02 June 2011

Hidden product shrinkage

All savvy shoppers are aware of the seemingly never-ending trend of "product shrinkage."  Rather than raise prices, manufacturers decrease the size of their product, sometimes overtly, and sometimes in as subtle a fashion as possible.  The dimple on the bottom of a bottle may get deeper, the package may become tapered, there are fewer items in the non-transparent bag. 

The photo above shows an example our family recently encountered while replacing a paper product.  The cardboard roll from the previous item (same brand) fits easily inside the roll of the new product. 

I hope they don't increase the size of the hole in Krispy Kreme doughnuts.


  1. Yeah, it's also called dishonesty.

  2. and now a word from our sponsors


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  3. "dimple on the bottom of a bottle may get deeper"

    That's a misunderstanding, at least in the case of HonesTea. A lot of what looks like less product is really less packaging or a better shape for shipping. Remember the way two liter plastic bottles used to look, with the opaque 'bumper' on the bottom? When soda bottlers switched away from them about 20 years ago people freaked out. The bottle 'looked less full.' It also used a lot less plastic, costing less to make and reducing landfill in a time when many people didn't recycle.

    So sometimes it's cost-cutting, other times environmentalism. Sometimes it's is just plain dishonest packaging (bought a theater-style box of candy lately and found a little bag inside that big box?). The only really way to know if a product is shrinking is to check the net weight (or square feet in the case of the tp) on the package. They're legally required to be truthful there.

  4. The Grocery Shrink Ray has been around for a very long time - but lately it's been particularly egregious. Whole rows of squares missing from chocolate bars, that sort of thing.
    The Consumerist has a fairly large collection of examples.

  5. I'm glad I am not the only one who came to that conclusion.

    Love & Peace from Heerenveen (the Netherlands)


  6. krispy kreme has shrunk their donuts in Columbia. first the donuts shrunk and the box size remained the same so the shrinkage was obvious. now the holiday boxes are out and have been reduced in size to fit the smaller donuts.


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