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]
Mary bought a new bottle of Heinz mustard, but noticed something when she got the bottle of the condiment home. The bottle had been redesigned, which masked a strike from the Grocery Shrink Ray. Even worse, she thinks that the flavor is now worse. Or does it just seem that way because the jar is smaller? [More]
The Grocery Shrink Ray stealthily takes away small portions of all kinds of consumer products: food, beverages, personal care items, and cleaning supplies. Even the super-sized containers at Costco aren’t immune: 130 loads of laundry since his last purchase, Ed noticed that his newest container has fewer detergent pods in it than the last one. Update: Actually, Costco increased the quantity of pods! [More]
The definition of how much food should be in a “family size” package is kind of fuzzy, but it’s apparent that snack food company Snyder’s of Hanover thinks that our families need to eat fewer tortilla chips. One perceptive tortilla chip fan reports that their “family size” bags are in the process of shrinking from 16 ounces to 12.5. [More]
Weight Watchers-branded meals and snacks are supposed to make it easier to follow the Weight Watchers points system and, well, lose weight. Reader M is a fan of their packaged ice cream bars, and was disappointed when she noticed that they’re a little bit smaller than they used to be after a recent package redesign. Yes, it was the Grocery Shrink Ray. [More]
Usually, we try to stay at the forefront of Grocery Shrink Ray news, letting you know when we learn that a company has reduced the size of a product while keeping the price the same. Frito-Lay has been rolling out a massive shrinkage of Sun Chips, zapping bags from 10 ounces to only 7 ounces. Removing a third of the chips by weight? Noooo! [More]
Sure, extra spices really add something to a prepared food item. Do they add enough to justify making packages a whole ounce lighter? Well… in the case of this Oscar Mayer shaved turkey that got slightly spicier but lost an ounce, the answer is “probably not.” [More]
Mary Rose happened to notice that her latest jar of Jif reduced fat peanut butter spread was a little lighter than usual. No, it was because the jar itself had lost some weight. Two ounces, or 11% of the total contents of the jar, to be exact. [More]
Richard spotted this change to Angel Soft toilet paper while shopping at Walmart. The package has a lovely redesign, but it also no longer brags that it contains “70% more.” Why is that? Well, they’ve shrink rayed the total square footage and number of sheets while keeping the price the same.
We’ve seen many different variations on the Grocery Shrink Ray over the years, but somehow never anticipated this: a Warranty Shrink Ray. A sneaky tipster who works at Best Buy noticed that the same product, a Seagate hard drive for notebook computers, had a lovely redesigned box. And a few years lopped off the warranty. Much like how other products change the size of an item just a tiny bit rather than raising the price, Seagate cut back on the warranty.
Jeff needed some plastic hangers, and found some at Kmart that cost just a little more than he wanted to pay. But the odd thing was that the signage wasn’t quite right: the price given was for ten hangers, and the packages actually on the shelf contained eight hangers each. Okay, it’s not a big deal. And broken down, only a few cents’ difference per hanger. That doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying.
Richrecruiter picked up one of those large bottles of Aussie Moist shampoo from Target recently, and noticed that it was smaller than the previous bottle he had purchased. Why, about 20% smaller, but at the same price. The Grocery Shrink Ray is on the attack!
Fans of Nestle’s perfectly dessert-sized mini Drumsticks will be disappointed this summer. While the individual cones have stayed the same size, there are now only ten to a box instead of the former twelve. Update: Nestle let us know that the change is actually the other way around: the package is becoming less lil’, not more.
When the economy began circling the drain a couple of years back, everything began getting smaller, from the cars we drive to the number of banks we have to choose from. And according to the Census Bureau, even our homes were nailed by the recession shrink ray.
Consumerists, I think we’ve been wrong about this Grocery Shrink Ray thing all along. We’ve long believed that companies deploy the Grocery Shrink Ray to imperceptibly decrease the amount of product in a package without customers noticing. But maybe–just maybe–there’s a higher purpose. Maybe they’re trying to save us from consuming a precious few calories and use social engineering to get us to snack less over time until at some point we’re hardly snacking at all. Consider this exhibit: the shrinking Double Gulp cups at Chris’s local 7-11 in Maryland.