Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Stealth Downsizing, as Shoppers Pay More for Less Food

With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages. So far, the changes are most visible at the grocery store, where shoppers are paying the same amount, but getting less.

For Lisa Stauber, stretching her budget to feed her nine children in Houston often requires careful monitoring at the store. Recently, when she cooked her usual three boxes of pasta for a big family dinner, she was surprised by a smaller yield, and she began to suspect something was up.

“Whole wheat pasta had gone from 16 ounces to 13.25 ounces,” she said. “I bought three boxes and it wasn’t enough — that was a little embarrassing. I bought the same amount I always buy, I just didn’t realize it, because who reads the sizes all the time?”

Since we buy mostly fresh, organic fruits and veggies we're used to the fluctuation in price but lately the quantity of food vs. the cost has stood out a bit more. Especially when we buy a bag of chips, peanut butter or a can of chickpeas or black beans. Later in the article they point out how food company will add a scoop to a peanut butter container so that you get less peanut butter. I checked my peanut butter container and low and behold there's a indented scoop on the bottom. Sneaky.

Posted via email from Joe Shockley's Data & Sound

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