WASHINGTON - AS AMERICANS struggle with soaring fuel and food prices, it must come as a relief that the prices of some items in their shopping baskets are staying the same.
THEN: 32-ounce jar
Hellmann's mayonnaise - a vital ingredient in the egg or tuna-salad sandwiches that feature prominently in bag lunches - has seen its jar trimmed from 32 ounces (907g) to 30 ounces, said Mr Dean Mastrojohn, a spokesman for Unilever, the global conglomerate that makes Hellmann's.
NOW: 30-ounce jar
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'So many times, they put 'new improved package' on the label but they would never put 'new, improved and smaller'.'
MS DEIRDRE CUMMINGS, legislative director at consumer advocacy group MASSPIRG, who says package-trimming is thinly disguised price-boosting
It's happening in S'pore too
THE package size of some products being sold in Singapore is also shrinking.
The items include some Malaysian brands of biscuits.
For example, a pack of Hup Seng cream crackers, which used to weigh 500g, now weighs 428g. In addition, the price has gone up.
A company spokesman said the quantity was changed because of the higher cost of manufacturing.
'Flour, palm oil and electricity prices have doubled. So we had to change packaging for 90 per cent of our biscuits,' she said.
A Straits Times check of some American products sold here - including Tropicana orange juice and Hellmann's mayonnaise - showed no change in the size of the packaging.
Manufacturers here said they would not take the downsizing route even if the price of raw materials rises further because it would not be cost-effective in a market of Singapore's size.
'If we change the size of our products, we have to change the size of all our packaging and even have to adjust settings on our machines. It is impractical,' said Mr Thomas Pek, the owner of Tai Hua Foods, which makes soya sauce.
'Anyway, we do not supply on a large scale like some US brands,' he added.
adapted from "Same price, but not same size", The Straits Times
Labels: rising prices