, was happy to find that Febreze Air Effects air fresheners had been shrunk down and redesigned. Not because she hates Febreze products, but because the redesign and shrinkage meant that the product was on substantial sale. She had a compatible coupon and was able to combine the sale and the coupon at her local Jewel store, getting them for only $1.20.

What about the shrinkage, though? The package switched from a metal can to a platic spray dispenser, and lost nearly an ounce along the way. That’s an ounce of product, not including the new and lighter can.