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Grocery Prices Up 10% In 3rd Quarter 2010

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  • Grocery Prices Up 10% In 3rd Quarter 2010

    January 13, 2011

    Looking at the rows and rows of products lining supermarket shelves, it's nice to see that at least some prices haven't risen -- er, well, actually, many have.

    Look at the package that the product comes in, and it becomes clear that stickers aren't telling the whole story.

    Major manufacturers of consumer goods are once again coping with rising commodity costs by cutting back on portion sizes, chipping away a few ounces here and taking out a few slices, thus making the customer pay more.

    So, for millions of Americans, the net effect is just as costly.

    Ivory dish detergent has dropped its 30-ounce bottle to 24 ounces, a 20 percent reduction. A can of Hills Brothers coffee that once held 34.5 ounces now contains just 27.8 - a 19.4 percent cut.

    Manufacturers say such moves are their best option for coping with costs that are soaring, not only for the product, but also for the materials that go into the packaging. Those costs - from commodities to fuel - are expected to continue climbing through 2011.

    "Your raw materials are going up. Something's gotta give," said JoAnn Hines, a Georgia-based packaging industry consultant.

    Consumers respond much less negatively to a portion reduction than a price hike, companies contend. Consumer advocates counter that's because consumers are less likely to notice a stealthy downsizing - Scott paper towels, for example, have gradually been shrinking by just a few tenths of an inch, year after year.

    Companies often attempt to "ease" a downsizing in - increasing the indent on the bottom of a container of ice cream; decreasing the thickness of plastic wrap.

    If they simply raised their shelf prices, companies say, consumers would quickly jump to a cheaper brand.

    Yet that mentality hasn't stopped some companies from increasing prices in recent months, especially when it comes to such breakfast staples as bacon, bread, eggs and milk, according to the American Farm Bureau.

    In this month's assessment of 16 typical food items for the third quarter of 2010, the agency found that the total average price was up $4.07 - about 10 percent - compared with the third quarter of 2009. Bacon was up 44 percent, eggs 4 percent, whole milk 10 percent and sliced deli ham 11 percent.

    Increasingly, though, consumers get most upset when they feel they are being hoodwinked by shifty package sizes, Hines said. Their ire is being amplified by the broad platform offered by the Internet and social networking sites.

    "People love negative stories about packaging, so it starts to spread like wildfire," she said.

    And while downsizing is nothing new, the latest round is coming as consumers are contending with once-in-a-lifetime financial worries. On the bright side, Americans spend less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food, according to the USDA - the lowest in the world.
    Last edited by keepinitreal; 01-14-2011, 05:21 AM.
    Filed Chapter 7 July 2010
    Attended 341 September 2010
    Discharged November 2010 Closed November 2010

  • #2
    Worst of all, ice cream half-gallons keep shrinking!

    Of course, this article could be wrong since the government says there is no inflation, thus no cost-of-living increases in Social Security checks this year.
    Filed Chapter 7 July 2010
    Attended 341 September 2010
    Discharged November 2010 Closed November 2010


    • #3
      This is nothing new and has been going on for years...I remember when the ice cream half gallon packages started to become shrinking half gallon packages (trying to keep the half gallon look) about five or more years ago. Gradually mostly all other products did the same hoping the consumer would not notice (ounce here, ounce there, thinner box, etc.). The size of magazines have also been shrinking. The Star magazine you see at the check out counter has shrunk to at least 60% of its original size to cut paper and printing costs and popular magazines (i.e. Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, etc. have all done the same). It's all about making money, cutting to the bone and hoping the consumer will not notice or stay loyal anyway to their favorite brands.
      Filed 5 Year Chapter 13: April 2002
      Early Buy-Out: April 2006
      Discharge: August 2006

      "A credit card is a snake in your pocket"


      • #4
        Shrinking packages are not the only problem. Have you noticed that different stores have different packages?

        Take Coke/Pepsi for example.

        You can get 12 packs, 18 packs, 20 packs, 24 packs, etc. So many of the regular consumers can't or don't figure the math to see where the deals are at or where the prices have gone up.

        It's getting rough out here in the real world.....
        All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
        Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......


        • #5
          You know what makes me crazy...our favorite brand of hotdogs now has only 7 in a then we have the issue of the UNUSED BUN, as hotdog buns come in 8 packs !!!
          Filed Ch 7 Pro Se 11-18-2010 341 Meeting 12-16-2010 Discharged 2-15-2011
          New Job 7-2011


          • #6
            Well I said it over and over. All this fiat money we are printing will soon become mixed into our economy making all currency worth less buying power. It is a rude tax and the government does this on purpose. They make a windfall until ponzie gets caught up. We haven't seen anything yet. Notice the fuel prices? Man made shortages as the fake ones in Carter's administration in the 70's. About packaging, this happened several times before all at a time of fiscal problems. Can you purchase a gallon of Clorox? Yes a three quart gallon for the price it always was. Coke cans? Have you seen the mini cans coming out now? Soon will cost the same as the large 12 oz. It is 7 oz. 'Hub
            If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.


