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March 14, 2016

Blue Bunny Ice Cream Downsizes

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:03 am

Blue Bunny has been the white knight of the ice cream industry. When other brands downsized to 56 ounces, they stayed at half a gallon. Subsequently when the industry moved to a 48 ounce container, Blue Bunny touted that their now 56 ounce container gave you two extra scoops.

2 more scoops

Now, eagle-eyed Mouse Print* reader Richard G., the king of finding products that have undergone the shrink ray, reports that Blue Bunny has finally succumbed and downsized its ice cream and yogurt products, cutting out a cup or more of the sweet treat.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Blue Bunny 56 oz. Blue Bunny 48 oz.

In fact, some varieties are now 46 ounces, not even 48 ounces.

The company explains that it has changed its packaging to see-through plastic, and in answer to the question of why they shrunk containers, they say:

While ice cream is fun it is also a very competitive landscape! Over the last several years consumers have seen brands respond to the competitiveness with various changes to their products, from changing size of container to electing to stray from the true definition of ice cream and deliver frozen dairy dessert. While our packaging size has changed with our makeover, the quality of our ice cream has not been ignored, in fact our ice cream is better than ever! Most importantly, consumers can be confident Blue Bunny is committed to delivering an incredible ice cream experience with the best quality in all aspects – from the first opening to digging out the last scoop in the container! We are dedicated every day to ensure that we are delivering on the commitment to provide high quality ice cream products at a reasonable price for our fans to enjoy.

So, parsing all that flowery language… they are doing just what competitors did a long time ago.

They have also tinkered with the nutrition label, such as the one for the frozen yogurt above. The serving size is now 70 grams instead of the old 86 grams.

Just don’t expect Blue Bunny to proclaim these changes with a big banner like this:

Blue Bunny Two Fewer




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15 Comments

  1. No big surprise with that. Have you noticed the traditional pints are no longer pints? Haggen Dazs is down to 15 OZ. Ben & Jerry’s is still 16 OZ.

    A few years ago, Edgar, you wrote about Breyers and their “Frozen Dairy Desert” not meeting minimal ice cream standards. Hood and Friendly’s now have joined the ranks. That is a personal crusade for this ice cream lover. I get ticked when supermarkets advertise any of those mentioned as an ice cream sale and several are not ice cream. If I am buying ice cream I have warned other ice cream lovers and the word will (hopefully) get out.

    Blue Bunny – despite some recent negative issues – is a great ice cream for a large volume commercial brand. But for me, I now buy most of my ice cream from a local dairy that has three stores in the area. Recently paid $6.25 for a hand packed real gallon of banana ice cream.

    Comment by Rick M. — March 14, 2016 @ 7:48 am
  2. Oh well, he beat me to it – I was just going to send you this today after noticing how it was on the shelf at my local Super Walmart right alongside the older, larger size, of course at the same price. I have both of them and there has been a slight ingredient change to the “no sugar added” ice cream – The new formula uses buttermilk while the old one does not. I tasted the new one and I’m not sure how I feel yet but I think I like the old one better. This really bites because Blue Bunny is one of the only brands that carries a “no sugar added” version.

    Comment by Ronnie — March 14, 2016 @ 7:50 am
  3. From their response: “…in fact our ice cream is better than ever!” My question is, In what way? Maybe it’s the buttermilk that Ronnie mentions (above). I’d like to hear them answer the question, however.

    Comment by Richard P — March 14, 2016 @ 8:21 am
  4. I can’t blame them, they have to have a higher price and no one probably realized they were getting more and the cost per ounce was maybe the same.

    It would be like selling your eggs at 14 in a package instead of 12.

    Comment by Lisa — March 14, 2016 @ 9:45 am
  5. “Same price, less product” would be an interesting advertising campaign to say the least.

    Comment by Wayne R — March 14, 2016 @ 10:04 am
  6. Well Ronnie The change in Tubs started around 30 days ago depending upon what store got new tubs first.

    I noticed both tubs at a local Walmart with a pistachio almond flavor. Weather or not the new tubs have a better taste, I do not know. I will say buttermilk will make a difference in taste of product though.

    Well Rick M. I can 100% say that people online have posted/commented that Friendly’s has done a change in the recipe for the ice cream. It does not taste as good as they say and you must avoid it.

