How Grocery Inflation Is Being Covered Up
I first saw this on zerohedge which was sourced from consumerist.com (under the umbrella of ‘Consumer Reports’), and it is a perfect example of one technique being used today:
As part of a redesign of its proprietary line of flavoring syrups (SodaStream), the bottles are now smaller.
How much smaller? The old version made 50 servings of flavored drink, and the new versions make only 29. Why 29? Why not 30? Such are the mysteries of the Grocery Shrink Ray.
What you’ll notice, though, is that while the number of servings is down to 2/3 of the original amount, the bottle size isn’t that much smaller. That’s because the measuring cap is now bigger, and each serving uses more syrup. “The worst part is that they just diluted it with more water so the ‘new improved’ ones LOOK like they are the same size,”
Maybe SodaStream made this change because they know that the product still looks reasonably priced next to its new competitor, the Keurig Kold. Maybe. We don’t know: The ‘Consumerist’ has called SodaStream’s media relations team repeatedly, and they haven’t responded to messages.
And according to zerohedge (and I’m sure you’re own opinion), “actually, why SodaStream did this is irrelevant: we are confident the decision to shrink and dilute the product was the result of simple concerns about maximizing profit margins”.
“What is far more troubling is that for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, both the “old” and the “new” product costs the same, or $5.99, hence there is no inflation… until one does the actual math.”
Re-read that last sentence. There’s no inflation right? The .gov is so twisted with their ‘numbers’ that they are effectively telling us (lying to us) (e.g. food portion of CPI, consumer price index) that inflation is low – all the while your weekly grocery bill continues to creep higher because you have to buy more of the ‘stuff’ because of ‘hidden’ inflation (smaller sizes, dilution, etc..).
The math:Cost per serving “old” style: $0.1198
Cost per serving “new” style: $0.2066Nominal inflation: 72.4%Worse, there is not even an attempt to make the “new” product “hedonically” better, or for that matter different in any way – it is just smaller, and massively diluted.And it just so happens that nobody in the Bureau of Labor Statistics noticed this oldest trick in the book, and why month after month the BLS reports core CPI that is negligible, and why said “lack of inflation” allows the Fed to continue its zero-interest rate policy for 7 consecutive years in a row.~zerohedge.com
A few comments that I read:
“That’s like the old 24 pack of sliced cheese is now 20 for for the same price.”
“Food like bacon… prices are still the same but now the packages are all 1/3rd smaller.”
“I particularly love convex bottom round containers. It looks big….but it’s not.”
“Don’t forget the ever vanishing pound. If you do a bunch of cooking, they always reference the pound as sort of like the standard. Well good luck finding a pound of sausage, bacon, or butter anymore. It’s more like 14.5 Oz, 12 Oz. Etc. Don’t even get me started on coffee…”
“Bag of sugar is now 4 pounds instead of 5.”
“A half gallon of ice cream is now down to 1.5 quarts.”
“It’s gluten free, because they replaced the flour with sawdust.”
“Wait till you get the 24 pack of cheese that is sliced so thin its weight is the same as a 12 slices. Now go study Square Inches… I swear they are shrinking the cheese in area (or the bread is getting larger).”
“The local supermarket dry-walled over the windows looking into the meat processing room. I don’t want to know what they’re putting in the hamburger or doing to the meat now.”
“Cereal boxes are thinner so they look the same size from the front but contain much less cereal.”
“Anybody remember when a case of beer was 24 cans? Now they are all 20 or 18.”
“It’s nuts, sometime over the summer the cans of tomatoes we buy went from 14.75 oz to 14.0. Are they going to start making the cans thicker? Will the cans shrink to G.I. Joe size?”
“Some ice cream – If there was anymore air it would be whipped cream.”
While the food industry and .gov continues to hide ‘real’ food inflation, you and I the consumer will continue to effectively pay more. Therefore, it seems wise to build food storage while taking advantage of sales (the effective price will only go higher in the future) – not only for preparedness sake, but to save a few bucks over the longer term.
Additionally, we all know that many foods are not only diluted compared to yester-year, but they’re stuffed with additives too (many of which are not good for us), so why not supplement one’s food by growing their own?
Lets hear your own examples and stories of hidden inflation in your grocery stores…
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