It’s no secret that in these hard economic times companies worldwide have had to streamline processes and cut back on costs. These cut backs are starting to directly affect the value consumers are getting for their money. Now, due to rising global food prices, food and beverage companies are struggling more than most and having to cut back even more. Chips are mysteriously missing from bags, canned vegetables contain fewer ounces than before, and packaged goods of all types are seeing box size reductions. Even things like diapers are seeing shrinking package sizes. This is certainly not good news for consumers.
Businesses are trying to avoid price increases by simply shrinking the sizes of the packages we are used to. This often works because most customers won’t notice small changes in sizes unless they refer to the labels, which most customers don’t even glance at. However, recently it seems that changes are becoming more noticeable. Many customers are more value conscious since the recession and are paying closer attention to what they are buying. Naturally, the reduction in value has resulted in consumer dissatisfaction.
This recent customer frustration may be new, but companies have actually been shrinking package sizes for decades. Often these changes are not advertised, in hopes that they will go unnoticed. Other times, they will alter the look of the packaging to an entirely new shape or change the graphics, emphasizing health or efficiency of the product rather than the size. Companies continue to shrink prices in recessions, but introduce ‘jumbo’ sizes when the economy rebounds.
So how does this affect us currently? Well, not only are we still experiencing the effects of the economic downturn, but world food prices are on the rise. Additionally, the price of cotton and other raw materials are rising as well. This will translate into either smaller sizes, or higher prices. This is certainly not what any customer wants to hear, unfortunately it is our reality. So next time you’re in the grocery store keep an eye out for size reductions to ensure that you are getting the most for your money!