Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Deceptive Downsizing at the Supermarket

Please see video at end of post that includes more information on this topic.

It's cold and flu season again. Oh, joy! Seems just a short while ago my pantry was stocked to the brim with tissues.

It's also the holiday season, and that means extra snacks, juice, and well, "extras" for all the parties, dinners, and friends stopping by.

Next time you grab for that box of tissues, bottle of juice, peanut butter, or even your child's morning cereal, make sure you check the packaging. Look for smaller packaging, width size is being manipulated more than height.

Homeowners are not the only ones downsizing these days.

Food manufacturers, paper product companies, along with a plethora of other major brand companies out there are downsizing their products. They have basically decided to research either how sneaky they can be, or how misinformed we, as consumers, are.

For example, Lays Brand potato chips has recently downsized their 16oz "Family Size" package of chips to 14oz, with no change in price. Skippy brand peanut butter has taken the equivalent of two (2) tablespoons out of their product. By looking at the jar, you would not notice. You also wouldn't notice unless you knew exactly what the previous ounce of Skippy was. How did Skippy get around this? The same jar is used, except the very bottom of the jar has been altered to "not" accommodate the two tablespoons, by taking out an indentation that was previously there. However, again, the price has stayed the same.

Paper product manufacturers are making tissues not as wide, but the packaging is the same. Toilet tissue paper has less sheets to allow for the more "wider" roll. Again, without this knowledge, shoppers would not notice a difference. The product packaging is reaming very close to same. Therefore, less bang for our hard earned buck.

Remember the better-buy shopping mantra: "Be aware; always compare".

A survey of shoppers felt more "cheated" or "deceived" when told of the manufacturers' changes. Those same shoppers said they would be willing to pay a nominal increase in price to keep the same product amount than to feel deceived by manufacturers' tactics.

To learn more on this topic, please view the following video from NBCs Today Show featuring Janice Lieberman, Consumer Advocate.

Would like to hear your thoughts on this matter.

(if you experience audio problems at the start of video, (i.e. out of sync, garbled sound)when the video has finished loading/buffering, the audio will be corrected..promise!) :) Feel free to contact me or leave a comment and I will help you.
It is a Truveo tech situation.

video courtesy: NBC Today Show : 12/9/08, 2nd hour; via MSNBC Truveo

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