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Here We Downsize (and UP-size) Again — Spring 2021

Once again, it is time to spotlight another crop of products that are shrinking inconspicuously right in front of your eyes (and thus facilitating a sneaky price increase). And this time, we also found some products that UP-sized — giving you more for the same money!


Eight years ago, we brought you news that Doritos had downsized its 11-3/4-ounce bags to just 11 ounces. Well, we must have missed some additional changes to its net weight in the interim because they recently dropped to 9-1/4 ounces from 9-3/4.



The company makes it very hard to detect changes in content because the net weight statement is on the very bottom of the bag, often folded under when stocked on store shelves. Thanks to our ace downsizing spotter, Richard G., for finding this.

Nabisco Wheat Thins

James K. just alerted us to a new downsizing by Nabisco and sent the picture below. Their family size boxes of Wheat Thins went from a nice round pound to just 14 ounces. The new box is slightly shorter than the old one, and according to James the price stayed the same.


Wheat Thins actual boxes

Costco Paper Towels

Paper towels is one of the products that has been downsized periodically over the years and that includes store brands. Costco’s own brand was recently downsized from 160 sheets on the roll to 140. So you basically lost a roll-and-a-half from each package.


Costco paper towels

Kirkland Signature UltraClean Detergent UP-sizes

It was not all bad news at Costco, however. Their own Kirkland brand of laundry detergent got a new bottle and a new label starting in 2019. The old product was said to provide 126 loads, but the new one delivers 146. Surprise!


Kirkland detergent

But, the contents of both bottles are identical: 1.51 gallons. So what’s going on here? We checked with Costco executives and got the inside scoop. The company reformulated their detergent making it slightly more concentrated. As such, the directions on the back of the bottle say you can now use slightly less. Thanks to Bill S. for this submission.

Ocean Spray UP-sizes its 100% Juices

Last month we noted that Thomas’ English Muffins up-sized from 12 to 13 ounces in their six packs. Now Richard G. discovered that Ocean Spray is apparently standardizing its juice bottles to all be 64 ounces. This reverses their move to downsize their 100% juice varieties to just 60 ounces from 64 ounces, as we reported in 2013.


Ocean Spray upsizes

If you find a product that has been either downsized or up-sized, please send a clear picture of both the old and new one to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

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8 thoughts on “Here We Downsize (and UP-size) Again — Spring 2021”

  1. Concerning the Costco laundry detergent:
    How did they explain the reduced amount needed? Did they change the shape or style of the cap that most people use to measure the product? I use the cap from the bottle. Did they change the lines or markings on the caps so that you use less of the product? I would bet that most people do NOT read the directions for a product that they have used for years.

    Edgar replies: Bob… the old instructions on the back of the bottle said for regular and HE loads to fill the cup to line 4. The new instructions say to fill the cup to “slightly below” line 4. The cups are apparently unchanged. I suspect most consumers will not notice the change in instructions and as a result will get the same number of loads per bottle as they previously did.

  2. I emailed Dryer’s,the ice cream company,several years ago,about the shrinking carton size.I got an honest reply.It’s either downsize or increase the price and they thought downsizing would be best.With the U.S. handing out massive loans(you thought those “stimulus” checks were gifts?) to everyone,the payback can only come from a devalued Dollar,meaning a lot of inflation.Sad,that the majority of Americans still believe in Santa Claus,like govt can give them something for nothing.So,enjoy today,for tommorow likely to be worse.

  3. The Costco paper towels really hurt me. I would prefer for them to raise the price. They are already lower than many of the other options, but I’ll still buy them as they’re the best value even at the slightly smaller size.

    It is CRAZY how small the big bags of Doritos have gotten since I was younger.

  4. I’m still getting over the shrinking of yogurt cups from 8 oz. to 6 oz. several years ago and then more recently to 5.3 oz. Next thing you know they’ll shrink to only 5 oz. As soon as one brand does it they all follow. In addition to banking on the fact that most people don’t pay attention they also bank on younger people not remembering how big things used to be. I’m still waiting for the environmental activists to protest the additional waste involved because people have to buy more packages of an item to get the amount they want. Often those packages are the same size with less in them. Last year people were complaining about the hoarding of paper towels. Well, we’re getting less product per package all the time, so it’s not as much as it looks!

  5. It’s still good advice: Never go shopping without a calculator and a magnifying glass.

  6. I would say at Costco the Scoop Away Cat Litter has a package change.

    Same 42 pound size. They cut it down to 4 10.5 pound packages though which is a nice thing.

    Also sometime in 2021 at Costco the Tropicana Orange Juice finally went down to 52oz from 59oz.

  7. There’s some important context missing for the Costco paper towels! Basically, when Covid hit and shortages started, they dropped both the sheet count AND the price so that there were more packs to go around. Not the typical downsizing 🙂

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