It’s not just you – some grocery products are getting smaller.
Ingredients and manufacturing are getting more expensive thanks to inflation, and if they can’t cut costs, companies have two main choices – hiking up prices or making their products smaller.
Many of these size changes are subtle, like making candy bars sold in multipacks smaller than ones being sold individually, or changing the shape of their products so you can barely notice the difference in weight.
“Do we raise the price knowing consumers will see it and grumble about it? Or do we give them a little bit less and accomplish the same thing? Often it’s easier to do the latter,” consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky told The Washington Post.
Tillamook decreased the size of its ice-cream cartons from 56 ounces (1,587.57g) to 48 ounces. It said that it didn’t make the decision lightly, but that if it didn’t make it cartons smaller it would have had to hike up prices because of rising ingredients costs.
Some of Royal Canin’s cans of cat food now weigh 5.1 ounces (144.58g), down from 5.9 ounces (167.26g) – but they still cost the same. Royal Canin, a subsidiary of Mars, said that it had reduced some product sizes because of “unprecedented demand” for pet food during the pandemic.
Charmin toilet paper originally had 650 sheets per roll. It now only contains around half of that – and even its “Mega Rolls” and “Super Mega Rolls” don’t have as many sheets as the original. The sheets have reportedly gotten smaller, too.
Cadbury changed the shape of its famous Dairy Milk bars in 2013 – and changed the size of them, too. The individual pieces now have rounded edges and contain nearly 10% less chocolate than before.
But Dairy Milk isn’t the only product Cadbury, owned by Mondelez, has shrunk over the years. Chocolate bars it sells in multipacks weigh much less than ones it sells individually – and it announced plans to shrink down the size of multipack bars even further still.
Mondelez also owns Swiss chocolate company Toblerone, which makes distinctively triangular chocolate bars. In 2014 it reduced the weight of its bars by 25% by adding more space between each piece – but reversed the decision two years later after public outcry.