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June 10, 2019

Did Those Clever Keebler Elves Try to Pull a Fast One?

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries,Humor,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:02 am

While shopping recently, MrConsumer spotted this bonus pack of Keebler Chip Deluxe cookies.

Keebler Chips Deluxe bonus pack

The package proclaims “Now 20% More Cookies FREE.” Great, who doesn’t like a free bonus? The package weighed 15.8 ounces.

A couple of rows over, however, MrConsumer saw some regular (non-bonus) packages of those same cookies.


Keebler Chips Deluxe regular

That package doesn’t claim to contain a bonus, and it also weighs the exact same 15.8 ounces. The “old” package just above appears to have been manufactured only FOUR DAYS before the bonus package based on their “sell by” dates being only four days apart (July 31, 2019 for the old one, and August 4, 2019 for the new bonus one).

So what did those clever little elves do? According to the label, both packages had 30 cookies? Is this the new math?

We asked Kellogg’s, the manufacturer of Keebler cookies, for an explanation. Unfortunately they sidestepped the issue, only saying:

We increased the weight (ounces) of each of our Keebler Chips Deluxe retail packages by 20% without an increase in price as a way to offer more value to our consumers. Each package now has up to six more cookies.

The availability of the new packages varies, as they flowed through over time. We started production of the new packages at the end of last year.

Because we have covered the downsizing of Keebler cookies in the past, we know the packages had gone down to the 11-12 ounce range about five years ago. The packages are clearly larger today.

The best we can tell, checking hundreds of Keebler Chips Deluxe pictures in Google image search, the most prevalent previous size was 12.6 ounces. The package contained about 24 cookies. The current 15.8 ounce packages contain about 30 cookies according to the label. Mathematically, that’s 25-percent more cookies, not 20-percent.

But that still does not explain how the 15.8 ounce bonus package above can be identical in weight and number of cookies (30) as the non-bonus package that immediately preceded it, being produced seemingly just four days earlier. We may never know.

But, wouldn’t it be nice if manufacturers who downsize their products called shoppers’ attention to it in as a bold a way as when they upsize them?

Keebler Fewer Chips package

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  1. Well at some point of time they are going to have to move away from the 20% more cookie bag to regular style bag though.

    Comment by richard Ginn — June 10, 2019 @ 12:55 pm
  2. There is no way you can shop without a calculator anymore. It takes much longer for me to shop for groceries these days because I’m figuring out price per pound, price per ounce, converting numbers throughout the market. If I didn’t care (and it’s obvious some don’t; this morning I saw a man pick up a 10 lb. pack of potatoes for $2.79 when the 5 lb. bags were on sale for 99¢), I would just go to the market blind, but it’s in my genes to cost-compare, so I am cursed to wander the aisles with my calculator in hand.

    Comment by MerryMarjie — June 10, 2019 @ 1:19 pm
  3. The response that Mr. Consumer got from the Keebler press flack is, at once, shameful and predictable.

    Comment by hmc — June 11, 2019 @ 5:28 pm
  4. Honestly this doesn’t surprise me, after seeing the Keebler ones in the past. I’ve taken to shopping at membership club more than anywhere nowadays and it is too hard to keep track of the size of every product the last time I bought it, so I just have to look at the size the day I’m buying it and make a value decision there. It certainly takes longer though.

    Comment by Joel — June 12, 2019 @ 10:02 am
  5. So, since the *newer* packages say “20% more”, they are either preparing to downsize, or they are trying to get more buyers by seizing an opportunity missed by the old packaging when (if?) the size went up.

    Comment by BZ — June 17, 2019 @ 4:31 pm
  6. It’s nice to know that Mr. Consumer shops at Christmas Tree Shops like I do. Don’t you just love a bargain? LOL

    Comment by Renée — June 24, 2019 @ 9:59 am
  7. It’s nice to know that Mr. Consumer shops at Christmas Tree Shops like I do. Don’t you just love a bargain? LOL

    Comment by Renée — June 24, 2019 @ 10:17 am

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