So, I’m drinking my tea… browsing the news (okay, yes, and checking in on Facebook), and I noticed an article about new food packaging. Arrggghh! If there’s a subject that’s really gotten me going lately, it is this!! Less food in “better” packaging for more money! Arrggghh!
Bought a box – bag – whatever, package of bathroom tissue from Costco — the marketing! Omy. These rolls were giant rolls = like getting two regular rolls in one. A week or so later, I’m standing there looking at the two packages. One package contained x number of rolls, x square-inches of tissue. This NEW!! giant roll (ahem, like getting two regular rolls in one) package had fewer square inches – for more money. But it FELT like more — that’s what the package said. I even took the time to jot down on my palm-pilot (well, okay, a post-it-note) the product content information. It wasn’t enough that I could see the lesser/difference – I wanted to have my written proof.
I was going to call the company – armed with information and give them my opinion. But I didn’t… I lost my little post it note. And then later, I lost my nerve/incentive to call.
Then, on a couple of different occasions I was baking and noticed the saltine crackers were smaller; I was making a graham-cracker crust and I thought: whatintheworld? These squares are smaller, too! I opened another box – this one, newer. Again, whatintheworld? Already broken squares in handy take along – stay fresh – stack-packs?!?! I do not want to take these along anywhere! This is not handy to me! This is not convenient to me and these are not economical stay-fresh stack packs to me! I’m thinking: They’re not going to be around long enough to need to be kept fresh. ;o)
So, today I decided I would call the company. On the line was someone I’m sure not born in Snohomish (but I digress). And so, I proceeded to tell her what I thought of the handy packaging and the convenient stack packs and the economical family size – they’re neither convenient nor family size. I told her that a recipe calling for a package of graham crackers is not going to produce same volume and so from now on, in addition to requiring the purcha$e of more boxe$, I will have to continually weigh the crackers – as I’m sure they’ll continue to repackage and reduce the volume.
I told her that consumers are not ignorant that all this handy and convenient packaging is a sly attempt to deceive consumers. I went on to tell her this great deception is, in reality, a great insult — actually mocking the intelligence of their customers — that they’re not thinking of the customer’s convenience at all, that their packaging is not green, it’s greed!
When she thanked me for calling today, I told her I wasn’t confident my call would matter much, but that I wasn’t just calling to rant, but that I wanted them to know that I’d rather pay more (exhibit A = already do) for an honest weight and measure. She assured me my call was important (I felt like I was on hold with GroupHealth listening to a recording). She said they were very interested in hearing customer’s views and then reminded me that there would be some settling in the packaging. I agreed but reminded her that I was talking about weight of the box of graham crackers, ritz crackers — not how a box of crackers or cereal looks when opened. I told her I got that one.
I think my boys have tried that one: Ma, there’s a lot missing?!?!?! O, it must’ve been due to settling during shipping. O yes, boys, that must be it – silly me.
We want to believe that food companies have the consumers’ best interest at heart. But, especially in this day and age, I’m tending to think that there’s a lot of duping going on. It seems advertisers are working like never before to spin information to make things seem much more desirable than ever before.
So the next time you go to the store to buy a box of graham-crackers (or just about any other product) if you haven’t noticed already, the weight/volume is less. Again. And, yes, the price has jumped up — on many things, quite a bit! Consumers really are noticing these seemingly little changes. All New Packaging! Less Food! Don’t be duped by the dupers… they’re telling you they’re saving you money — and you just might buy it. They’re keeping the height of the box the same or they’re introducing to you a new shape, a new, convenient, stay-fresh package, etc., etc. But take another look, the box is thinner. Those handy stack packs, those stay-fresh-stack-packs – inside are shorter. That juice may have a new handy grab and pour design. This only equals less volume. This isn’t new… it’s been going on for some time… as this article shows. In the end, they think you won’t notice anything but price.
But I know you, you’re smarter than that.
Here are a few numbers for you: