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Here We Shrink Again:
More Products Downsize – Winter 2023

It may be a new year, but companies are still up to their old tricks of making products smaller in order to pass on sneaky price increases to shoppers (“shrinkflation”).

Turkey Hill Ice Cream

This is a big one. The major brands of ice cream last did a major downsizing 15 years ago when Breyers, Edy’s and others took a full cup out of their 56-ounce containers and made them 48 ounces. Now Turkey Hill is dropping two additional ounces making their containers 46 ounces.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Turkey Hill ice cream

But instead of clearly marking the containers with the new number of ounces, they chose to only use the odd number 1.44 quarts. We asked the company’s PR firm three times about that, why they are making this change, and whether they think the industry will follow suit. We did not get a response. A call to their consumer relations department did provide some insight. The representative said because of the high cost of some ingredients a decision was made to make the containers a little smaller rather than to tinker with the recipe. Thanks to Sam L., Jim, and Steve K. for also catching the change.


Crisco Vegetable Oil

Oil has come in predictable-size containers for decades like 24 oz. 32 oz., 48 oz., etc. Now Crisco is breaking away from the mold taking out a full cup of oil from each bottle, but on the shelf you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Crisco 48-40    Crisco profile

So, only if you turn the bottles sideways would the new slimmer bottle become evident. And they cleverly put the number of ounces on the side of the bottle so you can’t see if from the front. We can only wonder if Wesson and other brands will soon follow suit. Thanks to Mike K. and Jack K. for pointing out this change, and to Janet M. for the profile picture.


Aldi Green Beans

Store brands are not immune from shrinkflation. Here is an example of canned green beans from Aldi. Each can was reduced by half an ounce. Remember when canned veggies were a standard 16 ounces?

*MOUSE PRINT:

Aldi green beans


Sabra Guacamole

Chris J. sent in this tip about Sabra Guacamole going from a standard eight-ounce container down to just seven ounces. He said the package size looks the same size, but the new container has a resealable lid.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Sabra Hummus


Stella Artois Beer

Bottles of Stella Artois, a Belgium beer, have been 11.2 ounces for several years instead of the more typical 12 ounces for American beers. Their cans appear to be following suit, but many websites still show pictures of the old 12-ounce size. It is unclear when this change took place. Anheuser-Busch did not answer our inquiries.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Stella Artois beer cans


Colgate Total

Colgate Total Deep Clean paste has downsized from 5.1 ounces to 4.8 ounces. We did not find old and new boxes in stores side-by-side, but typically these days box sizes tend to exaggerate the actual contents.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Colgate Total


If you find a product that has been hit by shrinkflation, please take a side-by-side picture of the old and the new product, with the net weights showing and email them to Edgar (at symbol) ConsumerWorld.org . Thanks.

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14 thoughts on “Here We Shrink Again:<br>More Products Downsize – Winter 2023”

  1. “…a decision was made to make the containers a little smaller rather than to tinker with recipe.”

    I appreciate that their customer relations department just upfront precludes the idea that they could possibly raise the price to keep up with inflation. The only two options were to make the container smaller or make the recipe cheaper.

    FWIW when it comes to ice cream. Blue Bell is the only brand I see that still actually makes half gallon containers.

    Reply
  2. “And they cleverly put the number of ounces on the side of the bottle so you can’t see if from the front.”

    Well Edgar, the package size was on the side of the old bottle too.

    Reply
  3. I thought that Sabra guacamole was looking a little skimpier before I even saw this. I didn’t buy it as a result, not along with the higher price thanks to inflation. There are other cheaper and better choices, like Costco, Aldi and Trader Joe’s. I actually don’t think this strategy is going to be as beneficial to companies as they think it is, especially now when consumers are looking for bargains or refraining from buying just on inflation alone, without even factoring in the smaller sizes. And people will refrain from buying something whether they know the product is smaller or not, like I did with this guacamole. It just looked too small and the price was too high for me.

    Reply
  4. Addressing all companies guilty of shrinkflation, it’s obvious this is a game of follow the leader. When one shrinks their products, everyone else follows. Instead of being a follower, how about showing some guts and become a leader by either increasing the size or standing ground and retaining the status quo? It’s understandable inflation is raising the cost of certain ingredients, however I am more than happy to see a raise in the cost while not changing the size. What next? Downsizing a carton of eggs to 11?

    Reply
    • La Yogurt still makes its regular (non-Greek) yogurt in 6 oz. cups. Pretty much all of the other brands like Dannon downsized to 5.3 oz. several years ago. Needless to say it’s consistently a best seller in my supermarket, especially when it goes on sale.

      Reply
      • Renée… Off topic, but may I recommend Yoplait Lite in the blue container, and in particular the peach variety. It is still 6 oz. too, only 80 calories, and is 50 cents on a good sale. The single best peach yogurt I have ever tasted, with real pieces of fruit.

      • Thanks for the tip, Edgar. La Yogurt’s light peach is good too with big chunks of real peach and it’s also about 50 cents when it goes on sale but I’ll look for the Yoplait too now!

  5. This is just despicable. At a time when the consumer needs to watch their money, these companies are only concerned with their shareholders. Where does it end? The shrinkflation, the cheating of the consumer, the downsizing. Who do these companies think they are?

    This is my policy, and it’s not new: if a company does this, I no longer buy their products. I find an alternative. I refuse to reward them for this behavior.

    Today, I noticed in a store ad, that Von’s own brand of quick-cook rice in a pouch was increased by 25%, from $1.99, to $2.49. Think about that. 25%. Not 5%, or 10%, but 25%.

    People, stop buying these products. When their sales plummet, they’ll get the message.

    Reply
    • Unfortunately, companies are only concerned about their shareholders. What should happen is the size stays the same across the board and the prices go up. That will never happen, however. Instead, we’re getting to a point where we’ll get one potato chip per bag. It’s terrible.

      Reply