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Here We Downsize (and UP-size) Again — Spring 2021

Once again, it is time to spotlight another crop of products that are shrinking inconspicuously right in front of your eyes (and thus facilitating a sneaky price increase). And this time, we also found some products that UP-sized — giving you more for the same money!

Doritos

Eight years ago, we brought you news that Doritos had downsized its 11-3/4-ounce bags to just 11 ounces. Well, we must have missed some additional changes to its net weight in the interim because they recently dropped to 9-1/4 ounces from 9-3/4.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Doritos

The company makes it very hard to detect changes in content because the net weight statement is on the very bottom of the bag, often folded under when stocked on store shelves. Thanks to our ace downsizing spotter, Richard G., for finding this.


Nabisco Wheat Thins

James K. just alerted us to a new downsizing by Nabisco. Their family size boxes of Wheat Thins went from a nice round pound to just 14 ounces. We don’t know if the boxes remained the same size, but according to James the price stayed the same.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Nabisco Wheat Thins


Costco Paper Towels

Paper towels is one of the products that has been downsized periodically over the years and that includes store brands. Costco’s own brand was recently downsized from 160 sheets on the roll to 140. So you basically lost a roll-and-a-half from each package.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Costco paper towels


Kirkland Signature UltraClean Detergent UP-sizes

It was not all bad news at Costco, however. Their own Kirkland brand of laundry detergent got a new bottle and a new label starting in 2019. The old product was said to provide 126 loads, but the new one delivers 146. Surprise!

*MOUSE PRINT:

Kirkland detergent

But, the contents of both bottles are identical: 1.51 gallons. So what’s going on here? We checked with Costco executives and got the inside scoop. The company reformulated their detergent making it slightly more concentrated. As such, the directions on the back of the bottle say you can now use slightly less. Thanks to Bill S. for this submission.


Ocean Spray UP-sizes its 100% Juices

Last month we noted that Thomas’ English Muffins up-sized from 12 to 13 ounces in their six packs. Now Richard G. discovered that Ocean Spray is apparently standardizing its juice bottles to all be 64 ounces. This reverses their move to downsize their 100% juice varieties to just 60 ounces from 64 ounces, as we reported in 2013.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Ocean Spray upsizes

If you find a product that has been either downsized or up-sized, please send a clear picture of both the old and new one to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

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Lowe’s SpringFest Grill Deal Only Looked Smoking Hot

R.M. of Connecticut wrote to us last week complaining about a Lowe’s TV commercial that featured quite a deal on a Weber grill during their first ever SpringFest event.

Lowe's Weber grill

This was exactly the three-burner Weber grill she was looking for, and she knew they were normally over $500. However, R.M. discovered that $379 was not the actual sale price for this model but only by freeze-framing the commercial on her 60-inch HDTV so she could read the fine print.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Lowe's starting at

Lowe's real price

The real price of this unit was more than double the price shown on the screen, and that was only disclosed in tiniest of print for less than four seconds. The big print $379 price was actually for a lower-end unit and only for a two-burner model at that.

Under state consumer law, such as the one in Massachusetts, pictorial misrepresentations are just as deceptive as verbal ones.

No advertisement shall be used which would mislead or tend to mislead buyers or prospective buyers, through pictorial representations or in any other manner, as to the product being offered for sale.

We wrote to Lowe’s three times asking why they would run such a misleading ad, and how it might avoid similar issues in the future. The company did not respond and that says a lot.

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Thanks for Nothing — Spring 2021

One again we bring you a round-up of products, offers, and advertisements that are real head-scratchers or just too-good-to-be-true.

Example #1

Shoppers are attracted to bonus offers on grocery products and manufacturers know it. Sometimes, however, what looks like a special deal on a product is nothing but a mathematics lesson only indicating that a particular package is X% larger than a smaller one, as we have previously reported.

The latest arithmetic lesson comes from Campbell’s but apparently the math wizards there never quite mastered long division.

Campbell's Tomato Soup

*MOUSE PRINT:

Here, the same 15.2 ounce can of tomato soup is compared to the regular 10.75 one, but the company can’t seem to decide how much more you are actually getting in the bigger can. Thanks for nothing, Campbell’s.


Example #2

Recently Shaw’s Supermarkets seemed to offer a great deal in their “Just for U” coupon section – $5 off a $5 purchase.

Shaw's $5 off

*MOUSE PRINT:

It only looked like $5 off a $5 purchase. The zero after the $5 purchase requirement was truncated and only visible when viewing the details of the coupon’s requirements. Thanks for nothing, Shaw’s.


Example #3

Macy’s had advertised a great price on men’s Dockers pants – only $9.95.

Macy's 1

*MOUSE PRINT:

But, when clicking on the $9.95 offer, the price quadrupled to over $40.

Macy's dockers 2

Thanks for nothing, Macy’s.

If you find a questionable product label or advertisement suitable for the Thanks for Nothing series, please submit it to: Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org .

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