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August 7, 2017

Here We Downsize Again – 2017 (Part 2)

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:43 am

Like death and taxes, you can count on manufacturers to continue to shrink their products.

Mouse Print* reader Jack B. recently caught a change in Trident chewing gum.



Each package lost four sticks of gum, but each of the new sticks is slightly larger. The old sticks are 1.7 grams and the new ones are 1.9 grams:

stick size

However, with a product like chewing gum, it is the number of servings that matters, and each package now has four fewer servings.

Wishbone salad dressing recently came out with a new bottle, nearly identical to the old one.


Wishbone dressing

As reader Jim H. wrote, apparently people were weary of hauling around the old, heavier bottles that had a full 16 ounces in them.

Remember when the standard size for a container of yogurt was eight ounces? That is long gone, with those dairy cups going down to six ounces years and years ago. But it has not stopped there. More recently, major brands have downsized again — this time to 5.3 ounces.



Three or four spoonfuls and you’re done. No wonder you’re still hungry.

Faithful reader and contributor Richard G. tipped us off about Febreze air and fabric freshener recently being downsized.


Their spray bottles lost almost a full ounce. But I guess even if we make a big stink about, Febreze will just cover it up.

And in the never ending saga of the incredible shrinking toilet paper roll, Charmin is once again lopping off more sheets from each roll.



This time the double rolls went from 154 sheets down to only 142 sheets — or the equivalent of just 71 sheets on a regular roll. Just as a reminder, the original Charmin 40+ years ago had 600 or 650 single-ply sheets on a regular roll. Mr. Whipple is turning over in his grave.

Thanks to Richard G. for the tip, and we welcome you to submit your finds as well to Edgar(at symbol)ConsumerWorld.org .

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  1. I am a victim of the Trident gum downsizing. I should have taken a picture for Mr. Consumer but I didn’t think about it at the moment.

    Although Trident is downsized, I kept buying it because its still my favorite gum.

    Comment by Wayne — August 7, 2017 @ 9:49 am
  2. Am I missing something on the Charmin calculations or shouldn’t the 142 sheets be equivalent to 284 regular sheets, not 71? Either way, 284 is still a far cry from 600+.

    Also, I would love to know the thickness difference in a single ply sheet today (if you can even find one) compared to a single ply sheet 30 years ago. I’m guessing these double ply sheets used today are more like a single ply sheet back than. I recently found a single ply roll and I could not believe how thin it was.

    Edgar replies: Joe, those rolls in the picture above are double rolls each now containing 142 sheets. So, a single roll would have only have the amount on a double roll. Thickness numbers are never listed on a toilet paper label, but I am sure it has varied substantially over time.

    Comment by Joe — August 7, 2017 @ 10:10 am
  3. Has anyone noticed that the width of most rolls has shrunk as well? There’s now almost a 2″ gap I n my toilet paper roll holder.😠

    Comment by Pete Beda — August 14, 2017 @ 1:44 pm
  4. You won’t see Blue Bunny ice cream mentioning the extra 2 scoops since they followed the leaders and downsized from 56 oz to 48 oz.They even led the decline by going to 46 oz for several of their ice cream flavors.Tillamook and some house brand ice creams still give 56 oz but no one is giving half gallons,64 oz,as far as I can tell.

    Comment by jJon — August 7, 2017 @ 11:28 am
  5. Well jJon on March 14, 2016 it was posted on this site that Blue Bunny cut the size of the tubs of Ice Cream down to the 46oz. When they reintroduced the new product into stores along with moving to buttermilk as an ingredient the size of the tubs also got reduced.

    Well Joe you are never going to count 2 ply as double the number of sheets. Not how it works.

    I have only seen the Charmin size cut on the Blue label rolls and not the red at the time of this post.

    This is the size lineup I have seen at stores for the blue and red label Charmin rolls:

    The single rolls are hard to find at any store.
    Then you have the Extra Value size at 132 sheets. Spotted at a Dollar General.
    Double Plus
    Family Sized rolls sold only as singles. At 176 sheets per roll.
    Jumbo rolls at roughly 221 sheets sold at a Costco. 198 at Sams Club.
    Mega is 4X the size of the single.
    Mega Plus
    Super Mega which I have seen sold at Target. That is supposed to be 6X the size of a single.

    Comment by Richard — August 7, 2017 @ 2:53 pm
  6. Concerning yogurt

    I’m pretty sure that Walmart store brand has been 5.3oz for at least three years. Oikos Greek has been 5.3oz for at least a year, maybe longer.

    Concerning toilet paper in general: Where does it stop? Do we go back to the single sheet dispensers that used to be in gas station bathrooms? Then you would be able to buy as much or as little as you see fit. Or, do you buy the huge roll that you see in all the public restrooms? Then they would start to make them shorter and narrower.

    The consumer can’t win. TP is a necessary item. “There oughta be a law” (/sarcasm)

    Comment by bobl — August 7, 2017 @ 7:17 pm
  7. Would it not be easier for the consumer if it was law to have the weight clearly of each toilet paper roll minus the cardboard roll….

    Comment by Scott — August 8, 2017 @ 9:26 am
  8. Well Scott I do not think weight here is the issue when it comes to toilet paper. At some point of time you just can’t cut the roll any further.

    The October 7, 2013 post at this site had a double roll at 176 sheets before a size cut.

    What is the EXACT Minimum a single roll can be and still be called a single roll?

    Comment by Richard — August 8, 2017 @ 3:02 pm
  9. @Richard – minimum size roll

    Maybe a half-dozen turns around the cardboard roll (grin>. As a guess, maybe 100 sheets. At some point, the consumer is going to revolt. Not quite sure how, but we will rise up and let the manufacturers know that they have pushed us about as far as they can.

    I haven’t but have anyone heard of anybody complaining to the the manufacturers? And what was there response, other than we wanted to keep the price the same, etc.+

    Comment by bobl — August 8, 2017 @ 7:23 pm
  10. After a trip to Europe, we bought add-on bidets for each of the toilets in our home… they have saved us a ton of money on bath tissue.. one roll can now last weeks. Many homes in Europe have bidets, why not here?

    Comment by Geno — August 9, 2017 @ 2:27 pm
  11. Scott extra soft recently went from 8 mega roll pack to 6 for the same price!

    Comment by Brandon — August 11, 2017 @ 11:11 pm
  12. Seeing an oddball fractional weight on a product is a good clue that it’s been downsized. If it’s weight or volume is in fractions of an oz…

    I usually buy things in bulk and the downsizing is now so fast and furious that I often can’t find the same size paper product by the time I need more. Seems they hardly last 6 months before being downsized again and put into a new form of packaging to hide the fact.

    Comment by Artie — August 24, 2017 @ 2:09 pm
  13. Potato chips have been downsized so much that you’re lucky to get 7.5 ounces in a medium sized bag anymore, down from at least 10 oz. Windex has downsized too when no one was looking. A standard sized bottle used to be 26 oz. and is now 23. I have both size bottles in my house. You can’t find 26 oz. anymore unless it’s a “bonus – 3 oz. free” bottle. There’s even a complaint about this by another consumer on Windex’s review site.

    Comment by Emily — August 26, 2017 @ 8:36 am

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