Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking Bread Loaf

For about a year, I’ve noticed this trend toward downsizing in grocery stores. "Downsizing” is really not the right word. It’s more like "fraud," as more and more food and product manufacturers try to fool consumers into thinking that we should continue to shell out the same amount of money – or more -- for less of something.

Do they really think we’re that stupid?

Well, we must be because we continue to take it on the chin. We continue to purchase these incredible shrinking products at over-inflated prices. And I’m pointing the finger at myself, too!

I first noticed it with toilet paper. I used to buy the 12-pack of Charmin. It lasted about three weeks in our household. Then Charmin decided to repackage their TP from 12 rolls down to six double rolls. Do the very simple math, and you would think that you’re getting the same amount of toilet paper, right? Well, we weren’t. This double-roll package barely lasts two weeks now. Something stinks.

Then came the anorexic bottles of laundry detergent. I’m not sure who started it first – Tide, Cheer or All – but their bottles suddenly became smaller and thinner. They tried to convince us all that these newly repackaged jugs of liquid soap were now “double strength.” And it worked!

And now that the detergent giants realize what suckers we are, they’ve launched their newest scam: Even SMALLER detergent containers, but TRIPLE the strength. So within a year’s time, laundry detergent has morphed from 100 oz. to 50 oz. to the latest rip-off – the 32.-oz-triple-load jug. And to add insult to injury, they’ve also jacked up the prices.

Did you notice that gallons of ice cream are smaller, too? The price is the same, but now you get even less of the good stuff.

Recently, I fell for the most clever scam of all: Two bread loaves shrink-wrapped together for a little more than the price of one. Bread prices are outrageous, too, and when I saw that I could get two loaves for a few cents more than I pay for one loaf, I thought, “I’m there!”

When I brought my prized loaves home, I discovered that I had been scammed. Those so-called “full loaves” of bread were really half loaves. And when I placed one on top of the other, choo-choo-train-style, whaddya know . . . the length of those combined two HALF loaves was about three slices longer than one regular loaf of bread. And I paid about 75 cents more for it, too!

Speaking of bread rip-offs, have you noticed that Quiznos has joined in on the incredible-shrinking-bread-loaf scam? Their six-inch loaves are much thinner now. Length-wise, you might be getting the full six inches. But they’ve definitely lost some girth.

You would think that during a deep recession, a time when so many families are rubbing nickels together just to get by, that companies such as Tide and Charmin and Quiznos would try to make things a little easier for their loyal consumers. They have decided to gouge us, instead.

Besides toilet paper, ice cream, laundry detergent and bread, what other items have you noticed are getting smaller and smaller, yet pricier and pricier?

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HeyJoe said...

I've always been skeptical of the "concentrated" laundry detergent scam. You're still using close to the same amount and yet you're buying a much smaller bottle; ergo, you run out faster and must buy more.

Is it time to start another riot? I think my pitch forks are in storage…

IVAN said...

Wow the triple strength laundry detergent euphemism really got me... that is the exact kind of detergent I use...the same thing is happening here in Texas with the Rancher's Reserve meats, "Family Packs" are ridiculously overpriced but it doesnt offer much more than regular packs that are much cheaper. Nice observations!

Lynn said...

Joe and Ivan,

It's difficult to start a revolution with an army of three. But thanks for trying! You are true and loyal soldiers. Actually, this post was less of a call to arms and more of an opportunity to bitch. I'm certainly not going to stop buying toilet paper, or go on a clothes-washing strike. And don't even ask me to give up ice cream! I'm just saying . . .

Anonymous said...

you realize that liquid laundry detergent is largely water, right? and because of big-box retailer economoy of cost demands (walmart) manufacturers are actually capitulating and making smaller packaging ... they sell this as 'green' when at the bottom line it's cheaper to store and distribute

scienceguy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I'd like to give you more then a full 6 inches! You're hot!

Anonymous said...

You are what gay men call a a "size queen: