Smaller packages

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wallhd
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2005/07/23 07:37:36 (permalink)

Smaller packages

Maybe I missed anyone else posting about this, but a few weeks ago, my wife brought home a carton of Firendly's and a carton of store-brand ice cream. The packages didn't look quite right. Upon closer examination I found that the cartons were indeed smaller, contaning 1.75 quarts of product not the usual (and expected) half-gallon. The prices didn't appear lower however.

Why do companies do stuff like this anyway? Most American consumers aren't nearly as stupid as the marketing folks make them out to be. My opinion is it's just a sneaky, underhanded way of raising prices.
If you need to charge more for something, just do it. This is messing around with a long standing tradition of ice cream packaging and it bugs me no end.

Wally
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13 Replies Related Threads

    mayor al
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/23 08:51:07 (permalink)

    Wally, a number of the companies are doing that now. I have noticed that they hold to the half-gallon size on the 'normal basic flavors' and shrink the size on the exotics or specialty flavors. I got really pissed about the same feeling that you expressed and sent emails with a detailed explanation of my opinion to Dreyers, Beyers, Traugh(sp) and one other whose name escapes me right now. It didn't cause an uproar in the Ice Cream production facilities that I noticed...but I felt like I had made my feelings known.
    #2
    pacman
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/23 09:31:53 (permalink)
    I can't speak for everyplace, but, around here it seems that any brand in the traditional 'folded box' carton is still 1/2 gallon regardless of flavor. Breyers, Turkey Hill, Eddys, etc., (those in the tub with lid) appear to be less than a 1/2 gal, but still vary the size a bit based on how 'exotic' the flavor is.

    Funny thing is that most stores still refer to them as 1/2 gals. That is until you read the fine print.
    #3
    Adjudicator
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/23 09:46:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by pacman

    I can't speak for everyplace, but, around here it seems that any brand in the traditional 'folded box' carton is still 1/2 gallon regardless of flavor. Breyers, Turkey Hill, Eddys, etc., (those in the tub with lid) appear to be less than a 1/2 gal, but still vary the size a bit based on how 'exotic' the flavor is.

    Funny thing is that most stores still refer to them as 1/2 gals. That is until you read the fine print.


    I've noticed that with Breyers for a while now. They seem to think they are fooling everyone. Fortunately, I can wait for the 2-4-1 sale that occurs when no one buys their 1.75 qt. ice cream for $4.99 ea.

    In similar areas, a local food market in my area has just gotten in some freshly shelled cream (white acre) peas, some zipper peas, some small butter peas, and some fresh small lima beans... 5 pounds for ONLY $19.99 ... They must be crazy. I told the produce mgr. that personally. I will be awaiting the garage sale on these items, also.

    #4
    wallhd
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/23 10:05:21 (permalink)
    Both of the brands I noted in my original post, Friendly's (purchased in a supermarket BTW) and the -store-brand, Hanaford, were packaged in the "traditional" folded box container.

    A regional brand, here in New York State, Stewarts, sold largely thru the convenience store chain of the same name, continues to package in the full 1/2 gallon folded box container. Stewarts is a pretty good ice cream product to boot.

    Wally
    Plattsburgh, NY
    #5
    NYNM
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/23 11:49:54 (permalink)
    Kinda off the point, but not really...I was in Border's bookstore yesterday and some new "summer read" paperbacks are resized to like 4x8 instead of 4x6 and cost $9.99. Like we are fooled.......
    #6
    mayor al
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/23 18:17:07 (permalink)

    I bought a regular 1/2 gallon of Strawberry Dreyer's "Grand" (2 for $6) yesterday, put about a pint plus in a bowl and over a pint of fresh blackberries right from the picking. Let it soften just a little and Man, my afternoon was much more comfortable !! What a treat !
    #7
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/23 19:41:59 (permalink)
    This has been a major marketing ploy with food companies for some time now. I have tons of recipes that call for a 16oz. can of this or that ex: Tomatoes, try finding one all canned goods are not 141/2 oz. but the price didn't change. Remember fifths and Quarts of liquor?
    #8
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/24 22:39:49 (permalink)
    It is easier to push across an effective price increase without actually raising the price. That is all anyone is doing here. It is not just ice cream, as others have pointed out. I used to buy Peanut M&Ms in a one pound bag for years -- except now they are in a 14 or so oz. bag. The most recent product that has affected me is Campbell's soup -- the Select variety. I like their chicken noodle and Italian wedding soup. They came in 20-odd oz. cans, then came in 18.6 oz. cans. Now they are sold in the 14-odd oz. "tubs" that can be microwaved. All the while incrementally raising their price on the product, I guess they figured that they could reduce product size by 20% easier than raising prices by 20%. Marketers may not think that the buying public is "stupid", but they are probably on target that the bulk are not smart enough to know or notice right away -- or, that even that the loss of business they would endure by shrinking packages is less than the loss of business that they would get from a substantial price hike.

