Shopping Discussion

Product shrinkage and price increases. Why and how?!

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 14th, 2010 7:12 pm
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Mar 16, 2007
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jacksorbetta wrote:
Sep 13th, 2010 10:09 am
It's most noticeable in cereal. $4.99 for a box that serves maybe, what, 3 bowls? It's probably cheaper to buy waffles and bacon than eat your daily Special K. Cookie packaging has done it too-with those partitioned boxes they sit in, you only get about 2 dozen cookies for the old price of 3x that amount. My grocery bill is probably 2x what it was 2 years ago, and I buy a lot less.

That's a big bowl of cereal. I get the "Large Size" Fibre 1 for about $6.50 and it last two weeks, every morning.
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Mar 16, 2007
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Manatus wrote:
Sep 13th, 2010 10:33 am
If either prices have to go up or products get smaller, I would much rather products get smaller. What's that commercial on TV for ziploc or something that says half the food bought by Canadians gets wasted? No idea if it's true or not, but if you're not a family a lot of products are simply too big. Then you have to spend money on things like ziploc bags and fiddle around with freezing stuff and thawing stuff and finding places to hide big bottles in a small space. Obviously we'd all rather that things stay the same, but if something absolutely has to change then I'd rather get a bit less for my money than have my bills go up for stuff that I don't really need all of, but have to buy anyway because the markup on smaller sized products is even more ridiculous.

Families do throw out a lot of food. Since I moved out, I only buy what I think I can eat that week because I hate throwing out food. When you have 3-5 people living in a house who like different things, I can see how it's hard to keep track of what's in the fridge and what needs to be eaten before it goes bad.
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Dec 3, 2009
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Shrinking products may be counter productive. As inflation goes up, products are being frozen at price points. If every grocery product shrunk and ice cream tubs stayed the same I dont think I could justify spending 8 bucks on a standard tub of ice cream. I cant justify spending that much more than 3 bucks on a standard box of cookies either. Its a chain reaction of all products and a psychological effect.
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Oct 22, 2007
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Cheap Cat wrote:
Sep 13th, 2010 11:18 am
Darn, that is one product I wouldn't mind being smaller. I also wouldn't mind if restaurant portion sizes would shrink with a corresponding price decrease. It would be nice to actually be able to eat my whole meal and perhaps even have dessert instead of feeling like a stuffed pig and taking half my food home.
Order a cheeseburger with lettuce and mac sauce... viola, half sized. ;-)
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Apr 8, 2010
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No Frills wrote:
Sep 13th, 2010 11:58 am
Shrinking products may be counter productive. As inflation goes up, products are being frozen at price points. If every grocery product shrunk and ice cream tubs stayed the same I dont think I could justify spending 8 bucks on a standard tub of ice cream. I cant justify spending that much more than 3 bucks on a standard box of cookies either. Its a chain reaction of all products and a psychological effect.

There's a limit to how much shrinkage you can do. Packaging equipment is not infitely scalable and a significant capital increase would be required for tooling and parts to signifcantly reduce packaging sizes. This is why a lot of containers are only "slightly" smaller then the previous size.
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Nov 10, 2003
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For anyone who lives in Ontario - the prime one for this is actually auto insurance - Sept 1 saw a reduction in coverage and at the same time a lot of insurers hiked premiums into the bargain. And that is one where inflation is not the culprit, just plain old greed.
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May 11, 2008
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dgs wrote:
Sep 13th, 2010 12:08 pm
For anyone who lives in Ontario - the prime one for this is actually auto insurance - Sept 1 saw a reduction in coverage and at the same time a lot of insurers hiked premiums into the bargain. And that is one where inflation is not the culprit, just plain old greed.

Please get your facts straight. The Reform resulted in an overall NEGATIVE (about -1%) for the industry with no insurers taking an increase as a result of the reform.
http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/english/insur ... 2-2010.asp
These were the mandatory filings for ALL companies for the Reform.
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Dec 3, 2009
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Anathem wrote:
Sep 13th, 2010 12:05 pm
There's a limit to how much shrinkage you can do. Packaging equipment is not infitely scalable and a significant capital increase would be required for tooling and parts to signifcantly reduce packaging sizes. This is why a lot of containers are only "slightly" smaller then the previous size.
Thats true, but some items have already went through 2-3 levels of shrinking. Once that is up and you cant decrease quality anymore before its basically edible matter, then it will be right back to price increases that has no limit.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.
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Oct 1, 2008
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Cheap Cat wrote:
Sep 13th, 2010 11:18 am
Darn, that is one product I wouldn't mind being smaller. I also wouldn't mind if restaurant portion sizes would shrink with a corresponding price decrease. It would be nice to actually be able to eat my whole meal and perhaps even have dessert instead of feeling like a stuffed pig and taking half my food home.

Oh, I've noticed the sizes decreasing... but not the prices.

A bunch of friends and I used to regularly eat at a Mexicali Rosa's in Ottawa. I think I can pinpoint exactly when they started to cut back, too. I once ordered a nacho platter (was it called the Number 9 Special? I don't remember...) and being so stuffed afterward that I passed my plate around to see if anyone else wanted to have some nachos. About a month later, I ordered the same thing, and finished the entire plate and was still hungry. Same location, same order, same price. A few other friends had similar sentiments about the food so we don't eat there anymore.

The $1.99 Costco hotdog has shrunk considerably, too, but can you really blame them? That combo has been $1.99 forever.

As for food shrinkage, I'm just wondering what it's going to look like in another 10 years. We'll all be buying tiny boxes and tiny cans...
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Dec 11, 2003
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In regards to food "shrinkage" at least as it applies to damaged product at store level, it's a HUGE problem, it's actually one of the big reasons why a lot of Metro stores have moved away from being open 24 hours.

I routinely find Angus steaks from our meat department sitting in the freezer, I find ice cream and treats sitting on the regular shelves, and see empty boxes that once held $20 moisturizer randomly hidden behind end displays. Basically it's some classless customers costing all of us a ton of cash.

As for sizing Ice cream and cereal are 2 great examples;

Ice cream used to be 2 litres---then 1.89---now 1.66--- and in some cases 1.5, all with a slight increase in cost.

Look at any General Mills cereal product especially Cheerios, the regular used to be 525 grams, if I remember now it's like 425. Does it look different?? Nope, when you walk up to it the box size is the same, but it's lost 25% of it's thickness.

Look at shreddies, went from 800 grams to 675.

Brent
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Feb 22, 2007
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Pro wrote:
Sep 12th, 2010 4:00 pm
Must be. The cartons look pretty much exactly the same too. Take a 1.89L and a 1.75L and stand them side-by-side and they look the same.

It really sucks that we are losing out because of...greed.
Get even - when you get a pay raise, cut back your productivity too! :evil:

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