There seems to be a sudden wave of products being downsized after a bit of a lull.
Beloved Charmin toilet paper, which believe it or not had 600 or 650 sheets on a roll when it was first introduced, has now been downsized again for the umteenth time, to just 164 sheets per “double” roll.
[Click above to see original labels]
Not only does P&G give you fewer sheets now, they also narrowed each sheet by close to half an inch.
We asked P&G why they downsized Charmin and why they made each sheet narrower. They said they downsized “to provide consumer driven improvements without raising our pricing.” As to why they narrowed each sheet, the company said:
“While the roll width was reduced 3/8ths of an inch, this allowed us to invest in some additional features:
- Comfort Cushions to enhance the softness of Charmin Ultra Soft—a key consumer need for our Ultra Soft users
- A more flexible Charmin Ultra Strong—our Ultra Strong users want strength without making the sheet too stiff
- A reduced roll width to improve how easily it flushes for our most demanding users
We also added some fibers taken away from the sides back into the rest of the sheet to put more fibers where you need them most to get the job done.”
Thanks to Richard G. for tipping us off to how Charmin is squeezing the customer.
Good old Ritz Crackers, which used to come in one pound boxes, and which was downsized a few years ago, has just been downsized again.
Thanks to Jamie M. for spotting the Ritz downsizing.
Lastly, for this downsizing roundup, we have Ocean Spray cranberry juice, which forever has come in 64-ounce bottles, but no longer does. They have been shrunk to 60-ounces. The old bottle on the left says “New Look,” which is usually a tip-off to a change in size, but this time it was a false signal. The new bottle also says “New Look,” and the ounces did drop. Go figure.
How did they do it? When looked at from the side, the top of half of the new bottle has been narrowed. Sneaky. Very sneaky.
Ocean Spray told Mouse Print* that it downsized some of its products because of rising costs it faced and “rather than raise the price at the point of sale.” As to the phrase “new look” appearing on both the old bottles and new bottles bottles, the company said it began using “new look” in October 2012 to differentiate its 100% juice products from its other product lines. And finally, here is their response to why the four-ounce drop in net contents was done so inconspicuously:
“The realities of the economy and the rising costs of goods mean we like many manufacturers have to make tough decisions about products and pricing. Our number one priority is making sure consumers have access to the product they want at a price point they can afford. The move to downsize our 100% Juice line from 64 oz. to 60 oz. was done in accordance with industry standards and was not concealed in any manner.” — Ocean Spray Spokesperson
Thanks to Lynnie B. for catching the Ocean Spray downsizing.