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Here We Downsize Again – Spring 2022, Part 1

With inflation at a four-decade high, is it any wonder that some manufacturers are shrinking their products (shrinkflation) instead of, or perhaps in addition to raising the price? Since most shoppers don’t pay attention to the net weight or net count disclosure on packages, manufacturers can pass on a sneaky price increase without much notice by just making their products a little smaller. Here is part one of our latest round of products that have been downsized in 2022 or discovered this year.

Angel Soft Toilet Paper

Paper towels and toilet paper are two common culprits when it comes to downsizing. This time, Angel Soft dramatically downsized its mega rolls from 425 sheets to just 320 sheets. The company did, however, make the new sheets 20% thicker they say. Amazingly, despite losing over a quarter of the sheets, the new package is virtually the same size as the old. We bought the items below at the same store, at the same time, and paid the same price for both. Thanks to our ace shrinkflation sleuth, Richard G., for this submission.


Angel Soft 425-320

Miracle-Gro Plant Food

Visiting Home Depot recently, MrConsumer found a large display of Miracle-Gro Plant Food which has traditionally come in five-pound canisters. This year, if you are not careful, your $9.98 purchase price won’t go nearly as far if you pick up the wrong package.


Miracle Gro

There were five-pound canisters side-by-side with ones that were only four-and-one-quarter pounds — 12 ounces less. That may be a sure way to grow company margins at the expense of customers. The company did not respond to our questions about the size change. Thanks to Stephen M. for this lead.

Breton Crackers

Various varieties of Breton crackers recently lost an ounce or more per box. Here, for example, their multigrain variety went from 8.8 ounces to 7.3 ounces — a loss of an ounce-and-a-half. Interestingly, at the store where these were found, the new, smaller box was 19 cents more expensive.


Breton crackers

Kleenex Tissues

We can always count on paper goods to be subject to shrinkflation. This time it is Kleenex tissues — those little powder room boxes — five tissues disappeared from every box. That’s nearly a 10% reduction. Thanks to Greg D. for this submission.


Kleenex 65

Post Honey Bunches of Oats

Joining the parade of cereals being downsized is Post Honey Bunches of Oats, which now has 17% less. That is almost two bowls of cereal less as their 14.5-ounce boxes went down to only 12 ounces. The boxes look identical, but in fact the new one is narrower. Thanks to Leif S. for this submission.


Honey Bunches of Oats

Haribo Gummy Bears – CLARIFICATION

The makers of Haribo Goldbears have a 5-ounce “Share Size” bag and an identical looking bag also called “Share Size” but it only has 4 ounces in it.


Haribo Revised

We wrote to the company three times asking if the product had been downsized from five ounces to four. The one response we got from customer service said “Our products come in various sizes to satisfy the wide-range expectations of our beloved consumers.”

After our story was published, we heard from the company’s head of corporate communications who clearly advised us that the company manufactures both a four and a five-ounce size of Goldbears and that it had not been downsized. We want to make that point clear.

Our original post raised the possibility that both sizes co-exist and that retailers may choose which one to carry. And that turned out to be the case. So, shoppers just have to be careful to pick up the bag that offers the best value.

Arm & Hammer Detergent

This is a very odd one. The 75-ounce jugs of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent are now only 67.5 ounces — almost a full cup less. But the jugs and the caps are virtually identical in size. And both sizes were $5.99 at the same chain.


Arm & Hammer detergent

But… both promise to do “50 loads” of laundry. Usually this suggests the manufacturer has reformulated the product or tinkered with the dosing instructions or cap size. Inexplicably, the instructions on the old bottle said to fill the cap to line 1 for medium loads, while the new one says to fill it to line 5. There are nine different and virtually unreadable lines in the cap. Oddly, filling to line 5 provides less detergent than filling to line 3. The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Come back next week for part two. And if you find a product that has been downsized, please take a sharp picture of the old one and the new one side-by-side with the net weight showing. Send you submission to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

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14 thoughts on “Here We Downsize Again – Spring 2022, Part 1”

  1. Costco Stevia in the Raw has the same amount of packets (800) but much less in them (40% less). Off the topic a little. Publix is ripping us all off, their prices are outrageous. Example: 5 oz. can of Hunts Tomato Sauce has been 95 cents for months. 54 cents at Walmart!

  2. They are not little angles folks… They are little devils in disguise.

    Nice to see the words thickest in the upper corner on both packages of the toilet paper.

    Going all over the grocery store this time with the shrinkflation.

    • Interestingly, fuels are “exempt” from the issue as the concept of unit-pricing is built into the way gas and diesel is sold. Much like produce in your supermarket, when the goods are priced by the pound, ounce, gallon (the “unit”) the consumer wildly benefits — and doesn’t have to figure out or notice, for example, that there are 90 napkins instead of 95 in the pack.

      Joel’s comment below is spot on “… keep an eye on the per ounce price…”

      I rarely even know what the scan prices are on my regular shopping list items. The unit price tells me all I need to know, i.e. if it’s the value I require for purchase.

      • Yes, it can be easier to compare price/value with products sold loose from bulk that are priced only per unit of measure than packages when only the selling price is provided. However, there are still substantial problems when different denominations of a type of measurement are used within a product type for example with weight (pound and ounce). And, especially if different types of measurement are used e.g. weight and count.

        of measure

  3. Some of these are getting pretty ridiculous. It’s almost impossible at this point to buy stuff on a day to day basis and avoid shrinkflation. The most any reasonable consumer can do is just keep an eye on the per ounce price and make sure that price is satisfactory with what you’re willing to pay. Sad to see A&H finally downsizing.

    If Blue Bell ever downsizes their half-gallon, I vote we riot.

    • Yes, unit pricing can be a big help. However it would be even more beneficial and used by more consumers if more retailers provided it in stores and online AND if the quality of provision was much better. Too many unit prices for packaged products are not easy enough to notice and read, provision is often intermittent, and different units of measure are often used for different brands and package sizes within a product type.

      the same and similar products

      • Are you sure Blue Bell downsized Shirl? We still have the boxes in store that advertise “Still a Half Gallon” on them.

      • Joel… I am guessing there is confusion over two similarly named brands: Blue Bunny and Blue Bell.

  4. You would save time by featuring products that have NOT reduced size, raised prices (or both). That is if you can find any.
    By the way, if Domino’s Golden Sugar is “less processed” than it’s white granulated sugar why doesn’t it cost less? I went to purchase some today and the price was $3.19, same as the white sugar. The white sugar sells in 4 pound bags while the Golden Sugar is down to 3½ pound bags. I guess less processed = less product!

  5. Bounty has been downsizing constantly for 20 years now, and they’re at it again, select-a-size going from 83 to 74 sheets a “roll” (about 11%). This time, though, they’ve done it insidiously — they’ve enlarged the diameter of the center cardboard to make the roll look and feel bigger, and in the process making it spin loosely around the previously snug holder.

  6. Just got told by a customer at a gas station i work for in georgia that our bags of ice are 7lbs and company we get it from changed the lbs of ice from 10 to 7 without telling anyone and have been charging the 10lb price for a 7lb bag…… So it is happening everywhere!!!!!!!!

  7. I knew I wasn’t going crazy when I bought the Breton crackers that my husband loves. Now, I won’t be purchasing them anymore. Such a rip-off!

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