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.

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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. Their family size boxes of Wheat Thins went from a nice round pound to just 14 ounces. We don’t know if the boxes remained the same size, but according to James the price stayed the same.

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Nabisco Wheat Thins


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.

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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.

No Joke: Thomas’ Upsizes Its English Muffins

This story is just in time for April Fools’ Day… but it’s no joke.

It is very rare in the food industry to find a product that has been upsized rather than downsized. But Thomas’ English Muffins recently made their packages a tiny bit larger, going from 12 to 13 ounces for six muffins.

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Thomas' English Muffins

We asked the company why they made this unusual move. All a customer service rep would say is that it was a business decision in part because they were getting feedback that the muffins were too small. She could not explain the 25% increase in calories, however.

Chobani Exaggerated Protein Content of it’s Complete Yogurt

When Chobani advertised that its “Complete” yogurt products contained up to 25 grams of protein, the makers of Dannon yogurt cried foul. Here is the commercial claim in question:

Chobani Complete claim

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It turns out that two of the three products shown in the ad did not have 25 grams of protein per serving. They only had 15 and that distinction was not made clear.

So Dannon filed a formal complaint with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau. Before NAD could render a decision, Chobani announced that it would stop making the 25 grams of protein claim about its 5.3 ounces yogurt cups, and make clear that the claim only applied to their 10-ounce shake product.

“Up to” claims are inherently misleading because they highlight the best case scenario and ignore the worst case. That’s why Massachusetts advertising regulations, for example, require both the lowest number and the highest number in a range to be disclosed in equal size type, such as “save 10 to 50 percent” rather than “save up to 50 percent.”