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]
Are you in the market for a brand new Video Cassette Recorder? Then you better head to RadioShack — or another electronics store of yester-year — soon, as the last known company to make the video-playing machines will stop production after this month. [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]
What’s “evaporated cane juice”? It’s a sweetener produced from the liquid that comes out of sugar cane when you cut or shred it. However, the Food and Drug Administration notes that it’s also a term that food producers use in ingredients list to avoid using the word “sugar.” The FDA has had enough of this, and issued guidance telling food marketers that they need to just call ECJ what it is: sugar. [More]
A few months ago, news and early samples of a new and exciting beverage hit Twitter and eBay. Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler was a green citrus-flavored beverage and a tie-in for the Ghostbusters franchise. The beverage was so popular that it outlasted the TV cartoon series it was originally meant to promote by ten years. With a new live-action Ghostbusters movie due out this summer and levels of ’90s nostalgia peaking, Ecto Cooler is returning to store shelves.
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]
It wasn’t all that long ago that ice cream was sold in actual half gallons, instead of containers of 1.5 to 1.75 quarts… or even smaller. Blue Bunny, a brand that has generally stayed at the higher end of the range, used a recent package redesign to mask shrinkage down to 46 ounces, or 1.44 quarts. [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]
One of the nice things about Justin’s brand nut butters is that they come in a jar that’s a full 16 ounces. Except, reader EC learned recently, at Walmart. Since his last purchase of a nut butter jar last year, the packaging has changed… and so has the volume of almond butter in the jar. [More]
Walmart’s five-year dalliance with trying to go small through new “Walmart Express” stores is apparently over. This morning, the company announced that it will shutter 154 locations in the U.S., including all 102 Express locations, in an effort to focus on its larger outlets. [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]