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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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  1. Hate to admit it, but I’ve just about given up on the downsizing issue. So many manufacturers are doing it in so many product lines it is becoming impossible to catch, in that I can’t even come close to remembering past sizes or quantities of so many items. In my case the other side has won, which I believe was inevitable — they are the suppliers, and when all the suppliers do it we haven’t much chance of winning.

    Comment by Bob — December 12, 2011 @ 9:25 am
  2. Hershey’s “air chocolate” looks like downsizing to me. Fill the candy bar full of air and it has to be less.

    Comment by Richard Faubion — December 12, 2011 @ 9:55 am
  3. I understand that the manufacturers are in business to make a product and, more importantly, to make a profit. Their shareholders demand dividends which come from profits. Smaller product sizes (weights, quantities, etc) without a corresponding price decrease leads to either higher profits or is a results of raw material price increases which would tend to keep profits at a relatively consistent level. However, I do not know of many people who have received pay increases commensurate with the price increases. [portions edited]

    Comment by BobL — December 12, 2011 @ 12:17 pm
  4. Downsizing has been going on for so long that I don’t even think about it any more. It’s just a way of life. I would imagine it’s preferrable to a price increase and certainly less noticeable. As long as they don’t downsize the product AND increase the price, I guess it’s just business as usual.

    Comment by Lou D. — December 12, 2011 @ 12:19 pm
  5. As with the candy bars, potato chips and other things from 15-20 years ago (and more) they will continue to downsize. The cookies will drop from 16 oz to 14 to 12 to 10 oz. Then they will rename those to something like the “convenience size” and then issue a new version called the “family size” which is 16oz at 30% in more.

    (Don’t you love those candy bars that are “fun size”? I’d think the fun size would be 24oz, not 2oz!)

    Comment by RS — December 12, 2011 @ 1:19 pm
  6. Not 100% correct Richard Faubion……

    The air chocolate stuff has been in the Europe countries for years before coming over to the states.

    I say stick to the regular stuff as the air did nothing to improve the product.

    ANDDDD to Lou D.

    How small do we go and still keep the same price??? How many more years before that 1.99 bottle of Dawn has less than 200ML in it???

    Comment by Richard Ginn — December 12, 2011 @ 1:56 pm
  7. I just made Toll House chocolate chip cookies and noticed that the Nestle’s chocolate chips now contain less than the 12 ounce bag in the past . I was using a tried-and- true recipe that has served me well in the past. Luckily I had a second bag of Hershey chocolate chips that DID contain the entire 12 ounces calledvfor in the classic recipe.

    Comment by Laura — December 12, 2011 @ 6:26 pm
  8. Chips~Ahoy are down to 13.72 ounces

    Comment by Sveyden — December 12, 2011 @ 7:17 pm
  9. If you haven’t noticed, the new standard for mayonaise is 30 oz. This size seems to be the standard for both national and private labels. The manufacturers also seem to have coupled it with a small price increase.

    Edgar replies: I hate to tell you, John, but this downsizing of mayonnaise to 30 oz. started in 2006 (we reported on it then).

    Comment by John P — December 12, 2011 @ 7:27 pm
  10. Noticed that toilet paper is shorter. Lots of extra space on my holder. Just one way to get more money for less.

    Comment by Linda — December 12, 2011 @ 8:51 pm
  11. The end result will be one paper towel, one sheet of toilet paper, one cookie and a teaspoon of ice cream.

    Comment by Rick — December 13, 2011 @ 8:31 am
  12. LOL, for a few years I’ve told people that the smaller packages would be good for them, they will eat less, but we know that isn’t true.

    The only pain with some downsizing is when you are actually cooking (yeah, cooking, not heating up boxed crap) it can be difficult because when a recipe calls for 16oz of something but the cans are now 9oz, 11oz, etc… it makes it hard.

    Comment by James — December 13, 2011 @ 12:04 pm
  13. I like small sizes, makes me feel like a giant!

    Comment by James — December 13, 2011 @ 12:07 pm
  14. i work in a grocery store and am cashier. love watching things downsize in front of me. most recent the sunlight for dishwashers. anyone else notice was 85 oz/75oz and more recently looked lo and behold 65 oz and with a new logo to 65 oz.. plse continue keep a hawk eye lookout 🙂

    Comment by Gayle — December 14, 2011 @ 12:06 pm
  15. I find downsizing a giant pain because it causes me to go back to the stores more often. Especially with pet food. I’ve watched my 10 pd. bags go to 8, 7 and now 6. My animals still eat the same so I have to buy more or go to the store more often. I did contact Iams and their excuse was they were doing this for “customer convenience.” I don’t find it convenient.

    Comment by Auraelia — December 19, 2011 @ 12:38 pm
  16. This is a type of bait and switch-i.e., fraud. The real question is what are YOU and YOU going to do about it???

    Comment by jsioloman — January 2, 2012 @ 6:36 am
  17. Hunts spaghetti sauce downsized again from 26 to 24 oz can. Not so long ago its was 32 oz, then 30, then 28. The original sizes of products were conveniently measured in quarts, pounds, pints etc. Now we get oddball measurements like 59.3 oz, 14.2 oz etc.

    Comment by Joe — January 18, 2012 @ 3:02 pm
  18. Really a price increase. I am not
    buying anything I don’t need.
    My biggest gripe is extremely
    small print. Legally blind,
    I’ve always used magnifying
    eyeglasses, plus a handheld
    to read. Now a coin collector’s
    magnifier doesn’t help. Supposed
    to read labels, directions, etc.
    Impossible for me!
    A nationwide protest is needed.

    Comment by Christa Carrico — January 18, 2012 @ 3:16 pm
  19. Just a comment on Chips Ahoy cookies.
    I’ve been eating these since I was about 25 (I’m now 56). I remember the original, it was good!
    The current-day Chips Ahoy cookie has become a pathetic, pale, wimpy version of its former self.
    Also, every time one of these companies tries to explain the pusification of their product with some BS slogan (that probably took a team of employees 3 days in a conference room to come up with) on the container like “Improved stay fresh packaging” it just reinforces my belief the Kraft takes its potential customers for a collective group idiots, which their consumer studies may actually prove to be the case!
    So… the Chips Ahoy cookie is just one downsize away from being the same size as the vending machine version.
    If I were a Kraft employee, I would have just made a big bonus for realizing that we could just have one production line instead of two for the both “regular” and vending size Chips Ahoy… just packaged differently.

    Mike Craft

    Comment by Mike Craft — February 18, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

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