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A soap opera - shrinkage in the supermarket

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posted on May, 24 2008 @ 03:42 PM
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A soap opera - shrinkage in the supermarket


www.brisbanetimes.com.au

YOU'RE under the shower, soaping up your belly, and suddenly you seem fatter. The bar of soap, freshly taken from its packet, seems tiny in comparison with your looming bulk. You feel like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput.

Here's the good news: for once it isn't you. The bars of soap really are getting smaller. The price of tallow, worldwide, has soared in the past year. Instead of 'fessing up to consumers and putting up the price of soap, the manufacturers have instead decided to shrink the product.

Bars of soap have typically gone from 125 grams to 100 (and in some cases 85). The manufacturers presumably hoped no one would notice. Well, bad luck: we did.

Right at the moment, half the products on the supermarket shelves seem to be in the process of shrinking. Paper towels are narrower; baby wipes are shorter; toilet paper has gone from 200 sheets a roll to 190. Welcome to the world of the Incredible Shrinking Products.

In some ways, there's nothing wrong with this. The weight and specifications are there for all to see, printed on the side of the box. And the shrinkage is due to the worldwide rise in food and material costs, rather than a desire to increase profits.

In countries such as the Philippines they're having rice riots and, given those problems, it may seem churlish to cry poor over a missing centimetre or two on a paper towel or a missing 5 grams in a can of tuna.

Yet just for our own sense of pride, I'd like the whisper to the manufacturers: you didn't get away it. We've all noticed.

Some companies, after all, have gone to extraordinary lengths to try to cover up the shrinkage. Suddenly, the tuna can has subtly tapered sides: the top is still the same diameter and the can is the same depth but the whole thing is 5 per cent smaller.

There are now jam jars with indentations in the base, like the punt or kick-up used to strengthen a champagne bottle. Since strawberry jam is not usually stored under pressure, the hollowed-out base is just an attempt to replace food with air, without anyone noticing. It's Houdini packaging, designed to trick the eye.

Some soap brands are even changing the shape of the bar, giving it a hollowed out shape for "added grip". This is good news for all of us who have been injured by flying bars of soap - slipping out of the hands of the unwary and hurtling across the room, all due to the dangerous "non-grip" designs of the past.

It's mere chance, of course, that the new "non-slip" shape produces a bar that contains much less soap.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on May, 24 2008 @ 03:42 PM
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I've noticed this in a major over the last 18 months and it is pissing me off! Not only are prices going through the roof, but you're getting far less for your money.

www.brisbanetimes.com.au
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 24 2008 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by primamateria
 


Anyone got any stories about food shrinkage?

One I have noticed is John West Tuna, there is now almost as much water in each can as actual tuna! I once got a can that was all water and had a hell of a time convincing the supermarket manager that it was like that when I opened it.

And I've also noticed supermarkets leaving out of date products on shelves a lot in the last year. I've taken more products back after realising they off or out of date in the last 18 months than ever before in my life. I even accused the supermarket manager of doing this deliberately to maximise profits hoping people won't notice or if they do, that they couldn't be bothered returning the items.

I noticed this more in supermarket chains that had been recently bought out using debt based hedge funds - I think they are using foods, consumables and oil to bail themselves out now that the governments are bankrupt and reducing bailouts! Either way the common people are getting screwed by the big end of town.



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