I was sad to see that the ol’ shrink ray hit another popular product this month.
According to The Consumerist, Nabisco Premium saltines are now boasting a new round shape…. and 5.5 fewer ounces of crackers per box.
Companies often resort to shrinking the contents of the package in order to avoid price hikes. They’re very good at disguising these shrinking products with a variety to tactics. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying more for less.
Watch for these signs that you may be getting less for your money:
- New design. This is a favorite tactic of diaper companies. They change the design from Winnie the Pooh to Elmo and suddenly there are 5 less diapers in a box.
- Improved taste. I’ve seen everything from crackers to soup with a “New and Improved Taste” sticker only to find that there is less to taste.
- New packaging. Less packaging is more environmentally friendly. And it also saves the company a lot of money. New packaging could mean smaller packaging with less inside.
- Deep clearance sales. If you see a pretty amazing clearance sale on your favorite product, it’s possible that stores are clearing out the old inventory to make way for new products with new, smaller packaging.
While it may seem fruitless to resist the product shrink ray, there are a few things you can do to continue to get the best value for your money:
- Look closely at the packaging and pay attention to sizes and weights.
- Calculate the unit price to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
- If you’ve noticed the product shrink ray hitting your favorite product, check the back of the shelf for older packages with more product inside. Be sure to also check the clearance sections and stock up on the older packages.
- Consider abandoning brand loyalty. Be willing to try different brands of similar products that still come in larger quantities. You may be pleasantly surprised.
- Voice your concerns with the manufacturer. While these types of business decisions are extremely unlikely to be reversed, it’s important for companies to know that consumers have noticed their tactics and don’t like it.
Have you noticed the shrink ray hitting your favorite products lately?