Yesterday I was listening to a news broadcast on the TV at a friends place. I could not tell which network it was, so I’m gonna go with CBC News World only because it is my favourite. Anyway, the news story was about the manufacturing industry changing the volume, weight and sizes of their consumer goods in order to maintain the same price. The idea, to make you think that you are still getting the same level of service for the same price.
This was the first website that I came across in my research on this topic that led me to this little cute quote:
“Most consumers walk down the supermarket aisles in a zombie haze, scooping products off the shelves based on what their stomach tells them, not using a shopping list or looking at unit costs. They will, however, notice if the price tag is different. It’s all about keeping people on the same routines. So if your question is, do they think we’re stupid or just don’t notice, it’s a little of both.” WashingPost Consumer Prices: The Grocery Shrink Ray.
Normally, in the past I would be outraged and gone off in conspiracy mode; but today, I’m cool with that. Why you ask? Because if people are that naive to walk down that isle and aimlessly drop items into their shopping buggies, then sure, you deserve the subterfuge and deception.
“Accordingly, the weight of Cadbury’s Family Share chocolate bar has fallen from 250g to 230g, but the price has remained the same.” BrandRepublic London, UK. Brand Owners Shrinking Products.
I also see something most other articles that I saw missed, or never touched upon. There is a health benefit to all this repackaging that could turn North America towards the lighter end of the scale. Yes, I believe that making packaging smaller and keeping the prices the same just might force everyone to eat a little less than what they are currently eating.
Either way, I think the public should be aware of this. I have already changed my buying practices by buying towards the bulk end of the spectrum while forcing myself not to buy at the big box stores. I am very fortunate to live close to a very large farming community where I can buy meat, vegetables and fruits at a fraction of the price that I see at the supermarkets. Also, I know that the quality is way better where I pick it than picking it off from the shelves at the store.
More recently, however, the shrink sleeve label has revolutionized the ability of the product container and the label to become more unified by “shrinking” the label into the contours of the container and promoting the full surface of the container. Package Design Magazine.
I was even heartbroken to find that farmers are taking some legal risks by selling their food this way. Voters will need to pay special attention at the Conservative Government’s election platform next election about agriculture–your food bill could be on the chopping block. The farmer that I know said that he is very reluctant about selling his beef because of the restrictions imposed on it. Bartering could be the new wave of the future–and even that’s illegal if no taxes are paid.