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.
Greg is unhappy with Gilette, the maker of his favored razor. He writes that first, they raised the prices (at Walmart, at least.) Then the number of razors in each package decreased, from four to three and from eight to six. Will the indignities never end?
Alexey has found the ubiquitous Grocery Shrink Ray is also zapping toys. The pictured Imaginarium blocks used to come in sets of 200, as is reflected in the old price tag, barely visible at the bottom of the screen, but has been shrunk down to 150.
If you want to slather your Jack in the Box grub in sweet & sour sauce you’re going to need to grab more packets, because as Jason spotted in this photo, the amount of sauce in each mini-container has shrunk from 1 ounce to 0.875 ounces.
The latest issue of GOOD magazine, which arrived in our mailbox yesterday, seems to be equal parts tongue-in-cheek and an actual attempt to save money on printing. To be honest, it’s the first time we ever made it entirely through a magazine in one sitting, so in that sense we kind of like the new format, even if it’s just for one issue. Of note: if your resume sucks, you can enter it in their resume-makeover contest.
With the the cost of ingredients, gas prices, and interest rates dropping, why are food manufacturers continuing to hike prices and shrink products? According to the L.A. Times, supermarkets don’t know, but they’re as pissed as we are.
We’ve seen food items, airline mile programs, and credit card limits all shrink as the economy worsens. Now it’s time for other rewards programs to become just a little less rewarding—and somewhat sneakily, too, in these two stories recently sent in by readers.
Reader Jeff informs us that dessert giant Haagen-Daz sent him a nicely-worded email describing all the best ways his favorite flavors of ice cream will have a few less spoonfuls. But don’t worry, it’s really all in your best interest! Really! It’s seriously to preserve the integrity of the flavor, or something. Actually, this is somewhat refreshing — at least they are up-front and honest about it. [Haagen-Daz]
BUH-KAW! Tyson’s five-pound bag of frozen chicken wings is now Tyson’s four-pound bag of frozen chicken wings.
The Grocery Shrink Ray has reared its ugly head again, this time hitting Dawn hand soap by nearly an entire ounce. It’s amazing what they can hide in slight revisions of molded plastic.
Is nothing sacred? The New York Times is reporting that the grocery shrink ray, that scourge of the savvy supermarket shopper, has now been turned to televisions.
A reader wants to know why Lowes advertises and sells gallons of house paint that aren’t full gallons. Their website says the cans are “1-Gallon.” Their receipts describe them as 1 gallon cans of paint. Even the stickers they print out and place on the lids say “One Gallon.” But Brian notes that when he brought the paint home and really looked at the cans, “One of the labels read ‘116 Fluid Ounces; 3.43 liters’, the second label read ‘126 Fluid Ounces; 3.725 Liters.'”
Although we’ve been covering the unpleasant phenomenon of the grocery shrink ray for a while, we’ve been slightly relieved that the shrinking products were things like soap, gum, and orange juice—not crucial staples of our existence. Not anymore, according to the Wall Street Journal: Bars and restaurants are shrinking their beers. The horror!
In an attempt to cut expenses on donuts and signage, this Safeway in Oakland, CA. reduced their “dozen” from 14 to 12, reader Leonard discovered. We would have preferred a new sign or no sign at all. The “14” crossed out with a Sharpie simply mocks us.