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There’s a nifty little trick going on at grocery stores and they're hoping that most consumers are none the wiser. For some time now, product manufacturers have been reducing the size of their packages and the weight of the product inside them. It used to be that groceries were sold in simple sizes: 1 lb, 2 liters, 1 quart, a pint, etc. But now there's a new problem: grocery shrink.
Consumers got used to making price comparisons and purchasing decisions based on those standard sizes. Driven by bottom line considerations, food manufacturer’s started to get inventive on ways they could increase profits without increasing prices. And of course, in many cases, they just went ahead and raised their prices anyhow.
Now, manufacturers will tell you that their ingredient prices skyrocketed a few years ago and people are only comfortable paying certain price points at the grocery store and that's what forced their hands and obliged them to shrink the size in order to hit those magic price points. We just don’t buy it especially since commodities prices have now plunged and the packages haven’t gotten any bigger!
Here’s our list of 9 foods that have shrunk in the grocery store. Notice any of your favorite brands? If you have others to add to our list, please add them in the comments section.
Coffee: Good to the Last Drop Because It’s Also the First Drop
Coffee was the original shrinkage sinner many years ago. Once sold in 16 ounce cans (You know, a “Pound of Coffee!”). The industry got creative with escalating coffee prices. Our friends at Folgers and Maxwell House dropped their coffee from 16 ounces to 13 ounces but conveniently explained that the 13 ounces would make the same amount of coffee as the original package because they “puffed” the granules. Sure, if you just make the coffee weaker, you won't notice the difference. That wasn’t good enough and now their pound of coffee is a tiny 11 to 11.5 ounces for a whopping 30% reduction. Of course, they didn't bother to change the size of the can so you just get to pay for more air.