Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's not paranoia... or is it??

There has always been this phenomenon that the things we remember from our childhood seem to shrink as we grow. It is both literal, as people and places are much bigger to a small child than to an adult, and figurative as these things remain the same size, but our confidence and experiences eventually change the way we view them.

Have all of the things from our childhood remained the same? The answer is no. These days I have an "incredible growing woman" complex where I feel like a giant with some of these commonly used items. They look so tiny in my hands!

Package sizes are shrinking, individual unit sizes are shrinking, but to credit the grocery industry, they have done it in the most mind-f#$%ing way possible. They have been shaving off grams and ounces very slowly over the past couple of decades and I'm onto them!

The cereal boxes back then didn't just seem larger because they had to fit a crappy plastic toy inside, the boxes actually were bigger! Cans of tuna didn't used to be single serve, and yet I don't always have a full second serving left over anymore. Is 5 ounces even a thing? Shouldn't it at least be 6 ounces if it wants me to take it seriously?

Have you seen a candy bar lately? They are .66 of their original sizes, cost twice as much as they used to, and they have the audacity to then package two into a package, call it King Size and charge double the inflated regular size price. I understand the smaller one is a healthier serving size, but don't pretend like they were doing it for our health benefit.

Unfortunately for Philadelphia brand, there are way too many recipes that call for one bar/block of cream cheese, not necessarily 8 ounces, so if they started to shrink the bars, our cheesecakes and frostings would be totally screwed up and they'd have to admit to f$&@ing with us openly. Probably not going to happen.

I understand that these tricks offset rising costs and allow the companies to not raise prices, so we pay the same amount for less... My point, which hopefully I am getting close to, is that it just feels weird to get messed with this openly, so unapologetically. It cheapens us, without actually making anything cheaper of course.

Obviously there are costs involved in creating new packaging... Just not as much as keeping the same amout of product inside, clearly.

This bulls!tting of the consuming public runs deep. At times it is pretty 'in yo face!'
They actually redesigned the packaging of this gum to include one less piece... What a commitment to such a blatant rip-off. It's offensive!

Other companies go the more passive aggressive route and keep the packaging the same but just put less in.
Same size bag, just half full... or half empty depending on your fondness for candy corn.

And somehow they convinced us years ago that potato chips "settled" in the bag... They just put less in! We really bought into that whole "settled" thing, didn't we?

My current favorite "are they seriously trying to get away with this??" things are the chocolate diamonds sold by LeVian. They most recently came out with their honey gold line of luxury jewelry, or as the rest of us may notice: yellow and brown diamonds. I will admit, I am no diamond expert. I only found out via Leonardo DiCaprio and his unique South African accent that a blood diamond wasn't a reference to their red hue. But I'm pretty sure yellow and brown diamonds were at one time valueless and not really sold anywhere. It's like Welch's has gone into the high-end non-alcoholic wine business... But isn't it still just crap they're selling?

And finally, what happened to the good old days when a roll of toilet paper was just a roll of toilet paper? First they introduce the "double" sized roll, which seemed bigger. Then they topped that with the "triple" massive, wouldn't fit in some toilet paper holders, roll. Somewhere along the way, the standard for the double size went missing and they call pretty much anything a double roll these days. Seriously, I just looked at my "double" roll. That is what a roll of toilet paper used to look like. Of course I no longer have any of the old school regular rolls to compare it to, but I know they lasted more than a day! I cannot be the only person that has noticed. And yet, the madness continues.

A part of me just wants to admire the ingenuity involved in thinking to re-package, re-brand, re-market these things to try to increase sales, but mainly I just feel bad for the rest of us for getting completely jerked around by these capitalistic criminals! That and I really don't like people taking food away from me or giving me less quality for more money.

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