YUEI: Less is Less

Monday, March 16, 2009

Your shampoo bottle smaller? Your Doritos bag fuller? Tod Marks(aka "Tightwad Tod"), senior projects editor at Consumer Reports, explains how companies are adjusting product sizes and marketing in the new economy. Have you noticed and product size changes or other marketing tricks? Comment below!


Tod Marks

Comments [42]

Bh Mt from LI

More cost per pound is bad enough.

Rather than eating less, how many must open two of the smaller packages where one would suffice before. Ten ounces of tuna where 7 was just fine. Or two candy bars (and three and...).

Have they tried to downsize the "2-liter" soda yet? 68..65 .. 62 ....

Mar. 19 2009 06:21 PM
gaetano catelli from manhattan

the 50-cent bag of Wise buttered popcorn has shrunk :-(

btw, Ian from Brooklyn, at Grand Food Market (crnr Grand and Crosby in SoHo), the 20-oz sodas are $1.25.

Mar. 18 2009 09:49 PM
L from Manhattan

Scott Toilet Paper Tissue. There are still 1,000 4.5x3.7 sheets/roll, BUT they are now so thin you can literally read a newspaper through them.

Mar. 18 2009 04:09 PM

Bernardo --

Kimono Microthin Large

Mar. 16 2009 04:41 PM
Ian Rogers from Park Slope, Brooklyn

All the more reason to buy in bulk!

Mar. 16 2009 11:29 AM
Caroline Bjorling from staten Island NY

A 7oz. can of tuna is now 6oz or 5 1/2 oz.

Mar. 16 2009 11:07 AM
Caroline Bjorling from staten Island NY

Friskies Can Cat Food is now a "pate" (whatever that means) and it just "plops" out of the can, no spoon needed (less food)

Mar. 16 2009 11:06 AM
Caroline from New Jersey

RE: suki from williamsburg "I think they're doing us a favor..."

Regardless of the argument whether Americans eat too much I don't think it's doing us a favor providing less of a product (falsely advertised as a pint, etc.) for the same prices.

Mar. 16 2009 11:04 AM
Jessica from Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Contrary to what you say..." Less is More..." Perhaps this will help reduce waste and the 'super size' factor in obesity by only purchasing what you need- similar to Europe.

Mar. 16 2009 11:00 AM
Charlie Roberts from Oceanport, NJ

A long time ago, Burger King reduced the size (in diameter) of the Whopper.

Mar. 16 2009 10:59 AM

plastic bottles have gotten thinner. this allows bottle makers to reduce the amount of plastic resin they buy. Yet the cost of bottled products hasnt changed.

Mar. 16 2009 10:59 AM

bars of dial soap !!! the back has been carved out, it fits in my hand like a handle, not a rectangular bar of soap

Mar. 16 2009 10:59 AM
Maya from Brooklyn

I noticed yesterday at Fairway in Red Hook that the most expensive cheeses are now priced by the 1/4 lb., not by the lb.

Mar. 16 2009 10:59 AM
John Lamont from New Jersey

Also check out the tuna fish. They're adding more water! Once you squeeze it all out you end up with half a can.


Mar. 16 2009 10:58 AM
Peter Capek from Ossining, NY

Besides changing package sizes, I believe manufacturers are reformulating the product to make it flow more easily. Your opening caller mentioned this for shampoo, and I've noticed it for toothpaste, where changing the size of the orifice would be noticed.

Mar. 16 2009 10:58 AM
Paul from Glen Cove

Tropicana 16 oz box carton is now 14oz
they also make boxes and a bottle now

Mar. 16 2009 10:58 AM
Sam from Vermont

Tropicana 16oz cartons are now 14oz. They also changed the label to distract consumers.

Mar. 16 2009 10:58 AM
bee from brooklyn

yeah! i loved that coordinated all-brand tuna can downsizing this fall.

MY FAVORITE is the package that gets hollow from the Bottom! that is getting out of control. I just got a hummus package that is hilarious.

Mar. 16 2009 10:57 AM

These are all good reasons to buy whole foods (not necessarily as in the the supermarket, but in the term). They are sold by WEIGHT.

Mar. 16 2009 10:57 AM
Wendy from NYC Manhattan

Shrinking juice bottles for higher prices: portable V-8 juice sold in plastic bottles in the corner deli was originally 16 oz. for $1.20 and now the bottles have been reduced to 12 oz. and the prices are now $1.99!

