When a gallon is not a gallon

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Actually, above a certain price point, the movement of so-called "premium" ice cream gets slow and stays slow. Not momentary. Around here, $4-something is the so-called "normal" price - that's where volume shrinks. Every product is viewed differently by customers, insofar as whether they're necessities you'll pay anything for. If you need eggs, you buy eggs, even if the store isn't pricing them at loss-leader level at the moment. Ice cream's not like that. Soda's a different story. For many people, that's considered a staple item - there's always an opened liter in their refrigerators.
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Annoying is shrinking the packaging. Evil is reducing the contents but leaving the package size the same in the hopes that consumers won't notice. Ice cream falls in the annoying category. Manufacturers of tuna, potato chips and quite a few other products fall in the evil category.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

I doubt the poster thinks that at all and they gave an excellent analogy. If he is painting a room and his cost goes up does he doesn't paint 80% of the surfaces and try to spin it somehow that it is really a great job. He would charge more to do the expected job.
I expect the same with products I buy. If the cost to produce goes up then charge more. Don't shrink the size and print weasel words on the package such as "new package but contents will perform as the old package etc..."
I for one am tired of big box and megacorps putting so much effort into spin.
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Then we're back to the heart of the matter: If you ran a paint company, how would you inform customers that the cans no longer contained a gallon?
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On 02/28/08 12:28 pm JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

But wouldn't it be more honest just to raise the price rather than reduce the size?
Perce
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote: ...

But, it is a competitive market.
--
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On 02/28/08 01:36 pm dpb wrote:

I wonder whether there are states without decent Weights and Measures Departments. If so, the "gallons" of gas people buy there are probably a pint or three short as well.
Perce
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Not at all the same thing -- the gallon is dispensed as a volume measurement whereas the container on the shelf is labeled as to its weight/volume.
It's nothing fraudulent at all, simply a marketing decision in a competitive market.
Read the label, make your purchasing decision.
--
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There's the problem: It depends on how each manufacturer perceives its customers. In this newsgroup, I've seen a couple of people say they couldn't stomach the idea of paying $22 per gallon for paint. There's your Home Depot/Wal Mart shopper. Me - I go to a specialty paint store and pay $30+ for Devoe or Martin-Senour because I hate painting and I only want to do the job once and be done with it.
If a paint manufacturer is worried about their price scaring people away, which type of shopper are they thinking about? Certainly not me.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Due to higher manufacturing costs we will raise the price of our paint by 4% on March 1. Thank you for your continued business.
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And where would you post that info?
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Now two people want an answer to the same question:
And where would you post that info?
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I wouldn't reduce the size of the package - I'd raise the price. But paint is a poor example, because except for the tint bases previously discussed, the majority of paint is sold in full gallon containers.
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On 02/28/08 10:39 pm Rick Blaine wrote:

The two cans of Pittsburgh we got recently came labeled as 3 7/8 quarts and "White/Pastel Base." The one we had tinted would have come a little closer to the full gallon (if it did not in fact reach it), but the one we wanted left as plain white (untinted) would still have been 4oz. short. All the other bases presumably had to have tint added, but not the White. The store ads. gave the price per gallon. The label they stuck on the tinted one said "Gallon."
Perce
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

You could have had the store add 4oz of white tint...
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wrote:

OK. Pick a different product and proceed with the same question. How would you inform customers of the size change?
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Oh, but they wouldn't reduce the size of their containers. They've said that. They'd raise the prices.
It seems like only about three people in this thread understand the reality of the situation: People as a general rule shop for cheapest price, period. They buy the cheapest "gallon" of paint they can find, because it's cheaper, plain and simple.
It's only later on when, "Hey this isn't a gallon! It's 3-3/4 quarts! I've been ripped off!" No, you're not being ripped off, you're an idiot for not doing your homework!
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wrote:

Oh, but they wouldn't reduce the size of their containers. They've said that. They'd raise the prices.
It seems like only about three people in this thread understand the reality of the situation: People as a general rule shop for cheapest price, period. They buy the cheapest "gallon" of paint they can find, because it's cheaper, plain and simple.
It's only later on when, "Hey this isn't a gallon! It's 3-3/4 quarts! I've been ripped off!" No, you're not being ripped off, you're an idiot for not doing your homework!
=====================
It would be interesting to know what those three people do for a living. I always ask, because I suspect their work is completely disconnected from the financial issues of their employers.
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The problem occurs as soon as one - just one - major company downsizes it's package and keeps the price the same. Next, right or wrong, every other company sees that their product is priced higher, and does the same thing - thinking that all shoppers are ignorant enough to simply grab the product with the lowest price without even looking at the unit pricing. (maybe they are...)
Bottom line - If you shop by unit pricing, you don't care if the container is 16, 13.5 or 9 oz. If they are all $1.22 an oz, then the only question is "How much do I need?" I could care less, from a price perspective, if the bag of coffee I bought yesterday was 16 oz and today it's 14.5. If it was $10 yesterday and it's $10 today, they raised the price and my 16 oz bag would have cost more - which I would have noticed because the unit price went up. I laugh in the face of the corporate marketing muckety-mucks who think they "fooled" me into thinking they didn't raise the price.
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On Thu, 28 Feb 2008 09:57:52 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

One exception that immediately comes to mind is what happened with yougurt. All the big players, like Dannon, etc reduced the size of thier single serving cups. Little Columbo Yogurt, once a family owned business and later a tiny divison of Genmeral Mills, responded by running TV ads pointing out that Columbo yogurt was still the same size it has always been, while it's competitors were all shrinking.
They grabbed a lot of market share!
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