Size Matters

Size Matters

Yes, at least to some of us, Size Matters.  But hold on there, it’s not what you think . . . what I’m writing about here tonight is packaging, or rather, what’s inside that packaging.  Specifically, what’s not inside that packaging any more.

As you shop for your household staples, have you noticed the gradual reduction in the sizes of the packages on offer?  Coffee used to come in one pound bags, or three-pound cans.  Now the bags are twelve ounces, and the cans have crept their way down to something ridiculous like two pounds, one-point-nine ounces. Who thinks of these measurements?

It may not show very well in the photo, but the Charmin roll on the right is about half an inch shorter than the one on the left.  And both of them slide back and forth with lots of wiggle room on the spindle, which I guarantee you did not happen three years ago.  The packaging gurus have tried to fool me with “Mega Rolls”, but those don’t fit in the handy storage cylinders in my powder rooms.  Why make a Mega Roll, but then shave width from the sides?

Other items I’ve noticed are bacon (often twelve ounces now, rather than a pound), sugar (went from the standard five-pound sacks to four), and even cake mixes.  For decades we’ve come to rely on an eighteen ounce cake mix.  Now some of those are sixteen-and-a-quarter or even fifteen ounces.  Did they think we wouldn’t notice?

Mother recently shared with me a “Three Ounce Cake Mix Upsizer” recipe:  1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.  Sift these together and store in a sealed container. Add 4-6 tablespoons of this mix to the newfangled skimpy cake mixes to bring them up to par.

My point here is, we shouldn’t have to do that.  Some things just don’t need to change.  Call me an old curmudgeon if you will, but is nothing sacred any more?  Because I would bet money the Oreo cookies they’re selling these days are not as big around as they were when I was a kid.  And Double-Stufs?  Hah.

Ok, it’s your turn.  Leave us a comment with your pet peeve from the grocery aisles.  Not that we can do anything about it, but maybe it’ll help to commiserate!

Comments

  1. This has been going on with ice cream for several years now – it’s very hard to find a true half gallon anymore (though Trader Joe’s still sells ’em). I think manufacturers are doing this to keep costs down – not only theirs, but ours as well. If prices go up too fast, we’ll stop buying their products and either get a cheaper knock-off or do without. The truth is, all the stimulus and printing money have devalued our currency, and that has led – is leading – to inflation. This is evidence of that: reduced packaging is reduced value for the same money, with is another measure of inflation (the usual one being higher prices). It’s a shame. And I think it will probably continue until the economy picks up – and even then we aren’t likely to ever see package sizes, or toilet paper roll sizes, or whatever, go back up to what they used to be. (btw, I had no idea toilet paper rolls had decreased in size. Now I’m really depressed … !)

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