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May 21, 2012

Here We Downsize Again – Part 1 (2012)

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:15 am

In the never ending cycle of products periodically shrinking inconspicuously in size rather than directly going up in price, we found some doozies.

Paper towels often are downsized, and Bounty is no exception:


Bounty Select-a-Size went from 121 sheets on a roll down to 111. But, the new package seems to say that you are getting 33% more sheets. How in the world is that possible?


The fine print says the comparison is not with the prior version of this product as you would expect, but rather with a “regular” roll, whatever that size really is. If you think about, it is outrageous that P&G would put a 33% more sheets claim on a package that was actually just downsized in the number of sheets.

Last fall, peanut butter prices went through the roof. What got less publicity was the fact that nuts themselves went up in price too. In the case of Planters nuts, consumers experienced both a direct price increase as well as a downsizing.


As always, manufacturers never call your attention to the fact that they have downsized the product, so you have to become net-weight-conscious in order to catch them playing this sneaky game.


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February 6, 2012

Glad Bags Downsized

Filed under: Downsizing,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:09 am

Being aware that Mouse Print* regularly reports on downsized products, 12-year old reader Jared G. wrote to us having spotted large boxes of Glad Bags that no longer had as many bags as previously.

MrConsumer asked him to go back to the store, and to act as our special correspondent on the scene, and show us what he found.

Here is Jared’s report…


Wow, wow, wow. What a smart kid! I asked Jared how he came to know about consumer things, and what his views were on spending money. It turns out he learned to be a good shopper from his mother, who homeschools him.

“Regarding consumery things, my mother taught me about pricing and labels, scams, deals, and other shopping paraphernalia, at about eight years old. My money opinions are simple. Your expenses should always be lower or equal to your income.”

Is this a budding consumer advocate or the next Suze Orman (minus the debit card), or what?

Back to Glad bags. MrConsumer took a trip to BJ’s and it revealed that this was not the only Glad product that had been downsized.



We asked Glad to explain why they had downsized so many products. We’re still waiting for an answer.


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December 12, 2011

More Products Downsized

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

A new wave of downsizing has been hitting supermarket shelves over the past several months with everything from cookies to detergent packages shrinking in size. Here are the latest examples:


This reduction of close to an ounce and half means you get two fewer cookies in each package. When MrConsumer saw a Nabisco representative in a supermarket and pointed out the downsizing, she cleverly responded, “Look at it this way, you are saving calories!”


You now get over 10% less in each bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid.


There are now ten fewer tissues in each Kleenex box. This is on top of their 2009 downsizing when each tissue shrank by a fraction of an inch.


In this case, almost two ounces has been lopped off the Vienna Fingers package. And they did something fairly common when a product gets downsized, they printed a banner in the upper right hand corner of the package proclaiming “New Look”, which certainly can distract shoppers from checking the net weight statement.

As always, these examples of downsizing point out the clever ways that manufacturers can pass on a sneaky price increase with many shoppers not even noticing.


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September 12, 2011

Detergent and Cookies Downsized

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:41 am

The latest products to downsize have keep the same old package, but decided to put less product inside.

P&G has just downsized its largest containers of Cascade dishwasher detergent ActionPacs.


In surprisingly large print, the company decreased the number of loads you get from each container from 110 to 105. The trouble is that most consumers have not memorized the number of loads that each size container of Cascade provides, so they are not likely to recognize they are now getting less for the same price.

Also downsizing but keeping the package the same is Mrs. Freshley’s.


Here, instead of getting 12 Buddy Bars in each box (six packages of two), you now get only eight (four packages of two) — a decrease of one-third! Most people, including MrConsumer would not have noticed this because the boxes are the exact same size. Mrs. Freshley’s indicated that in fact they make both eight bar and 12 bar products, but that it is the retailer who decides which to carry. In this case, it was Dollar Tree which apparently decided it could make more money selling the eight pack for a dollar.

Thanks to Cathy B. for spotting the Mrs. Freshley’s change. She also notes that Mrs. Freshley’s Swiss Rolls are being cut similarly, but the box is smaller.


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August 8, 2011

Bucking the Trend, This Company Upsized its Products

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:32 am

Since Mouse Print* began in 2006, we have featured product after product that has been downsized. Manufacturers remove an ounce here and there, and for paper products, they shave off fractions of an inch in width or length, or reduce the number of sheets provided.

Now comes Ken’s Steak House salad dressing. Looking at the picture on the left, the bottle on the left appears bigger than the one on the right, and one might conclude that they too have just downsized. Surprise, the opposite is true.


Ken’s actually added an ounce of dressing to their traditional eight ounce bottle when they made the switch from glass to plastic bottles. This was a deliberate move by this family-run company to buck the downsizing trend.

Too bad they missed the opportunity to tout the fact on the bottle that they are now giving the consumer more at the same old price. (They had limited space, and couldn’t figure out how to best communicate that fact according to a spokesperson for the company.) In the comments below, feel free to offer your suggestions.


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