Can you tell the difference between these two cartons of Tropicana orange juice?
To the naked eye, they look identical but for one small thing tucked into the bottom right hand corner of the carton.
There is now five ounces less in the half gallon carton — just 59 ounces. One can’t peek inside to verify that it is not filled up as much as the old cartons, but that appears to be the case. To see if there really was less in the new carton, we weighed them contents and all to see if the new container was lighter.
Sure enough, the new container plus its contents weighs over a quarter of a pound less.
Mouse Print* asked the company why it downsized, and whether they were just underfilling the old containers to achieve a 5 ounce savings. A customer service representative responded:
“Reducing our 64 ounce carton to a 59 ounce carton wasn’t a decision we took lightly. As you probably have heard, the Florida citrus industry has suffered the most devastating winter freeze and one of the smallest orange crops in 20 years. When the supply of oranges goes down the price goes up which impacts our costs. Instead of raising prices, we chose to slightly reduce the amount of juice and maintain the price. Our consumer research shows that most shoppers, when given a choice between a price increase or slightly less contents, prefer to hold the line on prices.”
You will notice that the second question about underfilling the new containers was not answered.
The question now becomes how long it will be before Tropicana’s competitors downsize their half gallons too.