Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is Packaging Shrinking?

Most of us have heard of shrink wrap.

That’s not the question. What I want to know is when did manufacturers start reducing the contents of their packages so we get less product, but pay the same price or more.

I first noticed it with stuffing mix. I thought the box was the same, but the world – and I – had gotten bigger. A nearby grocery clerk confirmed my sanity and that the package was, indeed, smaller. Packaging for other products has also shrunk. Remember when you could get two good blows out of a Kleenex? Not now.

Makeup is shrinking, too. Lipstick may make you all glossy and smooth, but there are fewer applications. Guess the trade off is that it is supposed to last longer.

What products have you found to be in smaller packages?

I think there is more behind this trend than corporate profit and executive bonuses. I think it’s either in anticipation of smaller people or we’re in some kind of galaxy volume warp that is melting the polar ice and reducing land mass starting with stuff we don’t really need. Well, here’s a thought: If all the polar ice melts, will Earth drip all over Mars and cool it down enough for humans to colonize?

Or maybe it’s those tiny little Martians behind all this shrinking product phenomena. Oh, just had another thought: If we’re invaded by Martians, does that mean yet another national holiday complete with a day off from work, cards, gifts, and special foods, in celebration?

And just so no one is offended, Happy (insert holiday here) to one and all.

© Copyright 2008 Suzzwords


  1. I don't know about the product shrinkage that you've mentioned Suzz but I sure do Know about the great clothing shrinkage racket!!!!

  2. I don't mind the product shrinking as much as I detest that awful wrap they put on so many produscts now. You need a hammer and chisel to remove it and get the product out.

  3. Sue Too7:05 PM

    You are very observant. Coffee's one of those shrinking products. Used to be able to get a full pound and now it's down to 11.5 ounces. Canned chicken downsized too - it was especially noticeable when I compared an older can with a new one. And speaking of shrinking, don't even get me started about "portion sizes." A package that says it serves 4 is barely enough for 2. I suspect a conspiracy to make us thinner and weaker - so we don't have the strength to fight back! But Martians better beware - elderblogger power is growing, not shrinking!

  4. I grew up with canned soups which asked for two cans of water rather than one. And packaged macaroni and cheese used to easily feed four at brunch time. Now I have to add a cup of bulk macaroni in order to have enough to go around.

    But I fear if cameras and phones get any smaller, I'm going to have to carry a toothpick to manage the controls.

    Yesterday, my big comfort was in a promise to eliminate plastic bags at grocery stores. That should have happened two years before I had to start sorting cans, jars, paper, wood, metal, clean dirt, dirty dirt, etc.

    So I was mighty pleased but then today I saw a new ad on TV for zip and cook pastic bags for meals to avoid having to wash a cooking pot. Those will probably be flying out of stores faster than shopping bags. Seems like whoever heads the save-the-environment effort is a pro at doing that unique Michael Jackson walk of stepping ahead while backing up.

  5. I've noticed a lot of shrinking products cream, potato chips, soup, lunch meat, cookies, and perfume....among others. Less for more....Gee what a bargain.

  6. Anonymous8:37 PM

    The Girl Scouts have been shrinking products, too! Have you bought their cookies lately? Hmmmmmm?
    A Bo Nan Knee

  7. I thought I was the only one. I'm glad to find that there are others out there who are baffled as I am as to the content of products these days. Sometimes I'd buy a bag of chips and its mostly air and very little chips. Will take more notice and make my own list of shrinking consumer goods. Good article.


  8. Shrinkage? Isn't that something Jerry Seinfeld's good buddy, George Costanza, experienced while vacationing at the beach?

    P.S. My favorite Slow-Churned Ice Cream has succumbed to shrinkage. :0(