Next time you go to the supermarket and pick up a quart-size jar of Hellmann’s (in the east) and probably Best Foods (in the west), you are going to be in for a little surprise.
*MOUSE PRINT: The net weight statement now reads “30 oz.” instead of 32.
While the size change is apparent looking at the old and new jars side by side, you don’t have that comparison in the store. You see a dozen identical jars that look like the regular quart jar, and priced like the regular quart jar. You grab one, and you get snookered because they all have two ounces less in them.
All mayonnaise has come in quart jars for decades. Unlike tuna fish that has been downsized multiple times, this is the first time it has happened to mayonnaise. That’s what makes it so surprising, and why it has gone virtually unnoticed.
Why did Unilever Bestfoods do this? Here’s what customer service said:
“At Unilever Bestfoods we have always taken great pride in offering the highest quality products at reasonable and fair prices.
Recently, inflationary pressures have brought about by the increased costs of raw materials. Rather than raise our prices, we chose to slightly reduce the size of the 32 oz quart and 16 oz pint. This is the first time in over three years that we have had to increase costs to our consumers.”
As with other categories of items that have been downsized, it is a sneaky way to pass on a price increase. Expect competing brands to trim their jars sometime soon.