Article – Why your toilet paper is shrinking

Everything shrinks in a recession: GDP, investment portfolios, even the products on store shelves. Consumer¬† goods companies know that customers won’t go for price increases during a downturn. Instead they often use a different tactic to offset things such as new competition or the rising cost of raw materials: cutting quantity while maintaining price. Yet it may not be obvious that your ice cream or OJ containers have shrunk. Manufacturers must note new specs on packaging, but the changes don’t have to be advertised (ever seen a now smaller! label?). Here’s a look at one of the most recent examples:

This still comes as news to some people. Apparently, there are still folks out there that don’t actually read the labels on the containers of food they purchase. I’ve been noticing this for a while now. Most notably my 1/2 gal. of Breyers has been melting faster and faster as the packaging continues to shrink and the price remains the same. Same for the spaghetti sauce I buy. The price stays the same, the quantity shrinks and the net result is you pay more for what youre buy but you don’t really notice.

This is kind of a ‘soft inflation’…it’s happening, but it’s being quietly slipped in under cover of careful labelling and packaging. One of the reasons I notice is because a) I almost always evaluate prices by comparing price/oz. and b) I have items purchased last year that I can compare against. This has been going on for a while and if more folks were aware of it more folks might realize how their purchasing power is slipping away.

This is another reason we stock up on things when we can. That can of vegetables that cost $1 per 15 oz. this year may wind up buying an identical sized can next year that only holds 13 oz. at the same price. When you see those sales, stock up.

We’re planning on hitting the local grocery stores Friday and seeing what kinda discounts we can get on turkeys. ‘Cause, let’s face it, prices ain’t going down.

3 thoughts on “Article – Why your toilet paper is shrinking

  1. What you mentioned and QE are two forms of inflation that will put a crunch on the old pocketbook, especially if you have multiple mouths to feed.

    Me? Making another visit to the Mormon Cannery soon.

  2. “Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 20.

    This trend has been happening for a couple of years now everywhere, and over 10 years in coffee (the “pound” cans that aren’t). IMHO, it’s one of the worst sins (along with property taxes) that can be done against the poor. I fully expect God to make the rich of the US pay for promoting behavior like this.

  3. I’ve known all about the Incredible Shrinking Can game they’ve been playing for the last 12 months, but now it’s hitting home.

    Personally, I have a lot of things going on, none else but a cat to feed here at the cave, and so I microwave far more often than I cook. And I likes me some Marie Callender’s Fettucini w/Chicken and Brocolli, and Herb Roasted Chicken.

    Apparently, the bone in drumsticks from Marie’s chicken ranch all ran away, and were replaced with something best described as Herb Roasted Breast of Sparrow.
    The former glory that was Fettucini w/Chicken (usually 7-10 tasty white meat medallions) and Brocolli were replaced in the most recent batch by Fettucini Tiptoed Through By Chickens Who May Have Eaten Brocolli. Tweezers in hand, I feasted on the random shreds of some alleged avian creature nearly indistinguishable from lumps of Alfredo Sauce, garnished with one or two parsley-sprinklings of brocolli of a size once associated with floor droppings.

    I am reminded of the old Russian peasant story, when during the usal hard times, he inquired of the innkeeper’s ratio of meats in the establishment’s advertised Horse & Chicken Soup.

    He was assured by the proprietor that it was no less than exactly 50/50: one horse to one chicken.

    Hope you’re all dining on better fare today.
    Happy Thanksgiving,
    -Aesop

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