    To also keep this "roadfood"-focused, restaurants do the same thing. For years, I ordered a 14 oz steak at one of my favorite local places. The last time I was there, it was now being offered as a 12-oz steak. Maybe it was a supplier change -- maybe it was a hidden price increase -- I guess we'll never really know. I suppose that this is even more common with more marketing savvy chain places than with the local joints that would simply just raise their price by a buck or two.

    Steve
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    garryd451
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/25 02:19:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by stevekoe

    It is easier to push across an effective price increase without actually raising the price. That is all anyone is doing here. It is not just ice cream, as others have pointed out. I used to buy Peanut M&Ms in a one pound bag for years -- except now they are in a 14 or so oz. bag. The most recent product that has affected me is Campbell's soup -- the Select variety. I like their chicken noodle and Italian wedding soup. They came in 20-odd oz. cans, then came in 18.6 oz. cans. Now they are sold in the 14-odd oz. "tubs" that can be microwaved. All the while incrementally raising their price on the product, I guess they figured that they could reduce product size by 20% easier than raising prices by 20%. Marketers may not think that the buying public is "stupid", but they are probably on target that the bulk are not smart enough to know or notice right away -- or, that even that the loss of business they would endure by shrinking packages is less than the loss of business that they would get from a substantial price hike.

    To also keep this "roadfood"-focused, restaurants do the same thing. For years, I ordered a 14 oz steak at one of my favorite local places. The last time I was there, it was now being offered as a 12-oz steak. Maybe it was a supplier change -- maybe it was a hidden price increase -- I guess we'll never really know. I suppose that this is even more common with more marketing savvy chain places than with the local joints that would simply just raise their price by a buck or two.

    Steve


    Yep, they down sized the small Yogarts, about 2 years ago!
    #10
    Rick F.
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/25 04:28:36 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by stevekoe To also keep this "roadfood"-focused, restaurants do the same thing. For years, I ordered a 14 oz steak at one of my favorite local places. The last time I was there, it was now being offered as a 12-oz steak. Maybe it was a supplier change -- maybe it was a hidden price increase -- I guess we'll never really know.
    Afraid your optimism is unwarranted. A locally owned & operated restaurant (The Landing, Natchitoches, LA) quietly revised its menu for the tourist-driven local Christmas Festival last December by making the meals a la carte. After the Festival the changes remained in place; later the prices were slightly reduced in an attempt to win back local customers. It may have worked with some of them; but I had been eating there each week with a group of up to a dozen others; we just stopped our regular habits and go there only occasionally. We're waiting for the owner (whom we all know, and who knows us) to ask why. We'll tell him: he priced himself out of our market.
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    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/25 09:19:04 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rick F.

    quote:
    Originally posted by stevekoe To also keep this "roadfood"-focused, restaurants do the same thing. For years, I ordered a 14 oz steak at one of my favorite local places. The last time I was there, it was now being offered as a 12-oz steak. Maybe it was a supplier change -- maybe it was a hidden price increase -- I guess we'll never really know.
    Afraid your optimism is unwarranted. A locally owned & operated restaurant (The Landing, Natchitoches, LA) quietly revised its menu for the tourist-driven local Christmas Festival last December by making the meals a la carte. After the Festival the changes remained in place; later the prices were slightly reduced in an attempt to win back local customers. It may have worked with some of them; but I had been eating there each week with a group of up to a dozen others; we just stopped our regular habits and go there only occasionally. We're waiting for the owner (whom we all know, and who knows us) to ask why. We'll tell him: he priced himself out of our market.


    I agree with you, actually. I am not sure if mine is an effort at optomism or trying to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.

    My co-workers often insist at eating at the Roadhouse for lunch (they have a punchcard, so I guess if you eat X crappy meals, they will give you one more crappy meal for free!). I go when I want to be social. The last time I was there, I noticed that they have replaced fries on their lunch menu with "homemade" potato chips. If you want fries, you can upcharge about 50 cents. Not a huge price difference, but on a lunch menu, that is easier than putting across a 10% price increase.

    Steve
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    tmiles
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/26 15:23:21 (permalink)
    Andy Rooney did a memorable bit on the demise of the "1lb" can of coffee. What do they hold now??? about 12 oz?
    #13
    marcbla
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    RE: Smaller packages 2005/07/26 16:51:28 (permalink)
    Also a little off topic but, the same thing with many snack ffods, i see a bag of lays potato chips is still 99 cents but the bag has gone from around 12 ounces down to 7 or eight now.
    #14
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