In this report
Overview
Reasons for reduction
What you can do
Size surprises
10 downsized products

10 items that shrank

Last reviewed: February 2011

Eagle-eyed readers provided these examples of weight loss. Customer-service reps provided the reasons.

Ivory dish detergent

Old: 30 oz.
New: 24 oz.
Difference: -20%

Reason Reason The 30-ounce product was discontinued in smaller stores, due to increased costs for raw materials.

 

Tropicana orange juice

Old: 64 oz.
New: 59 oz.
Difference: -7.8%

Reason Last winter's freeze in Florida. The choice was to raise prices drastically or drop package size. Based on consumer research, people preferred to keep the same price and get a little less juice to keep within their budgets.

 

Kraft American cheese

Old: 24 slices
New: 22 slices
Difference: -8.3%

Reason The larger 16-ounce package was discontinued because it wasn't selling.

 

Kirkland Signature (Costco) paper towels

Old: 96.2 sq. ft.
New: 85 sq. ft.
Difference: -11.6%

Reason "It's a good question. I'll look into it and e-mail a response." (We never got one.)

 

Häagen-Dazs ice cream

Old: 16 oz.
New: 14 oz.
Difference: -12.5%

Reason Due to the cost of ingredients and facility costs, it was either change the size of the container or raise the price.

 

Scott toilet tissue

Old roll: 115.2 sq. ft.
New roll: 104.8 sq. ft.
Difference: -9%

Reason A strength improvement increased the amount of fiber by 10 percent. The company also chose to realign the roll to match what other companies are doing. It's also an alternative to a price increase.

 

Lanacane first aid spray

Old: 113 grams
New: 99 grams
Difference: -12.4%

Reason It was reformulated to provide more cooling and a finer, faster-drying spray. The propellant ratio was increased, and since propellant weighs less per unit volume, the net weight in the same-size can was reduced. Can size was retained to ensure the product would fit in the same space as the one it replaced.

 

Chicken of the Sea salmon

Old: 3 oz.
New: 2.6 oz.
Difference: -13.3%

Reason The company hadn't provided one at press time, but StarKist, which downsized its tuna pouch, blamed the rising costs of ingredients and packaging.

 

Classico pesto

Old: 10 oz.
New: 8.1 oz.
Difference: -19%

Reason Rising gas prices

 

Hebrew National franks

Old: 12 oz.
New: 11 oz.
Difference: -8.3%

Reason The marketing department decided to change the packaging, and with that came a change in size.