Here We Downsize (and UP-size) Again — Spring 2021

Once again, it is time to spotlight another crop of products that are shrinking inconspicuously right in front of your eyes (and thus facilitating a sneaky price increase). And this time, we also found some products that UP-sized — giving you more for the same money!

Doritos

Eight years ago, we brought you news that Doritos had downsized its 11-3/4-ounce bags to just 11 ounces. Well, we must have missed some additional changes to its net weight in the interim because they recently dropped to 9-1/4 ounces from 9-3/4.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Doritos

The company makes it very hard to detect changes in content because the net weight statement is on the very bottom of the bag, often folded under when stocked on store shelves. Thanks to our ace downsizing spotter, Richard G., for finding this.


Nabisco Wheat Thins

James K. just alerted us to a new downsizing by Nabisco and sent the picture below. Their family size boxes of Wheat Thins went from a nice round pound to just 14 ounces. The new box is slightly shorter than the old one, and according to James the price stayed the same.

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Wheat Thins actual boxes


Costco Paper Towels

Paper towels is one of the products that has been downsized periodically over the years and that includes store brands. Costco’s own brand was recently downsized from 160 sheets on the roll to 140. So you basically lost a roll-and-a-half from each package.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Costco paper towels


Kirkland Signature UltraClean Detergent UP-sizes

It was not all bad news at Costco, however. Their own Kirkland brand of laundry detergent got a new bottle and a new label starting in 2019. The old product was said to provide 126 loads, but the new one delivers 146. Surprise!

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Kirkland detergent

But, the contents of both bottles are identical: 1.51 gallons. So what’s going on here? We checked with Costco executives and got the inside scoop. The company reformulated their detergent making it slightly more concentrated. As such, the directions on the back of the bottle say you can now use slightly less. Thanks to Bill S. for this submission.


Ocean Spray UP-sizes its 100% Juices

Last month we noted that Thomas’ English Muffins up-sized from 12 to 13 ounces in their six packs. Now Richard G. discovered that Ocean Spray is apparently standardizing its juice bottles to all be 64 ounces. This reverses their move to downsize their 100% juice varieties to just 60 ounces from 64 ounces, as we reported in 2013.

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Ocean Spray upsizes

If you find a product that has been either downsized or up-sized, please send a clear picture of both the old and new one to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

More Groceries Downsize – 2013 (Part 2)

There seems to be a sudden wave of products being downsized after a bit of a lull.

Beloved Charmin toilet paper, which believe it or not had 600 or 650 sheets on a roll when it was first introduced, has now been downsized again for the umteenth time, to just 164 sheets per “double” roll.

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Charmin
[Click above to see original labels]

Not only does P&G give you fewer sheets now, they also narrowed each sheet by close to half an inch.

We asked P&G why they downsized Charmin and why they made each sheet narrower. They said they downsized “to provide consumer driven improvements without raising our pricing.” As to why they narrowed each sheet, the company said:

“While the roll width was reduced 3/8ths of an inch, this allowed us to invest in some additional features:

  • Comfort Cushions to enhance the softness of Charmin Ultra Soft—a key consumer need for our Ultra Soft users
  • A more flexible Charmin Ultra Strong—our Ultra Strong users want strength without making the sheet too stiff
  • A reduced roll width to improve how easily it flushes for our most demanding users

We also added some fibers taken away from the sides back into the rest of the sheet to put more fibers where you need them most to get the job done.”

Thanks to Richard G. for tipping us off to how Charmin is squeezing the customer.


Good old Ritz Crackers, which used to come in one pound boxes, and which was downsized a few years ago, has just been downsized again.

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Ritz

ritz 2013

Thanks to Jamie M. for spotting the Ritz downsizing.


Lastly, for this downsizing roundup, we have Ocean Spray cranberry juice, which forever has come in 64-ounce bottles, but no longer does. They have been shrunk to 60-ounces. The old bottle on the left says “New Look,” which is usually a tip-off to a change in size, but this time it was a false signal. The new bottle also says “New Look,” and the ounces did drop. Go figure.

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Ocean Spray cranberry juice

How did they do it? When looked at from the side, the top of half of the new bottle has been narrowed. Sneaky. Very sneaky.

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Ocean Spray sides

Ocean Spray told Mouse Print* that it downsized some of its products because of rising costs it faced and “rather than raise the price at the point of sale.” As to the phrase “new look” appearing on both the old bottles and new bottles bottles, the company said it began using “new look” in October 2012 to differentiate its 100% juice products from its other product lines. And finally, here is their response to why the four-ounce drop in net contents was done so inconspicuously:

“The realities of the economy and the rising costs of goods mean we like many manufacturers have to make tough decisions about products and pricing. Our number one priority is making sure consumers have access to the product they want at a price point they can afford. The move to downsize our 100% Juice line from 64 oz. to 60 oz. was done in accordance with industry standards and was not concealed in any manner.” — Ocean Spray Spokesperson

Thanks to Lynnie B. for catching the Ocean Spray downsizing.