Some Food Companies Trying to Give You Less for the Same Money





Plate with a mini pizza - IllustrationYou decide that you are going to make your famous pasta dish for you and your family for dinner.

On the way home from work, you hit the grocery store and buy a few bags of pasta and some canned vegetables.

You and your family eat the dish but are still feeling somewhat unsatisfied at the end of the meal. Are you all just really hungry, or is there something else going on?

According to the New York Times, it may be the latter.

In an article titled "Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags", the New York Times brings attention to the practice of many food companies shrinking the size of their food offerings in order to combat rising food costs.

The problem? Many consumers (I would say the vast majority) don't realize that this is going on.

The NYT gives a few examples - a 16 ounce box of whole wheat pasta dropping to 13.5 ounces, and a 16 ounce can of vegetables dropping to 13-14 ounces.

Are price reductions accompanying these drops? Of course not.

Companies are caught between a rock and a hard place right now. Food prices are rising while economic growth remains weak. The typical American consumer, who is already worried about the safety of their job (or is trying to find a job), is being besieged from all angles right now. Food prices are rising. Energy costs are rising. Home values are dropping. The typical American just does not feel very well-off right now.

Food companies are very aware of this fact, so they are trying to "sneak" in price increases by lowering the amount of product that they include in each package.

The $4 bag of whole wheat pasta that used to weight 16 ounces? Well, now it might weigh just 13.5 ounces, but it will still cost you $4.

The typical consumer is not going to be too happy about a price increase, so food companies are doing what they can to pass on increased food prices to consumers without causing an uproar.

How are companies pulling this off without you noticing? According to the NYT, the depth of a box might be adjusted, while keeping the height and width the same. Or, a bag of chips might be filled with more air and less chips. All sorts of different tricks are being used to disguise the fact that less food is being included in the package.

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Are you noticing a change?

Source: NYTimes.com - Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags




Filed under: General Knowledge

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