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Here We Downsize Again – Spring 2022, Part 2

We continue our series of products that have been downsized or as people say today, they have been subject to shrinkflation.

Note: Packages are displayed only to show numerical changes in net contents. Physical package dimensions may or may not be to scale depending on the graphic used.

Sparkle Paper Towels

Paper towels and toilet paper are two common culprits when it comes to downsizing. This time, Sparkle paper towels lopped off six sheets from every roll, going from 116 “pick-a-size” sheets to just 110. Georgia-Pacific customer service confirms that the towels are still two-ply despite the fact that that designation is missing from the front of the package. The company’s PR folks say they lowered the suggested retail price of the new packages, but we bought both packages below at the same time, at the same store, and got no extra discount on the smaller one.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Sparkle paper towels


Cocoa Pebbles

After General Mills downsized their family size boxes of cereal last year, Post was not too far behind. We found these boxes side-by-side in a local supermarket in February. About a bowl of cereal was taken out of the new packages.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Cocoa Pebbles


Quaker Life Cereal

Pete B. noticed that Quaker Life cereal not only downsized their big boxes of cereal from 24.8 ounces to 22.3, but they also changed the size name from “Giant” to “Family.” In fact, the new box is almost three-quarters of an inch taller, but half an inch less deep. Thanks to Pete for finding this change.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Quaker Life measured


Charmin Super Mega Toilet Paper

Even Charmin’s Ultra Soft “super mega” rolls are getting smaller. In February, Richard G. tipped us off that P&G reduced the size of these rolls from 396 sheets to 366. Charmin Ultra Strong in the red package is still 396 sheets, but eventually it will shrink too. Keep in mind the original single-ply Charmin of the 1960s had 650 sheets on a roll.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Charmin Super Mega blue


Pedigree Dog Food

Pedigree resized some of their dry dog food products including this one. While both old and new packages claim you are getting a bonus in every bag, the net change is that you are getting six pounds less. And our tipster, Brendan B. says the price stayed the same.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Pedigree 50-44

At least Chewy.com alerted readers to the change.


Utz Pretzels

Snack foods like potato chips are constantly being downsized, so as not to feel left out, Utz is now taking two ounces of pretzels out of it big jars. They are now 26 ounces instead of 28. Thanks to Tim B. for this submission.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Utz pretzels


Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

P&G periodically downsizes Dawn. This time the bottle lost half an ounce. It is down to just 6.5 ounces for the smallest size. Both bottles scanned at $1.79 at CVS in May.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Dawn 7 - 6.5 oz


Aveeno Lotion

New bottles of Aveeno won’t soothe your wallet. There’s 10% less moisturizing lotion in every one.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Aveeno


If you find an item that has downsized, please try to take a picture of the old and new one side-by-side with the net weight clearly shown. Just email submissions to edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks!

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20 thoughts on “Here We Downsize Again – Spring 2022, Part 2”

  1. Shouldn’t Pedigree say “6 pounds less” instead of “4 pounds more free”….. Waiting for orange juice to be downsized to 32oz….

  2. Do a web search on “Shrinkflation” – this subject has been in the news lately.
    They’re acting like it’s something new but we here all know better. It’s just worse than ever now because of inflation. I even saw our own Edgar quoted in one of the articles. Thank you for what you do!

    • Hi Renée… thanks for the kind words. I am probably quoted in 90% of the stories about shrinkflation. Supposedly I will be on NBC Nightly News sometime this week, CBS local stations around the country, and daytime on Fox News. Mouse Print* has 16 years of stories I have written on the subject. I have been following the downsizing of products for decades and decades.

      • I have probably been following you for most of that 16 years! I’ll be sure to look for you on the news.

  3. That fiat “lettuce” in your wallet has downsized – officially by 8%+ – but more like 16%, THAT is the basis for all of this downsizing to retain the same selling price; if only temporarily. Highlighting shelf items is important, but doesn’t address the root of the problem.

    • I’ll be a broken record, but the solution has always been unit pricing. Scan price doesn’t matter. Let’s have more initiative to retrain consumers in making purchase decisions, and better unit pricing legislation.

      There’s never “shrinkflation” on, for example, gasoline, or fruits and vegetables — the price sensitivities are always readily apparent— much to the buyer’s benefit!

      • I don’t understand your reply to my post. We’ve had unit pricing for years. I don’t know what unit pricing has to do with the devaluation of our make-believe “money” which is actually just currency.

  4. Thanks for keeping these posts going.

    Can anyone think of some examples of companies that haven’t downsized. The problem I see is when one company (like orange juice) goes down (to 59oz) everyone else follows suit because most consumers aren’t looking at the extra 5oz, they’re looking at the price.

    • many of these companies are making exorbitant profits each quarter. How many actually upsize a product at no additional price increase…..

    • I’ve got a rare example I’d love to share, Joel. Blue Bell Ice Cream has emblazoned in large, red lettering across its 1/2 gallon container, “Still a Half Gal.” And ice cream, of course, is famous for its shrinkflation. On the other hand, they’ve probably raised their prices significantly to compensate for leaving the weight alone.

  5. Nothing but followers!

    For once I would love to see a major company step up to the plate and decide to be a leader for once and upsize their products.

    Then we’ll see who ease will follow. But I won’t hold my breath.

  6. I wondered had anyone noticed this but me! Unfortunately its rampant & all the manufacturers are guilty. Some are even reducing the quantity & charging more.

  7. A bit off topic, but I discovered two days ago the buying eggs in the 18-each container, which I thought was a good “bulk deal,” was actually more expensive than buying the “normal” dozen container. The former was 27.xx cents each and the latter was 24.xx cents each. So much for assumptions all this time. I feel like an idiot. However, I mentioned it to an aisle stocker and she was surprised, and so was the cashier I mentioned it to.

  8. The one that stunned me the most was Oreo Cookies. I went looking for my family-size Oreos and couldn’t find them in all the new versions and then I saw them—a package half the size of the family-sized for the same price. Upon opening, I noticed that the cookies were smaller and thinner and the filling was in proportion.

    • Are you sure it was famlily size. They have normal packages at 10, 12, 14, and 15.35oz, and the family ones are 17/20oz.

  9. Q-Tips! I bought a package of Q-Tips, the OG brand and the cotton was so scarce, you could feel the tips of the rod. It was my first wake up to shrinkflation and very aggravating because they charge the same price.

    • I noticed the lack of cotton several years ago after they lost their only major competition, which was Johnson’s cotton swabs. Remember when their slogan was “more cotton at the tip (than)..? No one to compare it to now, so they give as little as possible.

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