            • #7
              Originally posted by chicagoannie View Post
              You know what makes me crazy...our favorite brand of hotdogs now has only 7 in a then we have the issue of the UNUSED BUN, as hotdog buns come in 8 packs !!!
              Hey Chi, when I worked my career job those hellish few years in Olde Towne Chicago, I took a service call at Oscar Meyers. You would NOT eat those hot dogs if you saw what and how they make them. Also one of the dirtiest factories I have ever seen. You don't want to know what the filler is in some of the lunch meat but our wood mill here sells a lot of sawdust to meat companies. (not really, but close). 'Hub
              If I knew it all, would I be here?? Hang in there = Retained attorney 8-06, Filed 12-28-07, Discharge 8-13-08, Finally CLOSED 11-3-09, 3-31-10 AP Dismissed, Informed by incompetent lawyer of CLOSED status, October 14, 2010.


              • #8
                What makes me mad is I offen go to a very well known grocery store chain (in FL) and I just recently found out that each location has different sales. The location near my job has a certain juice my girls like at buy one get one free. And I have 2 $1.50 off coupons. So the juice would basically be free to me. Well I left my coupon folder home so I thought I could just go to the same chain store just closer to home. But no the location closer to home doesn't offer the buy one get one free!
                "I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!" Ch 7 Filed 7/15/11 * 3 Minute 341 8/19/11 * Discharged 10/20/11


                • #9
                  Originally posted by chicagoannie View Post
                  You know what makes me crazy...our favorite brand of hotdogs now has only 7 in a then we have the issue of the UNUSED BUN, as hotdog buns come in 8 packs !!!
                  This will soon not be a problem, when they change the hotdog buns to a 7 pack (at the same price.)

                  A gallon of milk here is still one gallon, and it's been holding at $1.99/gallon for the last two years. The freshly baked Artesian bread price is actually reduced to $1.99 from the regular $3.79/loaf at the Safeway store. I suspect the loaf is getting a little shorter though - hard to judge since they are all shaped differently. The last Kalamata olive bread loaf was 1.19 lbs for $1.99.

                  Smaller container sizes will help you lose weight - think of it as a health benefit.
                  I remember when a bottle of Coke was only 8 oz. (Of course it only cost a nickel.)

                  My complaint is canned cat food. Friskies pate is holding the price but the pate inside used to fill the 5.5 oz can. Now the pate is oval shaped with about 1/4" of liquid on both sides. I don't want to pay for watery broth, I want the ground turkey heads, or whatever mystery animal byproducts they make it with.

                  Canned tuna fish in water should be relabeled canned water with tuna specks. And the can size is getting smaller too!
                  “When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” — Sinclair Lewis


                  • #10

                    Have to say I agree with you about the mini-canned soda. Americans should be buying more of that size to spare their waistlines. People in mass numbers really need to start cooking again and leave more of the pre-packaged stuff alone to save their waistlines and health, and their pocketbook. Makes a huge difference when you cook and plan meals.

                    I know you are on the West Coast. Here, the price of canned tuna seems to be dropping. That has really helped my budget planning several meals over the course of several months. Stock up and dole out accordingly.


                    • #11
                      I'm almost convinced that Uncle Ben (the fed boss not the rice guy) is creating trillions of digital fiat and is actually trying to fix the obesity crisis in America.

                      Maybe his real objective is to help any of us that need a diet lose weight and that will help lower health care costs.

                      Since we export a lot of his digital fiat he keeps typing into the system, it's causing world wide food inflation. It's hurting developing countries much worse because they have no government assistance.
                      The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of Government


                      • #12
                        This is why I always shop using the unit price on the tags.....the price per oz., per sheet, per whatever. Even that can be challenging since the unit of measurement may not be the same across brands. I stepped foot in the Walmart near us (I try to NEVER, EVER shop there) because I buying lemi-shine (only place that carries it) and I figured I'd pick up toilet paper. Surprise, surprise - they don't show unit prices on ANY of their price tags. I didn't buy anything other than what I went in for. When I mentioned the lack of unit prices to the cashier, she literally had no idea what I was talking about.
                        over $100K cc debt,$20K taxes,$332K mortgages/value $190K,surrendered
                        Confirmed, $801/month 56 down,4 to go


                        • #13
                          I seriously try to stock up when there are sales. This past week CUB has sales on Progresso soup. I stocked up and then went to another CUB to get some more. What a surprise when 1 store has 10 of the soup varities for $1 a can and the other one only had 6 or so. I thought that was strange. Regardless, I am now 'souped up'.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by discouraged View Post
                            I seriously try to stock up when there are sales. This past week CUB has sales on Progresso soup. I stocked up and then went to another CUB to get some more. What a surprise when 1 store has 10 of the soup varities for $1 a can and the other one only had 6 or so. I thought that was strange. Regardless, I am now 'souped up'.
                            If you really want to save on your grocery bill you could probably make the equivalent of 20 cans of Progresso soup from scratch for $10.
                            Well, I did. Every one of 'em. Mostly I remember the last one. The wild finish. A guy standing on a station platform in the rain with a comical look in his face because his insides have been kicked out. -Rick


                            • #15
                              I normally do make my own soup, and it costs even less because some of my relatives live on a farm and raise chickens so those are free to me and with the garden vegtables I froze it costs me very little, but, for the life of me I cannot make a decent tomato soup and I think Progresso's tomato soups are delicious so when they are on sale I buy them.

                              I have noticed tho that yogurt cartons have 'shrunk'. I was flabbergasted the last time I bought some at how small the containers were.


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