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09/08/2003 Archived Entry: "The incredible shrinking candy bar"

I PICKED UP A COUPLE OF JARS OF PREGO YESTERDAY. Picked them up. Hefted them. Something seemed different. So I read the label: "1 lb., 10 oz." Hm. Sure enough, when I got home and checked the lifetime supply of Prego already in my cabinets (to heck with rice & beans; I'm eating spaghetti through the next disaster), it was as I remembered. The jars I bought a few months ago held 28 ounces -- two ounces more. But of course, the price was the same.

The Incredible Shrinking Product strikes again!

I guess we should be used to this by now. The Incredible Shrinking Candy Bar was a blight of my childhood, inspiring waves of indignity as I opened the great big wrapper to expose the great big cardboard tray, on which sat an ever and ever smaller lump of chocolate goo. If this trend has continued, I expect that the candy bars of my childhood now look like shriveled raisins on their giant trays, and that soon they'll be smaller than the RFID chips all our corporate Little Brothers want to attach to them.

I no longer buy Mountain Bars (shudder, the very thought), so I can't say for sure. And at least Prego didn't, for example, add an extra inch of glass at the bottom of the jar to make it look like buyers were getting the same amount. But notice the way they expressed the weight. Not "26 ounces," which any dummy could spot. But "1 lb, 10 oz." -- which sounds even bigger than 28 mere ounces. "Yeah, Myrtle. Look, they usta only got ounces in there. Now theys got pounds of the stuff."

I understand that corporations have to make a profit. And shrinking the jar looks to them like a better option than raising the price. But you know darned well if they increased the size of the jar they'd have taken up half the label screaming about NEW and MORE and BONUS and FREE. So it stands to reason that if they shrivel the product up on us, they oughta at least mention that, too, somewhere in the fine print. "Dear customers: Americans are obese. So for your own good, we're giving you less to eat. But we're still charging you the same because you deserve to pay a penalty for your gluttony, you little porker, you." But no ...

Okay, guess it's time to go back to canning my own. That's it, Prego. I'll survive the collapse of Western Civilization without you.

Posted by Claire @ 09:11 AM CST

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