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Beyond Meat Sued Over Protein Content of Its Veggie Burgers

Beyond Burger frontSix Illinois consumers are suing Beyond Meat, one of the leading makers of plant-based burgers and other meat substitutes, alleging that the company overstates the amount of protein in most of their products. It goes on to assert that the “daily value” percentage (“DV”) representing how much protein the product contributes to meeting the government’s daily requirement for protein is grossly exaggerated.

For the product above, for example, the company claims each burger has 20 grams of protein and that represents 40% of an adult’s daily requirement.

Beyond Burger Nutrition Facts

The lawyers for the consumers say otherwise in their complaint because they had the products tested by a laboratory.

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Plaintiffs’ counsel commissioned testing of Defendant’s Products, which show that the Products do not contain the amount of stated protein amount and/or protein DV [Daily Value] %. For example, Defendant’s Beyond Beef Plant-Based Ground 16oz Patties, which is labeled as “20G Per Serving” and “40% DV” for protein, actually contains 19G Per Serving by nitrogen testing, and 7% DV for protein.

So the tests showed that there is slightly less protein, but how much the protein contributes to your daily requirement for protein is completely out of whack according to the lawyers. They say you are only getting 7% DV because of the quality of the pea protein used, not the 40% claimed. This is because, they contend, the company did not use the proper test to determine protein quality as required by federal regulations which factors in the digestibility and amino acid utilization of the protein being tested. For further reading, here is an article about pea protein vs. whey protein and how they are tested and compare. Contrary to what the lawyers claim, however, it says that pea protein concentrate rates pretty high generally.

The lawsuit concludes that Beyond Meat has misrepresented many of its products in violation of various federal and state consumer protection and other regulations.

For its part, Beyond Meat said “The allegations in the filing are unfounded and not representative of Beyond Meat’s products. We are prepared to vigorously fight this case.”

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Here We Downsize Again – Spring 2022, Part 2

We continue our series of products that have been downsized or as people say today, they have been subject to shrinkflation.

Note: Packages are displayed only to show numerical changes in net contents. Physical package dimensions may or may not be to scale depending on the graphic used.

Sparkle Paper Towels

Paper towels and toilet paper are two common culprits when it comes to downsizing. This time, Sparkle paper towels lopped off six sheets from every roll, going from 116 “pick-a-size” sheets to just 110. Georgia-Pacific customer service confirms that the towels are still two-ply despite the fact that that designation is missing from the front of the package. The company’s PR folks say they lowered the suggested retail price of the new packages, but we bought both packages below at the same time, at the same store, and got no extra discount on the smaller one.

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Sparkle paper towels


Cocoa Pebbles

After General Mills downsized their family size boxes of cereal last year, Post was not too far behind. We found these boxes side-by-side in a local supermarket in February. About a bowl of cereal was taken out of the new packages.

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Cocoa Pebbles


Quaker Life Cereal

Pete B. noticed that Quaker Life cereal not only downsized their big boxes of cereal from 24.8 ounces to 22.3, but they also changed the size name from “Giant” to “Family.” In fact, the new box is almost three-quarters of an inch taller, but half an inch less deep. Thanks to Pete for finding this change.

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Quaker life


Charmin Super Mega Toilet Paper

Even Charmin’s Ultra Soft “super mega” rolls are getting smaller. In February, Richard G. tipped us off that P&G reduced the size of these rolls from 396 sheets to 366. Charmin Ultra Strong in the red package is still 396 sheets, but eventually it will shrink too. Keep in mind the original single-ply Charmin of the 1960s had 650 sheets on a roll.

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Charmin Super Mega blue


Pedigree Dog Food

Pedigree resized some of their dry dog food products including this one. While both old and new packages claim you are getting a bonus in every bag, the net change is that you are getting six pounds less. And our tipster, Brendan B. says the price stayed the same.

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Pedigree 50-44

At least Chewy.com alerted readers to the change.


Utz Pretzels

Snack foods like potato chips are constantly being downsized, so as not to feel left out, Utz is now taking two ounces of pretzels out of it big jars. They are now 26 ounces instead of 28. Thanks to Tim B. for this submission.

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Utz pretzels


Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

P&G periodically downsizes Dawn. This time the bottle lost half an ounce. It is down to just 6.5 ounces for the smallest size. Both bottles scanned at $1.79 at CVS in May.

