Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Conagra Skimps Again: Wish-Bone Salad Dressing Watered Down

Shrinkflation’s evil cousin is “skimpflation” – where a manufacturer quietly reformulates a product with cheaper ingredients. And that is what Conagra just did to Wish-Bone House Italian salad dressing. They literally watered it down.


Wish-Bone House Italian

They reduced the oil content (and calories) by over 22-percent, and it appears they replaced it with water and over 30-percent more salt. (Water was already the primary ingredient in the dressing before this change.) Oddly, the amount of garlic was also reduced.

If this scenario sounds familiar, that is because last fall we spotlighted Smart Balance margarine when Conagra inconspicuously reduced its oil content by almost 40% and replaced it with water. That move made the front page of the New York Times, and drew outrage from regular users who posted over two thousand one-star reviews on its website. The backlash forced the company to reintroduce the original recipe earlier this year.

We asked Conagra about the watering down of their salad dressing including why they did it (we can guess to save money), why there was no flag on the label alerting shoppers, and whether they taste-tested the new recipe with users (we guess they didn’t). They have not responded to our questions.

If you want to post a complaint about their watered-down salad dressing, you can do it on the Wish-Bone website.

Thanks to Richard G. and Reddit for spotting this change.

Share this story:
All comments are reviewed before being published, and may be edited. Comments that are off-topic, contain personal attacks, are political, or are otherwise inappropriate will be deleted.

13 thoughts on “Conagra Skimps Again: Wish-Bone Salad Dressing Watered Down”

  1. I think the most ridiculous part of this is are they not required in some way to put a notice on the bottle that says “new recipe” or something?

  2. It seems to me that nothing is getting better and most things are getting worse. Are there any products that haven’t been degraded in some way or overpriced or both?

  3. I went to their website to post a review. They won’t accept it unless my ad-blocker is disabled, and they harvest my email address. That is not happening. I doubt they would have published what I had to say, anyway.

    “More water. More salt. Less oilNo thanks. I make my own, fresh, using either Avocado or Olive oil and vinegar. Much healthier.”

    I make my own, leaving out what ConAgra puts in: Xanthan Gum, Stevia Leaf Extract (?), Caramel color, Sorbic acid, Sodium Benzoate, Calcium Disodium.

    • Stevia Leaf Extract is a sweetner that comes from the stevia plant. It replaces sugar and all those artificial sweetners, so I’m actually glad to see that in the ingredients. Stevia is all I use in my coffee and tea.

    • Marty, same here on the ad blocker. Also same in that I guarantee you they wouldn’t have cared for mine as I leaned heavily toward the health issue of sodium for many certain people. Poor ethics on their part regarding food and health. I also said I hoped their legal folks properly assessed the risk involved.

  4. All of us need to pay attention to what’s happening to our food and the products we use and consume. We all know shrinkflation is happening, but there’s a new player in town and it’s “cheapflation.”

    Products are being adulterated and cheapified by using less expensive alternatives. It’s affecting the quality and flavor of these products.

    I refuse to buy them. I purposely check for adulteration, cheapification, and shrinkflation. If I find it, I move on to other products. The only chance we have of making a difference in this heinous ruination of products and blatant money grab is to not buy them. Speaking with our wallets will make a difference. Don’t fall for their shenanigans.

  5. Actually this looks like what they do to make “light” salad dressing – reduce the oil and add water, more sodium and non-sugar sweetener. For my purposes it’s not a bad thing as I’m always looking for ways to reduce fat and sugar and replace it with a natural calorie-free sweetener like stevia. I just don’t like that it involves increasing the sodium content. And actually water is an ingredient in a lot of homemade salad dressing recipes so it’s not the worst thing. But I agree that it was probably done to save money. I wonder if they’ve altered their “light” version of this dressing to have less fat that the regular one. I’ll have to check that out when I go to the supermarket. I tend to use Ken’s bottled salad dressings anyway. Wish Bone has never been my preference. The true test is in how it tastes. If it tastes the same or better it’s not a big deal in my opinion.

  6. If the government took into consideration all of the shrinkflation that has and continues to take place the level of inflation would be extremely higher than they claim it to be.

Comments are closed.