It is not really news anymore that many package and product sizes have been shrinking in the US.  I am mentioning it, though, as a reminder to double check your price:mass_or_volume ratios over time if you are gaming your groceries.

Ice cream hasn't been in half-gallon containers for ages, slipping subtly to 1.75 qts, then 1.5 qts for some producers (Breyers).  My beloved Tropicana OJ has dropped its cartons from true 64 oz half-gallons to 59 oz.  I have finally increased my price threshold for OJ from $0.05/oz.  Quilted Northern just made its bathroom tissue substantially narrower, but it doesn't take me any more squares than before to take care of business, so it doesn't affect my ratios.

There was a television commercial a few years ago about a guy who got promoted for realizing his company could make a larger profit by putting fewer olives in each jar they sold.  He was expected to continue increasing profits to keep his job.  How he would continue was left open with the implication that he'll eventually have to think of something besides selling fewer olives for the same price.  This economy and gas prices have been drivers for food producers to practice some shrinkage, but I don't expect re-enlargement when the economy recovers.

I keep seeing odd package masses, such as 15 oz cans of beans and 13 oz bags of chips.  What's wrong with the pound?  Trader Joe's sells me a pound of organic chips for less than I find 13 oz bags of other chips at the supermarket.  This isn't really a problem, but something to keep watch of if you're particular with your price thresholds and ratios.

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