The Incredible Shrinking Grocery Store Products

Over at Mouse Print, they’ve been covering the recent downsizing of products upon the supermarket shelves. So far, they’ve noted the reduction in sizes in such products as ice cream, orange juice, mayonnaise, and margarine. As far as anyone can figure out, there’s been no press release or other publically available information to alert consumers when this occurs.

The question I have is this – How big of a deal is this? Do people care? This isn’t the snarky version of me asking, I’m asking out of a genuine sense of curiosity.

Part of me is a littler perturbed by this, as it seems such an underhanded way of squeezing profit out of the consumer. If a person expects 1.75 quarts of ice cream, and unknowingly purchases only 1.5 quarts for the same price due to a subtle change in packaging, how is that not fraud? I know, I know, it says the size of the ice cream right on the label, so this clears the company of any responsibility, but how many of you out there read and know the weight and/or volume of the food products you purchase? At the very least, it’s a duplicitous practice.

However, the other part of me feels that some of these companies are in an impossible situation. To meet their own rising costs they either have to raise the prices on the 1.75 package of ice cream, or down size it and keep the cost close to the customers price expectation. If only they were more upfront about this practice, I’d be a little more willing to cut them some slack on this.

What are your thoughts on this practice?

h/t U.S. Food Policy