Consumer Reports Investigates Shrinking Food Packages

Consumer Reports Investigates Shrinking Food Packages

Are you tired of bringing home the bacon only to find that there's less bacon in the package than there used to be?
 
7 On Your Side often gets complaints from viewers who feel like brands at the supermarket are shrinking their size and charging the same high price, so Consumer Reports scoured supermarket shelves to investigate.
 
Food shopping is leaving a lot of people with that empty feeling. Consumers used to getting a pint when buying ice cream may have to reduce their expectations as many are now just 14 ounces.
 
Some ice cream sandwiches used to be packed with 12 in a box and now you get 10 for the same price. "It's called downsizing and people feel duped by the practice," Consumer Reports reporter Tod Marks said.
 
Marks is a shopping expert who fights for the little guy. "Companies often blame downsizing on rising labor and ingredient costs, but it's a way for them to raise prices, too, without being noticed," he said.
 
Take juice, for example. Do you normally expect to find a half-gallon of juice in containers? Well, some store brands still contain the traditional 64 ounces, but many of the big brands are now only 59 ounces.
 
Some jars of peanut butter appear to be the same size, but they range from 18 ounces down to 16 ounces. This is a difference of roughly two servings.
 
Even laundry detergents have shrunk. An All Liquid container of detergent is 50 ounces, while a look-alike bottle of All Free Clear is only 46.5 ounces, which means two fewer loads.
 
Another example is extra-large Hershey's bars where one was slightly smaller than the other.
 
If you buy Ivory soap as a 10-pack, you get four-ounce bars. But if you pick up a three-pack, they weigh only 3.1 ounces. "The best thing you can do is to read the fine print on the packaging. And pay attention to those unit-price labels on most store shelves," Marks said.
 
Consumers are used to a pound of coffee or a quart of mayonnaise, but today that's not the case. So you need to check the labels to see exactly how much product you're actually getting.

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