This Will Make You Laugh (or Cry)

December 28, 2013

My wife bought me some Martini glasses for Christmas. We aren’t usually Martini drinkers so I had to go buy some supplies. My wife wanted to try a Cosmopolitan, which calls for cranberry juice. On my way home from the liquor store, I stopped at H-E-B, a popular grocery chain here in Texas. I picked up a bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice and this is what I saw:

Ocean Spray

Any time you see the phrase “NEW LOOK,” beware. It usually means the size has changed. Sure enough. They reduced the size from 64oz. to 60oz. The price…was still the same.

I don’t know about you guys, but I HATE this kind of inflation. I would rather the company just raise their prices than to try to be sneaky about it.

Anyway, when I got home I did a quick search and found a customer complaint regarding the new bottle size on Ocean Spray’s facebook page. This was their response (keep in mind that this response was written by someone who works for Ocean Spray):

“Hi Ethan, We understand your frustration. We did reduce our 100% juice drink bottles from 64 to 60 ounces to accommodate the rising costs in the bottling materials and juice concentrate used in our 100% line. We chose not to pass these rising costs onto the consumer, and therefore chose the alternative of reducing the bottle size. We still have a variety of 64 oz. options and would be happy to discuss with you further at 800-662-3263.”

So a reduction in the container size&151;while the price remains the same&151;ISN’T passing the rising costs onto the consumer? Did I really just read that?


I paid $2.97 for a 60oz. container (basically $.05 per ounce). Had I paid that same price per ounce for a 64oz. container, I would have paid $3.17. That’s the equivalent of a 6.7% price increase. IT IS A PRICE INCREASE.

I would rather companies just be honest with their customers rather than trying to treat us as if we are stupid.

5 responses to This Will Make You Laugh (or Cry)

  1. I totally agree. Ocean Spray has decided to become thieves. Do they think I’ll EVER buy one of their products again? No…..

  2. Inflation? Our Dear Leader says there is no inflation! What is this blasphemy you spout!?

  3. This happens way more often than you’d think. In fact the list is practically endless. Cereal boxes today are half the size they were twenty years ago. Potato chips? Used to get 16 ounces in a bag, now you get 10. OJ makers started the trend that you reference, as you now get 59 ounces in their standard container. A can of tuna fish still has the same proportions as we’ve come to know, but you now get about one-third less than you used to. Costco used to sell 12 rolls of their Kirkland paper towels, each having 90 sheets. Now, they still sell twelve rolls and at the same price, but you get 80 sheets per roll. It goes on and on and it is one of my greatest frustrations, but unfortunately the practice is tried and true.

  4. My guess is the companies are hoping that people won’t notice if they shrink the package slightly. Other than you and Consumer Reports, they are probably right. One way or another, the price has gone up, so it doesn’t matter how to me they do it.

  5. HEB has the price-per-ounce on their labels.

    The tricks with changing container sizes doesn’t affect savvy shoppers who use those labels to comparison shop.

    I agree it is annoying when you have recipes that call for the old standard size amounts (calling for 16oz and the product is only available in 14.5oz sizes anymore).

    FYI: you’ll get a better deal buying the frozen concentrate (and not having to deal with large plastic jugs).

    Comment #2: citation please?