Don't waste your money: Food packaging changes

By John Matarese
Posted by Nick Dutton 

Every now and then we notice something at the grocery store that looks different. A box of cereal,  a container of ice cream. You may perceive a slight packaging change.

Well, this year a lot of supermarket items look a lot different, and in most cases, yes, you are getting less.

Bars of Soap

Can't tell any difference between the newest 3-pack of Dial soap, and the older 3-pack? Look closely: The old bars are 4.5 ounces each...the new bars, just 4 ounces

USA Today says its a trend that's really taken off this year, as manufacturers deal with soaring costs.

Ice Cream

To Dean Smith, Breyers Ice Cream looked the same, until we showed him the old package at 1.75 quarts, versus the slim new package at just 1.5 quarts. I asked him "can you tell they've shrunk the container?" His response: "No, not all! You can't tell at all!" 

Edy's, Dreyers, and some other brands have all  reported reduced sizes as well. However, many house brands remain unchanged, and at a lower price to boot.

Snack Chips

USA Today says Frito-Lay is shrinking some bags from 11 ounces to 10 ounces.

Paper Towels

If your next roll of Bounty Paper Towels look a tad may be because it recently lost 8 sheets, according to USA Today.


Remember when a yogurt container was 8 ounces? For years, Dannon Yogurt has been 6 ounces. But its hot selling new Activia is just 4 ounces!


This is no crock: Shed's Spread Country Crock used to be 48 ounces, according to USA Today. We found the new tubs are just 45.

Breakfast Cereal

And we haven't even touched on breakfast cereal, where General Mills last year shrunk the size of its most popular Cheerios box. Now, Kelloggs says it plans to reduce the size of many of its boxes later this year.

To shoppers like Leah Ransohoff, its a bit much. "It's like a ripoff," she says.

The other option to smaller containers is higher prices. But more and more manufacturers are trying to hold off on price hikes, since studies find that boosting the sticker prices turns off more shoppers than simply shrinking the size.