Monday, January 3, 2011

Is it just me or have you lost weight?!

Old: 64 oz.
New: 59 oz.
Difference: -7.8%
Reason: Last winter's freeze in Florida.

In the February 2011 issue of Consumer Reports (yes, it's January... yes, my dad subscribes) a particular article jumped out at me. The focus is on the remaking of products and packaging in order to lessen the quantity of goods without lowering the price. The article explain "ways manufacturers hide their handiwork: indenting the bottom of containers (a favorite trick among peanut butter processors, making plastic wraps thinner, or whipping ice cream so that you pay for air instead of ingredients." Take a look at some of the pictures I took from the article. (I apologize for the picture quality, they were taken on my phone as they are not "googlable"...yet)

Old roll: 115.2 sq. ft.
New roll: 104.8 sq. ft.
Difference: -9%
Reason: Strength improvement increased fiber by 10%. Company also realigned the roll to match other companies (alternative to price increase).

Yoplait Original: 6 oz.
Yoplait Whips:4 oz.
Difference: -33.3%
Reason: Product full of air bubbles due to the whipped consistency. When stirred it does not fill the container

Old: 96.2 sq. ft.
New: 85 sq. ft.
Difference: -11.6%
Reason: " 'It's a good question. I will look into it and e-mail a response.' (We never got one)"

Kraft Mac & Cheese Elbows: 7.25 oz.
Kraft Mac & Cheese Spirals: 5.5 oz.
Difference: -24%
Reason: A shape is more expensive, difficult, and involved than an elbow. The company also makes much more of the elbows (so they can be sold for less).

Old: 30 0z.
New: 24 oz.
Difference: -20%
Reason: 30-ounce discontinued in smaller stores due to increased costs for raw materials.

Classic Roast: 11.3 oz.
French Roast: 10.3 oz.
Difference: -8.8%
Reason: Weight difference based on roasting process and amount of moisture removed from beans. The darker, the roast, the more lightweight the coffee. The containers should provide the same number of brewed cups.

These are just some examples featured in the article, others include (but are not limited to) Classico Pesto, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, and Jessica Simpson's favourite... Chicken of the Sea "Pink Salmon".

Here are some tips and tricks from the lovely people at Consumer Reports:
- Look at different brands (Minute Maid still sells OJ in half-gallons and Ben & Jerry's packs its ice cream in pints)
-Compare unit prices
- Try store brands (cheaper and still taste good)
- Buy in bulk

and when all else fails...

- Contact the company. "When we asked customer-service representatives why a product had been downsized, we were often given coupons toward our next purchase."


  1. you know the mac n chesse one makes me the most upset. :p
    very interesting kends!

  2. Good to see I am not the only one who reads my magazines - nice fact snack!



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