Just Got Back From the Grocery Store

I, along with my family, just got back from our local Kroger. While going from aisle to aisle, I noticed an end cap display of Hellmann’s Mayonaise. You have to look close because they don’t advertise this kind of stuff, but the Hellmann’s has reduced the size of their mayonaise jar to 30 oz. from 32 oz. (a 6.25% reduction). The price, of course, is still the same!

Of all the forms of inflation, the size reduction gets on my nerves the most. I guess because it seems so sneaky. I would be willing to bet that MOST people do not notice product reductions. Most of the manufacturers did it with ice cream a while back and I still to this day have not purchased a 56 oz. carton of ice cream. Fortunately, Blue Bell still makes a half gallon.

If you are interested, you can go here to express your thanks to Hellmann’s about their new smaller size.

7 thoughts on “Just Got Back From the Grocery Store”

  1. With our first baby, we used Weleda cream for her diaper changes. Now, Weleda is expensive, and no price conscious person would generally pick it up. [Strangely, we used both one of the most expensive diaper creams there is, but we also used bulk, generic, cheapest of the cheapie diapers. It was a conscious decision, albeit a weird one, at the time. But I digress.]

    Anywhoo, after a few months of using the cream, we noticed some changes. The tubes went from 7oz to 5.6, they upped the price by a dollar AND they changed the formulation to one that was obviously lower quality. I mean, come on guys! Pick one! Or pick two! But all three at once?? That seemed excessive, even IF their target market is someone who obviously is not shopping by price. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back for us.

    [She never did get a diaper rash. It was good stuff, back before they changed it. Now we use Equate A&D ointment.]

  2. I used to work at a grocery store and one of the duties I was often given was to change the product tags on the shelf so I know this goes on more than people realize with many popular products. I agree that it is sneaky.

    There is also a trend that I have noticed lately that some larger containers of product are actually MORE expensive than the smaller containers. Perhaps they are trying to make more money banking the fact that consumers are buying in larger sizes to save money? It’s something to think about.

    A great tool to use when shopping are the product tags that tell the cost per unit. But even then you have to look close because sometimes the product changes but there is a lag time until the tag is changed.

  3. The wife and I go to Kroger every weekend for our grocery needs. (we even have the little kroger card) Anyway, its not just hellmans that are making these cuts but shaving has been on the market forever. Just look at the boxes of cereal with just a tiny bit in the bag but in a huge box. My suggestion is to just glance at the oz or the weight next time on the usual items you pick up. Hopefully if there is a decrease, its probably not huge enough to boycott the product altogether.

  4. For grocery staples, I never shop by total price, but by the cost per unit like tricia says. Plus I always start with the GV brand (at wally world). I avoid the snack isle completely. Then I get me a nice expensive steak and exotic produce. For final gratification, I find someone in line who’s got a cartful just like mine and watch ’em spend twice as much.

  5. The last two times I went to Safeway, I saved an astounding $12-$15 with my Safeway card, according to my receipt. I really think that’s more a sign of the margins they must be making rather than my amazing ability to be frugal!

  6. I, too, think that the product size reductions are sneaky. We eat a lot of ice cream in our house – ok, we eat too much of the stuff. When the majority of ice cream started being produced in the smaller cartons for the same price of the former full size, it was a rip off. I think a manufacturers of just about any product will scale back when they have to and just not say anything about it. They may endure customer complaints for a time, but they know if they have a decent product that the complaining won’t last long enough for them to take a hit on the profit margin. I see it with the non-food products I work with fairly often and it’s kind of sad.

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