EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

April 26, 2013

Prices stay the same but the products shrink

The price stays the same, but the product gets smaller and smaller and smaller. It’s called product “shrink” and it’s the result of rising manufacturing costs. As costs rise, companies must make a decision – raise the price of the product accordingly, or keep the price the same while reducing the size of the product.

I’m not the only one who’s noticed product shrink — many readers have too, and my recent column on products being downsized elicited many passionate responses:

Dear Jill,

In response to your column on shrinking products, you hit on the mark as to what I personally observe as the primary food shopper in this family.

Case in point: I am a dedicated consumer of premium bourbon. Recently, Maker’s Mark proposed to reduce the alcohol level in their premium bourbon (meaning, watering it down) to keep up with their inability to provide increased demand for their quality product of the past. It takes considerable time to produce quality bourbon and alcohol level dramatically changes the taste of the bourbon! There was big-time backlash. The company said, “You spoke and we listened.” They rescinded on their decision almost immediately.

Bob N.

I heard about this case in the news, and it was a real triumph for shoppers who made their voices known. One enormous benefit of social media is that customers can converse with their favorite brands in real time, and fans of this bourbon were not shy about sharing how they felt about the reduction in quality.

Dear Jill,

Your column on groceries shrinking is so true. Half-gallon orange juice bottles went from 64 ounces to 59 ounces. Today I saw a brand of juice now has 46-ounce bottles! That is 18 ounces smaller than it used to be. And the funny thing is, when you look at the bottle from the front, it looks the same, but the bottle is only a couple inches deep. Did the price go down? No. But now it’s like three glasses of juice missing from the bottle.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle

Photos of the Week