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Dawn 7 - 6.5 oz


Aveeno Lotion

New bottles of Aveeno won’t soothe your wallet. There’s 10% less moisturizing lotion in every one.

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Aveeno


If you find an item that has downsized, please try to take a picture of the old and new one side-by-side with the net weight clearly shown. Just email submissions to edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks!

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Here We Downsize Again – Spring 2022, Part 1

With inflation at a four-decade high, is it any wonder that some manufacturers are shrinking their products (shrinkflation) instead of, or perhaps in addition to raising the price? Since most shoppers don’t pay attention to the net weight or net count disclosure on packages, manufacturers can pass on a sneaky price increase without much notice by just making their products a little smaller. Here is part one of our latest round of products that have been downsized in 2022 or discovered this year.

Angel Soft Toilet Paper

Paper towels and toilet paper are two common culprits when it comes to downsizing. This time, Angel Soft dramatically downsized its mega rolls from 425 sheets to just 320 sheets. The company did, however, make the new sheets 20% thicker they say. Amazingly, despite losing over a quarter of the sheets, the new package is virtually the same size as the old. We bought the items below at the same store, at the same time, and paid the same price for both. Thanks to our ace shrinkflation sleuth, Richard G., for this submission.

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Angel Soft 425-320


Miracle-Gro Plant Food

Visiting Home Depot recently, MrConsumer found a large display of Miracle-Gro Plant Food which has traditionally come in five-pound canisters. This year, if you are not careful, your $9.98 purchase price won’t go nearly as far if you pick up the wrong package.

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Miracle Gro

There were five-pound canisters side-by-side with ones that were only four-and-one-quarter pounds — 12 ounces less. That may be a sure way to grow company margins at the expense of customers. The company did not respond to our questions about the size change. Thanks to Stephen M. for this lead.


Breton Crackers

Various varieties of Breton crackers recently lost an ounce or more per box. Here, for example, their multigrain variety went from 8.8 ounces to 7.3 ounces — a loss of an ounce-and-a-half. Interestingly, at the store where these were found, the new, smaller box was 19 cents more expensive.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Breton crackers


Kleenex Tissues

We can always count on paper goods to be subject to shrinkflation. This time it is Kleenex tissues — those little powder room boxes — five tissues disappeared from every box. That’s nearly a 10% reduction. Thanks to Greg D. for this submission.

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Kleenex 65


Post Honey Bunches of Oats

Joining the parade of cereals being downsized is Post Honey Bunches of Oats, which now has 17% less. That is almost two bowls of cereal less as their 14.5-ounce boxes went down to only 12 ounces. The boxes look identical, but in fact the new one is narrower. Thanks to Leif S. for this submission.

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Honey Bunches of Oats


Haribo Gummy Bears – CLARIFICATION

The makers of Haribo Goldbears have a 5-ounce “Share Size” bag and an identical looking bag also called “Share Size” but it only has 4 ounces in it.

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Haribo Revised

We wrote to the company three times asking if the product had been downsized from five ounces to four. The one response we got from customer service said “Our products come in various sizes to satisfy the wide-range expectations of our beloved consumers.”

After our story was published, we heard from the company’s head of corporate communications who clearly advised us that the company manufactures both a four and a five-ounce size of Goldbears and that it had not been downsized. We want to make that point clear.

Our original post raised the possibility that both sizes co-exist and that retailers may choose which one to carry. And that turned out to be the case. So, shoppers just have to be careful to pick up the bag that offers the best value.


Arm & Hammer Detergent

This is a very odd one. The 75-ounce jugs of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent are now only 67.5 ounces — almost a full cup less. But the jugs and the caps are virtually identical in size. And both sizes were $5.99 at the same chain.

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Arm & Hammer detergent

But… both promise to do “50 loads” of laundry. Usually this suggests the manufacturer has reformulated the product or tinkered with the dosing instructions or cap size. Inexplicably, the instructions on the old bottle said to fill the cap to line 1 for medium loads, while the new one says to fill it to line 5. There are nine different and virtually unreadable lines in the cap. Oddly, filling to line 5 provides less detergent than filling to line 3. The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment.


Come back next week for part two. And if you find a product that has been downsized, please take a sharp picture of the old one and the new one side-by-side with the net weight showing. Send you submission to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

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