Mar. 16 2009 10:57 AM
Leo Farley from Manhattan

Tuna Fish which prices have risen lately,
has a nicely wrapped in plastic 4 pack
still a hefty price but a lot less than 4 6 ounce cans, but when you open it up at home you notice these 4 cans are 5 ounces not 6 and this not labled anywhere on the 4 pack deal

Mar. 16 2009 10:56 AM
Leif Smith from redding ct

the 12 oz pound of coffee has been around for years

Mar. 16 2009 10:56 AM
Ian from Brooklyn

Haha, while everyone in the city pays $1.75 to #2.00 for a Coca Cola 20oz soda, we in the outer boros still pay .50 for Tropical Fantasy Soda bottles by the Broklyn Bottling Company.

Mar. 16 2009 10:56 AM
Karen from Manhattan

My Stonyfield low-fat plain yogurt container was partly empty -- filed only to about 1/2 inch from the top.

Mar. 16 2009 10:56 AM
lauren from Asbury Park

The grocery "SHRINK RAY"! we love, always reporting on this topic - a website owned by consumer reports.

Mar. 16 2009 10:56 AM
janice from manhattan

I think the grocers are taking the bunches of spinach and kale and the like and splitting them in half but selling them for the same price.

I also note the bottom of jars are now domed, so it looks like you are buying the same size but actually you are not.

Mar. 16 2009 10:56 AM
eric from Long Island city

This is decades old, but you may appreciate Stephen Jay Gould's "Phyletic Size Decrease in Hershey Bars", found in his collection Hen's Teeth and Horses' Toes. Discusses price and size changes from 1949 through 1979.

This was collected along with his sadness
about the Red Sox. Have hope!

Mar. 16 2009 10:56 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

Is Haagen Daz really calling 14 ounces a pint? Wouldn't that be illegal? A pint is defined by the Bureau of Standards, isn't it?

Mar. 16 2009 10:56 AM
Bernardo Pace from Brooklyn

Has anyone else noticed condoms have shrunk as well? Latex is money, like everything else.

Mar. 16 2009 10:55 AM
Harry from Jersey City

Regarding beer size. High end beers, especially from other countries has been 11.2 ounces forever. It the typical 33cl size sold in most countries outside US.

Mar. 16 2009 10:55 AM
Zak from Washington Heights

I wish, however, that they would shrink the excess packaging that is a part of so many contemporary consumer goods. They could lower packaging costs and help the environment by limiting the sheer amount of plastic in packaging. (I try to buy as many things in bulk as I can)

Mar. 16 2009 10:55 AM
suki from Williamsburg

I think they're doing us a favor. Americans eat ENTIRELY too much.

Mar. 16 2009 10:55 AM
K from Brooklyn

I opened a box of Ritz crackers on Friday and the cracker has shrunk in diameter.

Mar. 16 2009 10:55 AM
Tom from Toronto

Can't say if this is exactly new or not, but the shaving gel, Edge Gel, comes out very fast and you end up wasting a lot.

Mar. 16 2009 10:54 AM
Chrissy from Brooklyn

I swear my tortilla chips have gotten flatter...

Mar. 16 2009 10:54 AM
Wendy from East Village, NY

Cereal boxes are shrinking SO MUCH! prices are SO HIGH!

Mar. 16 2009 10:54 AM

My cereal boxes look the same size on the supermarket shelf, but when you pick them up you notice they are much skinnier from front to back.

Mar. 16 2009 10:53 AM
jtt from nyc

All brands of canned tuna have gone from 6 to 5 ounces, while the price per can has risen about 50 cents.

Mar. 16 2009 10:40 AM

When I tear open that bag of Doritos what I'm craving is 3.5z of good ole' American GMO corn, liquified, reformed and double salted. What I'm NOT craving is amateurishly molded particle-board dust.

Conclusion: If they have to cut let them cut quantity, not quality.

Mar. 16 2009 10:21 AM
stu from nyc

A half gallon (64 oz) container of supermarket ice cream (think Breyers or Turkey Hill) is now 56 or 48 ounces, but the price is the same. A bar of Dove soap used to be 4.75 oz, but now it's 4.25 oz (same price). Detergent, fabric softener, breakfast cereal - the list goes on and on. I'm waiting for a carton of a dozen eggs that contains only 8 or 10 eggs.

Mar. 16 2009 10:16 AM
r from NYC

candy bars have shrunk in half(the size of an index finger) and are $1.50.

Mar. 16 2009 10:10 AM
chris from bklyn

Interesting, too, that "just noticeable differences" (or the lack of them) are now a marketing tool: "Ben and Jerry's Calls Out Haagen-Dazs on Shrinkage"

Mar. 16 2009 10:08 AM

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