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March 2, 2009

Purina: Even Dog Food Gets Downsized

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 7:29 am

It may be a good time to put your pooch on a diet because there is now less dog food in those big bags.

Recently an eagled-eyed Mouse Print* reader named Rose noticed that big bags of Purina One dog food had mysteriously dropped in weight by a full two pounds.



As with most downsized products, the packaging looks the same except for the net weight statement. And since you are paying the same price, but getting less for your money, dog owners were hit with a sneaky price increase.

The folks at Purina were asked twice by email why they downsized some of their products, and twice the company declined to put in writing their reasons.  Instead they suggested we call their consumer information line.

As expected, the company’s explanation went like this, paraprhasing:

It was a difficult decision for us, but due to the cost of ingredients, transportation, and storage, we had to downsize some of our products.

Now that gas has come down in price, the representative did not know if the company would up-size its bags.  We can guess the answer, doggoneit.

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  1. This just reminded me that my “gallon” paint can from Behr was actually 120oz instead of the standard 128oz.

    Comment by Michael Perkins — March 2, 2009 @ 9:08 am
  2. most of the other popular brands have been at 18 lbs for a few years
    so I think purina is just catching up.

    Comment by Vincent Amodeo — March 2, 2009 @ 12:27 pm
  3. Yes, Arm & Hammer recently downsized their cat litter from I think 30 pounds to 28 as well.

    Comment by ptr2void — March 2, 2009 @ 4:41 pm
  4. Speaking of downsizing, we cannot forget the 3-pound bag of M&Ms which is now 45 oz.

    Comment by daredevyl83 — March 2, 2009 @ 10:19 pm
  5. Or the one-pound tubs of oleo that are now 15 oz.

    Comment by Jamie — March 3, 2009 @ 4:06 pm
  6. In these tough times, can anyone really complain about products changing size to gain more revenue?
    I’m okay with “downsizing”.
    What annoys me is the deceptive nature of doing that. If the product LOOKS the same, it should BE the same!
    If you want to make more money, be creative with your packaging…sell it in a new way…actually IMPROVE IT so you can put “new and improved”
    Or how about “now with bone-shaped pellets? C’mon…deception drives me away from your products!

    Comment by RS — March 7, 2009 @ 1:18 am
  7. I recently went into a major pet food store to get some Purina Pro Plan cat food and found it’s container replaced by bags. Not only had the price been increased but the bag contained less food than the canister.

    Comment by RC — March 7, 2009 @ 9:25 pm
  8. I live on a farm, and purchase two (formerly) 18-pound bags of Purina Cat Chow weekly, and well as Purina Dog Chow. I have been a loyal customer for 35 years, but after this “downsizing” I am turning to local brands, generics, and other alternatives. Purina has lost me as a customer unless they either return the size of the bags from 16 to 18 pounds, or reduce their price accordingly.

    Comment by B Hahn — April 8, 2009 @ 6:49 pm
  9. Interesting post, I especially found it interesting where it was stated that Purina is loosing customers because of “downsizing” their bags. I really think more people should be concern with the quality of food in the inside.

    Comment by Alice — May 18, 2009 @ 3:07 pm
  10. I live on a limited income and I find it very hard to feed my dog the already expensive food he needs for his allergies. It’s really getting ridiculas!!!

    Comment by CT — June 13, 2009 @ 7:46 pm
  11. I wrote this to Purina:

    I am very displeased as to what your company has done with the ProPlan Sensitive Skin Product pricing and sizing issues for the kibble dog food. I have been using this product for many years, and have watched it go from 40lbs, down to 37.5, and now to my surprise down to 33 lbs at an even higher price. I just purchased a bag on 8/16/2009 assuming it was still at 37.5 lbs. and it rang up at $49.99, which is an extremely high price.

    It is beyond my comprehension as to why your company has done this to its customers. Sadly, it is very poor for business, especially for loyal customers. The company should be ashamed for what it has done to the consumer. Did Purina think nobody would notice? Perhaps some would not notice because the bag is still the same size as the 37.7, but instead with only 33 lbs inside. In today’s economy, Purina is actually forcing people to select another brand. Perhaps years ago companies had consumer loyalty, but not today given the economy. I know you will probably write back to me apologizing, or you may send me a coupon for a $1.00 off of the next purchase, but that doesn’t help with the continued purchases. What would help is going back to the 37.5 lb bag, and lowering your price to be fair to your customers. Without customers, your business would not exist.

    Comment by stan — August 17, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

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