They have a gallery up over on The Consumerist showing 34 examples of what they call the “grocery shrink-ray…” Manufacturers hope you won’t notice, but even the New York Times noticed : “In industry lingo, it’s called short-sizing. Aiming to offset increased ingredient and transportation costs, some of the nation’s food manufacturers are reducing the size of packages. The price, of course, usually stays the same.”
How do you save yourself from this pernicious downsizing? Check the shelf — if you’re like the people in the Consumerist photo essay, you might be able to actually find examples of the before-and-after on the shelf, and score the bigger sizes. Otherwise, the best way to combat the phenomenon is to turn off your automatic pilot when you’re in the grocery store, and stop buying products just because you always buy them. Actually check the unit prices, and look for the product with the best price that way. Of course, if the only peanut butter you like is Skippy Super-Duper Double Chunky-chunk-chunk, then go ahead and buy it, but know you’re probably not getting as good a value as you’re used to.