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3 On Your Side: Shrinking Products On The Rise

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Cash register (Photo courtesy of: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Cash register (Photo courtesy of: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Does it seem like you’re running out of your favorite toothpaste quicker than before? Or maybe it seems like your family is eating more ice cream than usual. That may not be the case at all. A growing trend may be to blame.

3 On Your Side’s Jim Donovan explains what’s happening and why more and more of your household products are shrinking.

Ice cream, orange juice, hot dogs and more. They look the same on the supermarket shelves. The prices haven’t changed, but something fishy is going on!

Chicken of the Sea salmon pouches are lighter! Originally filled with 3 ounces of salmon, they’re now filled with only 2.6.

The same sized jar of Classico pesto sauce once held 10 ounces. It’s now just 8.1.

And when you scoop some of this Haaggen-Dazs, the containers are serving up two ounces less!

The February edition of Consumer Reports magazine highlighted those downsized products and others like Tropicana. It may be 100 percent pure and natural. But the containers have 7.8 percent less inside. Down from 64 ounces to 59. That means you’ll be pouring out five ounces less.

And you won’t squeeze as much out of your Ivory dish detergent either. The new bottle size has 24 ounces. The old one had 30. That means this one has 20 percent less.

So what’s going on?

“Commodities prices for things like oil, cotton, paper even gasoline for transportation, sugar, all kinds of ingredients, those prices are going up,” said Dr. Julie Ruth, Consumer Marketing expert at Rutgers University.

Ruth says products are shrinking so that manufacturers don’t have to raise prices.

“Manufacturers know that consumers are very reluctant these days to pay a higher price for any sort of item,” said Dr. Ruth.

Another example? Kraft American Cheese Singles, made with 2-percent milk. You used to be able to unwrap 24 slices, but now there are only 22 in the pack!

And get a load of this, while a roll of Scott toilet tissue is still 1,000 sheets long, the roll is slimmer than in the past.

They’ve shaved off .4 inches in width, leaving you with 9 percent less.

So consumers are paying the same, but stuck walking away with less.

If one of your favorite products is down-sized, call the manufacturer and complain.

Often if they know that you’re a loyal customer, they’ll send you coupons that you can at least use in the future.


Reported By Jim Donovan, CBS Philly

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