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. [More]
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By now most Consumerist readers are familiar with the Grocery Shrink Ray, where the amount of a product in a package shrinks over time to keep the price of the product consistent without decreasing profits. Sure, that’s annoying and perhaps a bit misleading, but the Shrink Ray’s sneakier twin — slack-fill — is even worse, and now it’s the reason for a class-action seeking lawsuit against Nestlé, accusing the candy company of “recklessly” underfilling its Raisinets boxes. [More]
If you’re expecting guests for the holidays, you might pick up some bagels and tubs of flavored cream cheese to feed them. An 8-ounce tub of Philadelphia cream cheese soon won’t go as far as it used to: tubs that have been hit with the Grocery Shrink Ray and downsized to 7.5 ounces have been spotted in stores. [More]
If the outside of a food package is the same, especially for a food you don’t buy very often, do you notice? Longtime Consumerist readers might, but most people wouldn’t. Last year, spice giant McCormick quietly shrank down the contents of its boxes of black pepper, but kept using the same size container. Tiny competitor Watkins noticed, and filed a federal lawsuit against McCormick accusing it of false advertising. A judge decided this week that the lawsuit could go forward. [More]
The Grocery Shrink Ray is the reason why a “half gallon” container of ice cream is no longer half a gallon (with notable exceptions), and why toilet paper squares are no longer four inches. Products shrink almost imperceptibly over time, sometimes disguised by a package redesign. The latest place it has hit? Junior Mints. [More]
Last year, reader M. sent us pictures of her favorite low-calorie ice cream bars from Weight Watchers, noting that the bars had each lost a few milliliters. Apparently, the Giant Fudge Bars have stayed with their program, and have now become less giant. [More]
The Grocery Shrink Ray is what happens when a company wants to cut their expenses, but not raise their prices. Pepsodent is a bargain-brand toothpaste that you can pick up in most stores for $1, but reader Tony noticed something when he bought his last tube: it was half an ounce smaller than the previous one, which he still had handy. [More]
Megan was shopping for cheese at Target over the weekend, as many sensible people do, and she noticed something strange about the pre-sliced packages of Sargento cheddar. It came in two different sizes, which had the same price.
Yes, it turns out that one of them was the victim of the Grocery Shrink Ray, taking the total from 20 slices to 18, depriving customers of enough slices to make an entire grilled cheese sandwich. UPDATE: The different sizes may represent different package sizes between cheddar types, which is confusing. [More]
Good morning! It’s time to stumble to your kitchen and make something caffeinated to aim at your mouth. One handy way to do that when you’re especially sleepy is to buy pre-mixed iced coffee or espresso and milk drinks at a grocery or discount store. Only Starbucks, a popular maker of those drinks, has shrink rayed an entire serving out of their iced espresso drinks. [More]
It’s not just food that the Grocery Shrink Ray hits: we’ve seen it strike everything from grooming products to warranties. We haven’t ever seen a Christmas label shrink ray, though, until Dave sent these pictures comparing labels purchased at Walmart during different years. [More]
There’s still disagreement between wet wipes manufacturers and plumbers and sewage workers about whether “flushable” wet wipes should actually be flushed. What we do know is that one brand of adult wipes, Charmin, has shrunk their product slightly so there’s slightly less in each square to flush. Or not flush. You probably shouldn’t flush them. [More]
A lot of Consumerist readers are Sodastream fans, and a number of you wrote in with some sad news: as part of a redesign of its proprietary line of flavoring syrups, the bottles are now smaller. How much smaller? The old version made 50 servings of flavored drink, and the new versions make only 29. Why 29? Why not 30? Such are the mysteries of the Grocery Shrink Ray. [More]
While detergent pods still have some safety issues and still sort of look a little bit like candy, here’s one inspiring piece of news about them. A few weeks ago, we wrote about Costco’s Kirkland Signature pods shrinking, losing 10 pods from a 130-pod package. Costco contacted us to point out that our reader actually got this backwards: they had recently made the packages bigger, not smaller. [More]