Monday, January 31, 2011

Things That Make Me Crazy

I'm taking a break from all the world-shaking news this morning, mainly because it involves areas of knowledge I am embarrassingly deficient in. Rather than say something stupid, I've decided to do a little self-educating.

But I do have something to say today, something that has been nagging at me for weeks and that really makes me angry. The American packaging industry is engaged in some very deceptive tactics.

There. I said it.

What provoked me most recently was that I discovered I had gone through a half gallon of ice cream more quickly than I remembered doing in the past. I soon discovered why. No, I hadn't been gorging myself on my favorite comfort food during a time of high stress. Instead, that half gallon container wasn't actually a half gallon, even though it looked like a half gallon. It actually (according to the label in very small print) was only 1.75 quarts. When I pointed that out to someone, he noted that I was lucky. The half gallon of ice cream he gets is actually 1.5 quarts.

I rummaged around the kitchen and discovered that the ice cream industry isn't the only one engaged in the practice. The pound of ground name-brand decaf coffee I buy isn't actually a one pound can: yup, right there on the label it says "12 oz". That would be three-quarters of a pound. I know that if I could find a can of coffee that really was a one pound can, it would be larger, but not significantly so, just as the five pound bag of cat kibble I thought I was buying would be a little larger than the 3.15 pound bag I am actually getting.

Even less significant would be the price for these items over the ones I thought I was buying. I guess inflation is far more complicated than I thought.



Blogger Fraud Guy said...

I recall seeing stories where the food packagers said that they had done studies where consumers said they would rather pay the same amount for less, than to pay more for the same amount.

How about paying the same for the same, and not introducing the changed packages by selling "25% more" than the reduced size for the new price, then changing back to the smaller package after the rollout period.

8:22 PM  

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