Now that Twinkies have risen from the ashes of the old, bankrupt Hostess, to re-emerge anew on shelves across America today, some die-hard fans of the snack cakes are pointing out one glaring problem — the new Twinkies, they’re… smaller. Well, actually, these Twinkies appear to weigh in a bit bigger than the last ones we saw, but have slimmed down from previous iterations. Is this the Grocery Shrink Ray at work? [More]
grocery shrink ray
“When is a ream of paper not a ream of paper?” reader J. asked us in the subject line of his e-mail to the Consumerist tipline. We were hoping that this was the setup to a totally great joke, but it wasn’t. Instead, he sent us a dismaying photo that shows Target is trying to undo centuries of history and redefine what a “ream” of paper is. [More]
The Grocery Shrink Ray’s effects are often noticeable to many customers doing side-by-side comparisons of zapped products, but sometimes the alterations are so slight that only the most eagle-eyed consumer will notice. [More]
Reader Beltran noticed this shrink raying in progress at a Tops store. Oh, Iams dog food wasn’t staying the exact same price while shaving off a few ounces (or pounds, as the case is here): they’re trickier than that. Instead, like a less extreme example of the Baker’s chocolate shrinkage that we brought you on Friday, the sticker price is a little lower, but the price per pound for the food rises slightly. [More]
Julia was baking from scratch with her kids, and she dispatched them to the store to buy a glorious quantity of chocolate. Two boxes of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate. You know, sixteen ounces. The kids came back with two boxes of chocolate, but only eight ounces total. Julia reports that she had paid $3.99 for the eight-ounce bar, and her kids paid $3.38 for each four-ounce bar. That’s a pretty potent blast from the Grocery Shrink Ray. [More]
While many items zapped by the Grocery Shrink Ray — which reduces a product’s size but magically keeps the price the same — are the things you love to eat and drink, it’s sometimes the stuff you put on your body that falls victim to the Ray’s reductive ways. [More]
Joe is a fan of Multi-Grain Pringles, and he noticed something interesting when he bought a new can. Everything had changed. The snack had slightly different ingredients, different packaging, and of course…had been ever so slightly zapped by the Grocery Shrink Ray.
Nesquik’s single-serving bottles of chocolate milk are caloriffic treats, but they go well with a grilled cheese sandwich and… well, with pretty much anything else, too. Raegan went to pick up a few bottles for herself and her co-workers for what sounds like a delicious morning at the office, and discovered that Nestle had shaved a few ounces off the full pint. Noooo!
Andrew is a regular user of Old Spice deodorant, so he noticed when a packaging change also meant a sizing change. And no, it was not the same brand/fragrance scramble that led another Old Spice user to think that his deodorant, too, had fallen prey to the shrink ray. Nope. This is the same product.
Croutons are so light and crunchy that you probably won’t notice a missing ounce. At least, that’s what they’re probably hoping at Rothbury Farms. Alert reader and crouton-eater John sent in this comparison of their old and new bags of croutons, where a lighter color and the same size bag masks the shrink rayage of the package. [More]
Grocery shopping recently, reader Joseph noticed something interesting: there were two different types of Doritos bags on the shelf that were very close in size, but the same price. The Grocery Shrink Ray is nothing new, but the bags came in two varieties: the positively economical seventeen-ounce “Family Size,” then the small and portable sixteen-ounce “Party Size.” Wait, what? [More]
Matthew was shopping for cereal at Aldi when he noticed something interesting. The boxes of Kid’s Krunch cereal had recently been redesigned, and both versions were on the shelf, side-by-side. That’s a nice opportunity to do some comparisons. Unfortunately for Aldi, what he noticed while comparing the old and new boxes was that the cereal just happened to have lost a few ounces in the process. Oh no––the dreaded Grocery Shrink Ray has come to Aldi! [More]
Going by comments and reviews on the Garnier Fructis website, there are a lot of people (mostly men) who are very upset that Garnier Fructis’s Surf Hair product disappeared from the market without warning. There are a lot fewer people wandering around with artfully messy short hair achieved at a reasonable price. Karl was happy to find the product on the shelf, but less happy to discover that the formerly 5.1 ounce jar now contains only 3 ounces, even though the container itself is the same size.
Christopher wrote to us with a tale of deodorant woe. Old Spice, part of Procter & Gamble, repackaged his favorite deodorant product, Old Spice Pure Sport, and skimmed a quarter of an ounce off the top while they were at it. Oh no they didn’t! And…well, actually, they didn’t. The problem isn’t so much that Christopher was too hasty to call the packaging change a case of the Grocery Shrink Ray. It’s that Old Spice’s branding is kind of confusing. [More]
UPDATE: Not so fast, Drew! Kraft, parent company of Athenos, contacted us to let us know that they sell six-ounce AND four-ounce packages. When Drew went to buy a package of Athenos feta cheese, he noticed something strange. ” Athenos not only did away with the recently ‘new’ flip top on their feta cheese, replacing it with a decidedly cheaper container, they also removed two entire ounces from the package,” he writes. “I may have to start getting all of my cheese at Sam’s Club now…”
Have you bought a gallon of orange juice lately? Yeah, me either. Thanks to the Grocery Shrink Ray, the gallon-like containers of not-from-concentrate OJ first got zapped down to 96 ounces from an actual gallon of 128 ounces, then zapped seven ounces further just to make it more insulting. Now the same process has begun with milk. Organic Valley brand milk, to be precise. [More]
An anonymous Walmart shopper stopped by to show us how a nice-looking redesign of the mega-retailer’s house-brand mashed potato flakes masks some shrinkage. Wally World took advantage of the packaging change to shave off 5.3 ounces of dehydrated potato goodness. Of course, the box looks the same size from the outside. It’s still a great value. Just a little less great than before, perhaps. [More]