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Here We Shrink Again – Year-End 2023

NOTE: The next new Mouse Print* story will be published on January 1st.

Some big brands are continuing to downsize their products despite some easing of the inflation rate… so shrinkflation continues as we wrap up 2023.

Huggies Baby Wipes

Better get those very young grandchildren potty-trained because there are 64 fewer Huggies baby wipes in every carton.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Huggies baby wipes


Downy Fabric Softener

Through the miracle of modern chemistry, P&G has reduced the size of Downy fabric softener by seven ounces a bottle, but you still get 60 washloads out of each bottle. Presumably they concentrated the product and adjusted the hard-to-see dosage lines inside the cap.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Downy


Equate Liquid Hand Soap

One of our readers, Steven T., discovered that Walmart’s brand of liquid hand soap recently seemed skinnier. It lost more than 10-percent of its contents, going from a 56-ounce bottle down to only 50 ounces. Remember, it is not just name brands that shrink — stores brands continue to get into the act as well.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Equate hand soap


Folgers Breakfast Blend

Coffee has historically been one of the categories of groceries that has been downsized repeatedly through the decades. This time it is Folger’s Breakfast Blend, which went from 25.4 ounces to 22.6 ounces. And through the magic of modern science, you still at theoretically get the same 210 cups of coffee out of every canister. Thanks to Herb W., the Consumerman, for this submission.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Folgers Breakfast Blend


Pepperidge Farm Gold Fish

There are fewer of those happy little goldfish in every Pepperidge Farm carton these days. The old large 30-ounce carton was reduced by almost 10-percent and is now only 27.3 ounces. Thanks to Richard G. and Reddit for this submission.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Gold Fish


Peanut M&Ms

M&Ms, like many candies, have changed bag sizes so many times, it is impossible to keep track. Some months ago their “sharing size” package went from 10.70 ounces to 10.05 ounces. Who comes up with these crazy weights? Whatever happened to simple eight, 12 or 16-ounce bags?

*MOUSE PRINT:

M&Ms


Stacy’s Pita Chips

Potato chips have not cornered the market on snacks that have been subject to shrinkflation. Pita chip bags have been downsized also, including Stacy’s pita chips that have lost two ounces.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Stacy's Pita Chips


Tide Oxi

Since P&G downsized Downy, how could they leave Tide behind? The oxi-version of Tide in large jugs went from 154 ounces down to 146 ounces, and you even get fewer loads the new bottle!

*MOUSE PRINT:

Tide Ultra Oxi


Walgreens Toilet Paper

It is not just name brands that downsize their paper products. Walgreens recently lopped off 40 sheets on their Ultra Soft toilet tissue with no fanfare.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Walgreen Ultra Soft


Charmin Ultra Soft

When Charmin added a scalloped edge to Charmin recently to make sheets tear more easily, they also cut off 30 sheets sheets from each mega roll. Thanks to our ace shrinkflation spotter, Richard G. for this submission.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Charmin Soft


Pennysticks Pretzels

A dollar store staple has been has been Prennysticks brand of pretzel sticks and twists. They have been sold in 12-ounce bags forever, it seems. Then for the past couple of months they disappeared from Dollar Tree. But now they are back … with two ounces less in every bag.

*MOUSE PRINT:

pretzels


Arm & Hammer Detergent

In what may be one of the largest downsizings ever, Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skim detergent took 49 ounces out of their 189-ounce jugs, but magically you still get 140 loads out of each bottle. One gets the impression that we must have been paying for an awful lot of water in the jugs for years.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin


Nutri Source Dog Food

Phil L. reported that Nutri Sounce large breed dog food downsized from 30 pounds to 26 pounds this past spring, so he loaded up before suffering a four-pound loss on every bag. The price remained at $61.99 for him.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Nutri Source adult dog food


Campbell’s Home Style Soup

Richard G. spotted a complete change in packaging for Campbell’s Home Style soup. The can is smaller and it lost two-and-a-half ounces.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Campbell's Home Style soup


Apologies to other readers who sent in submissions that we did not use this year. Some were regional brands, or more obscure products, or changes that were not recent.

But in 2024, if you find a product that has recently downsized, please send clear before and after pictures including the net weight or net count to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org .

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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.

20 thoughts on “Here We Shrink Again – Year-End 2023”

  1. Wow… Such a big article this time. So much shrinkflation…

    So for Pennysticks Pretzels the new is 12 ounces and the old is 10 ounces on the image?

  2. A Super Mega Roll of Charmin is equivalent to six regular rolls. Now at only 56 sheets per regular roll, no wonder nobody sells regular rolls anymore

    • I don’t buy mega rolls because they don’t fit on the dispenser. What do they think we’re going to do – spend who knows how much for a new dispenser? Depending on the dispenser, that could really add up. Add in a professionals fees to do it for you, if you don’t have the ability to do it yourself, and it will definitely cost you. What if the space needs to be made bigger so the new dispenser fits in its place?
      Fiora Bath tissue still sells rolls that fit on my dispenser. If there is a Menard’s nearby you can buy it there. My local Menard’s sells it for $4.99, for a 12 roll package. The green label package actually has more sheets. Look around. Not every company has gone mega rolls – yet. Check the internet to see where it’s sold. It’s not the softest tissue, but I am happy to put up with that.
      Shrinkflation drives me nuts. Always, always, check the unit price, and keep track of them. Thanks Edgar, for all you do. You are a real gem.

