Monday, September 16, 2013

They don't fool me . . .

. . . manufacturers who are producing smaller sizes of their products and selling them in what appear to be the same size packages as several years ago. Prices inevitably rise but what’s going on now is deceptive at best.

Remember when you could buy a one pound package of coffee? Now it’s down to twelve ounces, having been 13 ounces for a short period. The price for the brand we buy remains about the same, but we’re getting less for our money.

My favorite graham crackers were the first shrinking product I noticed. There was a time when I couldn’t bite off the end of one; now they’re narrow enough that I can. The packaging looks the same and the price has about doubled.

Even toilet paper is not what it used to be. Rolls now seem to be a half inch narrower than they once were. I can tell because it used to be difficult to get it onto the holder and now there’s plenty of space for fingers to ease the roller onto the holder.

Spouse and I enjoy snacking on an oat cereal popular with toddlers. Looking at the box on the grocery shelf, it looks the same as always. However, when you pick it up, the box is much thinner than it used to be. The height and width are not changed which makes you think you’re getting what you expect.

I realize that drought, flooding, the cost of fuel, and other natural and manmade disasters have necessitated price rises. The packaging tricks, however, seem like a deliberate attempt to profit at consumers’ expense. Manufacturers are trying to pull the wool over our eyes that we are paying more for less.

Next time you‘re in the grocery store, see if you can spot these tricks. I won’t even mention the price of meat -- it’s bad enough to make me seriously consider going vegetarian!

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