    Comment by Richard — March 14, 2016 @ 10:15 am
  7. Why are companies so afraid to just raise the price of their product in lieu of downsizing? Just raise the price – no questions asked – we understand. If I’m loyal to the product, I will continue to buy them.

    I was fortunately enough to buy the last 4 containers of my favorite white mint chocolate chunk Blue Bunny yogurt at my local Walmart. Once they’re gone I have little choice but to bite the bullet for the downsized ones (sigh).

    Comment by Frankie — March 14, 2016 @ 11:08 am
  8. Frankie, consumers enjoy being fooled. It is not typically worth the risk for a company to be honest about manufacturing and pricing because many consumers do not respond well to honesty.

    If a company were to raise the price, consumers will notice and complain. If a company were to decrease product size, most consumers will never notice.

    People like me who do notice such things are aware of unit pricing and won’t complain much as long as packaging is still convenient.

    Comment by Wayne R — March 14, 2016 @ 5:15 pm
  9. Snooker me once, I’m done! No more Blue Bunny

    Comment by Ken Schucht — March 14, 2016 @ 6:31 pm
  10. Wayne R, I don’t believe that consumers like being fooled. Most people get pissed off at this tactic, it’s just that the companies are banking on the fact that people might not notice, or notice and just shrug because they know there’s nothing they can do about it. The problem is that enough people don’t complain and vote with their wallets to make a difference, and the companies know they can push through the change without much resistance. Prices go up all the time, we accept it as a fact of life. Just because a company or an entire industry adopts a strategy doesn’t mean it’s what the customers want. Bad business decisions become the norm and people just accept them as the way things are. I think the average American consumer is beaten down too much to complain about anything, even a hike in prices anymore, so they might as well raise them. Most of us know they’re doing it anyway. These underhanded tactics are really insulting to most of the public – It shows how little respect for us they have anymore.

    Comment by Ronnie — March 14, 2016 @ 7:20 pm
  11. I vote with my wallet all the time. If more sheeple did the same, companies would change their behavior. If the government passes a mileage tax on consumers, I will vote with my feet! I’ve had enough!!!

    Comment by Greg the Bunny — March 14, 2016 @ 10:47 pm
  12. Greg the Bunny, I’m with you, I’m that cranky “old lady” that actually complains to the manufacturers and votes with my wallet. I often don’t get a response or a “canned’ cop out response like Blue Bunny gave Edgar above. Sometimes I doubt it has any affect but it doesn’t stop me because you never know when you might make a difference. I know on a few occasions I felt like my opinion was actually heard and changes made. These days those occasions are getting fewer and farther between, though.

    Comment by Ronnie — March 15, 2016 @ 11:52 pm
  13. Wayne r’s response is 100% right.
    Today people care about $$$ not quality. You raise the pricevthey flee, you shrink the size they never know. Yet not only is tye manufacturer saving on product, but packaging and shipping cost. So they save more and you get less.

    I recently tried to explain to a woman how spending an extra $330 a year would have saved her from having to spend $5000 now but she kept saying $10 was too much and how she save money by paying the $10 less. I gave up trying to educate her.

    Sadly quality rearely matters any more. I would gladly pay more for a better product that will last longer than buy a cheap product that last 1/2 the time.

    Not sure why money is more important than quality but doubt it will ever happen

    Comment by Tom — March 19, 2016 @ 4:23 pm
  14. There comes a point where it won’t be possible to shrink stuff anymore and prices will have to go up. People notice when they have to buy two of something to have enough of a product. The sizes are getting so small you have to buy two packages of frozen vegetables just to have two normal portions for two people. Back in the 1970s they raised prices and people had no choice but to buy it anyway. Milk prices go up and down and people still buy it. Same with butter and toilet paper. So I don’t buy that logic about people not buying stuff if they raise the price. They would notice but buy it anyway just like they do when shrink stuff. The manufacturers are postponing the inevitable and it’s a fool’s game.

    Comment by Ronnie — March 25, 2016 @ 6:45 pm
  15. Not only did they down size but Bunny Tracks, which was my favorite, is not the same. They lost me.

    Comment by Diane — March 26, 2016 @ 12:04 am

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