  3. I started wondering years ago when the three-pound coffee can would be shrunk down to one pound. It looks like we are almost there.

  4. The incidences of shrinking again lead to sound the clarion call to shop by using unit pricing. That is to say, don’t bother with the scan price (or package size) , and you won’t be ‘duped’. You’ll see the price increases more readily, aiding your purchase decision.

    Like when you buy fruit, vegetables, gasoline, etc.

    • Great idea, Matt, however I do not trust the unit pricing on store price tags since they are often incorrect or use different units. For example, one package will be units in ounces, another of the same product will be priced units “each”.
      I use the calculator on my phone; if you don’t have one, you can find cheap ones at dollar stores or sometimes at “tag sales”. Buyer beware!

    • Matt… While I am a big advocate for unit pricing, if people can’t remember the net weight or net count of the products they buy, how are they going to remember the unit price of each (and then double-check to see if it changed since the last time they purchased the item)?

      • Ed,
        The stores I shop at list the unit price on the shelf next to the scan price. The consumer just retrains themself to look at that and then know that , for example, their ‘buy’ price on frosted flakes is $2.50/lb— then it doesn’t matter what the scan price or box size is. And, lets them know that often the ‘regular’ size is often cheaper (per unit) than what’s labeled the ‘economy’ size!

      • I write down, in a notebook, the unit prices of what I buy. It’s a very old-fashioned way of keeping track of prices, but it works. I take the notebook with me *every time I shop*, and make changes as needed. Everything is written in pencil, so I can erase. I use the notebook only for my staples – the very basics of my food/non-food items that I and my husband need in our home. I also use a calculator. It helps to know the unit prices, so a person knows when a sale is really a sale, and not bluffing. It’s a pain in the rear to do it this way, but it has saved me a ton of money. I don’t own a cell phone, but if you have one, don’t they have memory? Put it in the phones memory.

  5. Just imagine all the “cost saving” the companies reap after retooling their production lines for new packaging, new graphic design, and removing a lot of water (where used). Seems that may be where cost increases are warranted?

    • The companies are experiencing record profits. Those profits are going to their shareholders, and the executive suite.
      They are just lining their pockets. They are actually boasting about their record profits in conference calls when they release their quarterly earnings statements. It’s just galling.
      It costs pennies on the dollar to make changes, but the pennies add up. The companies know this.

  6. I don’t know how ‘old’ that old box of Huggies is but I have been buying Huggies ‘simply clean’ wipes for over two years & they are/were what the box on the right shows, 11 packages of 64 wipes each. The only thing that makes no sense, is 11 packages not 12 (there is room for 12). I sent an email to the company asking why only 11 & not 12, the answer I received was ridiculous (IMHO). The person said that 11 was cheaper? I wrote back & mentioned that the consumer would eventually use 12 & that not filling the box was wasteful. Did NOT get a reply to that.

  7. Here’s my new policy: If a manufacturer shrinks the size of their product, while expecting me to pay the same price, I no longer buy their product. It’s that simple.

    You can’t really say that these are still supply chain issues. These are blatant and unconscionable money grabs. Greed is an ugly thing, but we don’t have to give in without a fight.

    I can say without equivocation that while all of us are feeling the pain of shrinkflation and inflation, people in lower income brackets are being taken advantage of. There are no real sales and coupons are almost nonexistent.

    The prices in low-income neighborhoods are higher than those in other more affluent areas. The 1%’ers are taking us for a ride.

  8. Here’s a shrinkflation item and shrinkflation method I haven’t seen anyone mention. I wish I could quantify my statements better, and more scientifically, but I think most people would agree. Have you noticed for aluminum foil how the mil thickness has noticeably decreased? I bought some recently, and it was like trying to wrap something with thin tissue paper; avoiding tears and holes wasn’t easy. I’ve looked over all the brands’ boxes, and I’ve found none of them show the mil thickness of the foil–in spite of always stating the square footage of the roll, or number of individual sheets.

  9. Less product and higher prices. It would be different if the prices stayed the same and the products contained only natural ingredients but that’s not the case. If you don’t read the labels, you don’t notice they are adding things that other countries ban. If you don’t know which company is not USA owned and makes the product in the USA, you are also risking your health. I buy local as much as possible.

  10. It is my understanding that some countries in Europe have regulations that require suppliers to state on their packaging that they’ve made changes in either quantity or quality. (Of course this acts as a deterrent to such shenanigans) Why aren’t the consumer protection agencies insisting this happen in the US and Canada? Better yet, abolish downsizing so true inflation is transparently reflected in pricing.

    Soon all we’ll get is a picture of what the product is, with no product.

  11. with all the downsizing and price increases what will happen when it becomes impossible to do either any more ?

    who will buy a bag of potato chips for $8 and 2oz or laundry detergent of 16oz that will still magically clean 96 loads ?

    there has to be a limit or no one will buy the product and P&G or Lays has to make some decision to stay in business..

    personally i stopped buying lays potato chips as price got out of control and desire not to overpay out ruled desire for potato chips.

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