A few years ago, the major ice cream makers downsized their half gallon containers to 56 ounces. It took a while for many consumers to catch on to the change, and once they did, shoppers were not happy.
Now we are right in the middle of another downsizing by the ice cream industry. Check your grocer’s freezer case, and you are likely to find both the current 56 ounce container of ice cream along side the new size.
*MOUSE PRINT: Some manufacturers like Breyer’s are introducing containers that are 48 ounces, down a full eight ounces, and the price has remained the same.
You will notice the change in package is very subtle. The new one is tapered more along the sides, but is the same height. When asked why the company downsized their product again, Breyer’s said:
“Breyers has always taken great pride in offering the highest quality products at reasonable and fair prices. Recently, the price of all of our ingredients, most of all the fresh cream we use in our products, has gone up dramatically. Manufacturing and transportation costs also have increased significantly with the surge in fuel oil prices. Because of these economic conditions and in order to remain competitive, Breyers® made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our basic pack to 48 ounces.”
Edy’s ice cream is also in the middle of downsizing their products as well.
*MOUSE PRINT: The original half gallon became 56 ounces, and now it is down again to 48 ounces — a full two cups less than the original size.
The new container is shorter, but that is only obvious when you see them side by side. Only during the time of transition are you likely to see both in the freezer case together.
Like Breyer’s, Edy’s said they continue to experience increases in costs for energy, dairy, etc., and wanted to continue to offer their product at a “familiar price”. When I asked why they don’t call attention to the fact that the package now contains a cup less of ice cream, the company representative said the quantity is clearly marked on the product and there was no intent to deceive.
Both manufacturers kept the price the same, it appears, and the UPCs on the products did not change either.
As we have said many times, downsizing is sneaky way to pass on a price increase because the change is often not obvious, but you are getting less for your money.