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Here We Downsize Again – Summer 2021 (Part 2)

This week we continue our series on shrinkflation — the downsizing of grocery products — everything from toilet paper to shampoo to sardines. This is our biggest display of downsized items ever. (See last week’s part one.)

Bounty Paper Towels

Last winter, paper products manufacturers alerted shoppers that prices would go up this past June because of higher manufacturing and distribution costs. And while some prices might have increased directly, some may gone up indirectly through downsizing. Here triple rolls of Bounty paper towels lost 18 sheets per roll going from 165 sheets to just 147.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Bounty paper towels


Costco-Kirkland Toilet Paper

After downsizing its paper towels, Costco has now turned to its Kirkland brand of toilet paper. The new roll went from 425 sheets down to 380 sheets. The packages stayed the same price ($19.99 online/delivered), but you lost the equivalent of over three rolls in each package. The label does say the new rolls are “thicker than ever before.”

*MOUSE PRINT:

Kirkland toilet paper


Season Sardines

Thanks to a California reader named Dave, we have some fishy downsizing. He discovered cans of Season sardines at his local Walmart store going from 4.375 ounces down to 3.75 ounces. Aren’t sardines small enough already? We found both cans at Walmart.com selling for the same $3.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Season sardines


Tresemme Keratin Shampoo

We have a repeat offender next. The big black bottles of Tresemme shampoo downsized years ago from 32 ounces to just 28. And around 2018, the red bottles of Tresemme Keratin went from 25 ounces to 22 ounces. Now, eagle-eyed shopper C.S. spotted yet another reduction — this time, down to just 20 ounces.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Tresemme history


Ziploc Bags

It is really hard to keep track of the number of bags in each box of these products. Ziploc removed four bags from their boxes of 54.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Ziploc bags


Walmart Chicken Caesar Salad

Laura G. wrote to us complaining about her favorite Marketside Chicken Caesar salad from Walmart. It disappeared last month and then suddenly reappeared, but in a much smaller portion at a similar price. The package actually went from 14.375 ounces to just 12.1 ounces. She concluded, “not happy with the changes.”

*MOUSE PRINT:

Walmart Caesar Salad


Tostitos Hint of …

Frito-Lay is once again tinkering with the sizes of their bags of chips. This time, Tostitos Hint of Guacamole shrank by one ounce from 12 to 11 ounces, and Hint of Lime went from 13 ounces to just 11.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Tostitos hint of
Tostitos LIme


Quaker Instant Oatmeal

Quaker is in the process of removing twenty percent of the pouches in some of their instant oatmeal packages. Whereas you used get 10 servings in a box, now you only get eight. Looking at the boxes head-on, they are identical, but sideways, the old one is deeper. On the bright side, they made the font bigger for the number of packets in each box.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Quaker instant


Dial Body Wash

If your Dial body wash bottle seems to run out more quickly, it is not your imagination. Bottles recently lost almost 25% of the contents, going from 21 ounces to only 16.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Dial Body Wash


If you find a product that has been downsized, please try to take a sharp picture of both the old and the new package and submit them to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

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Here We Downsize Again – Summer 2021 (Part 1)

As inflation rears its ugly head, manufacturers have to decide whether they will raise prices, shrink their products, or possibly even do both. With so much publicity about “shrinkflation” over the past month, more shoppers are finding new examples. We have our ace downsizing sleuth, Richard G., to thank for spotting the items below, which you may find changing on store shelves right now.

General Mills Family Size Cereals

General Mills has gone overboard in the past few weeks downsizing variety after variety of their popular brands of breakfast cereals.

General Mills cerealsClick picture above, then again to enlarge to see net weights

cheerios

*MOUSE PRINT:

One example is Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. The 20.1 ounce box got half an inch taller, but lost 1.1 ounces making it 19 ounces now. That is a loss of one bowl of cereal in each box — the equivalent of a 27 cent price increase. (The packages shown were all on sale for $3.99.) The other brands shown were reduced between 0.5 ounces and 1.2 ounces. Think how much General Mills is saving when you multiply that times millions or tens of millions of boxes.


Gold Peak Tea

Coca Cola, which owns the Gold Peak tea brand, is in the process of downsizing their bottles from half a gallon (64 oz.) to just 59 ounces. Both bottles were on sale for $2.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Gold Peak Tea


Scott Shop Towels

These paper towels that are sold at hardware and auto supply stores have changed also. But look at the pictures. They both have 55 towels per roll (at an outrageous price of $3.99 each). So what’s going on here?

*MOUSE PRINT:

Scott shop towels

Scott lopped off one inch from each sheet, so instead of each one being 10.4 inches long, the new ones are only 9.4 inches. That’s a loss of about four-and-a-half feet of paper towels per roll.


If you find an item that has been downsized, please try to take a sharp picture of the old and new packages and email them to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

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Can Crest Toothpaste Really Repair Your Gums?

In 2021, at least five lawsuits have been filed against Procter & Gamble claiming that Crest Gum & Enamel Repair toothpaste is being deceptively marketed. [Suit #1, suit #2 pre-amendment, and suit #3]

Crest Gum and Enamel Repair

The lawyers contend that this Crest toothpaste cannot “repair” gums.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Allegations from some of the cases…

…gums that have suffered structural damage cannot be repaired, restored, or re-grown through use of the Product. The only way to repair gums is through periodontal treatment, including cosmetic dental surgery such as gum grafting.

…receding gums do not grow back; once the gum tissue has pulled back and away from teeth, it’s gone for good.

…the Product’s active ingredient –Stannous Fluoride .454% (.14% W/V Fluoride Ion) – which is common to most toothpastes, provides no special gum “repair” benefits.

With respect to gum care, all a toothpaste can really do is control, reduce, or prevent gingivitis by helping to remove plaque. Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness and swelling where your gum meets the base of your teeth.

So the lawyers claim that purchasers have been misled, would not have bought the product, or would have paid less than the premium price that P&G charges had they known the true nature of this toothpaste to start with.

P&G presumably denies the charges but best we can tell, P&G has not formally filed answers to the complaints yet.

One of the lawyers predicts what one of P&G’s defenses might be and he makes a pre-emptive grammatical argument against it. He expects P&G to say that in the phrase “Gum and Enamel Repair” that the word “gum” does not modify the word “Repair.” In essence, he’s suggesting that P&G will likely claim this is a “gum toothpaste” and an “enamel repair toothpaste.” The consumer lawyer says the name of the product follows normal parallel structure and most consumers would understand it to mean the product is for “gum repair” and “enamel repair.”.

What do you think? Do these cases have any teeth?

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