You scream, I scream ...

Posted On: Friday - July 1st 2022 9:05AM MST
In Topics: 

... we all scream... about inflation? No, for ice cream, right?

Over 5 years ago, in our first post with the Inflation topic key, Peak Stupidity discussed Inflation by Deflation. The "deflation" is the reduction in package size of products sold by volume or weight.

That post described an example of a pretty sneaky change in the size of those plastic Dannon yogurt containers. The details from that post were:
The price went down recently. Then the size changed from 6 oz. down to 5.3 oz. (these are weight ounces) last week. Firstly, as a technical guy, I like round numbers, so 5.3 oz. or even 5 oz is a dumb package size. But secondly, notice that the package shape is very similar - maybe 50 thousandths taken off each axis of the oval and about the same off of the height. It'd be hard to be sure a calculation on this matches the 11% decrease in volume, as the fill level may also be changed. Hey, this would be a cool project for the kids!

The price will go back up in a while, and then, after much sweat, many staff meetings, changes to expensive packaging molds and machine settings, talks with the label printers, and so on over at Dannon, they've made an effective 11% price increase that nobody (but PeakStupidity) has noticed.
Going back at least 15 years now, as I remember where I lived at the time, I followed this "inflation by deflation" deal in ice cream. Yes, we all scream for ice cream, and I am partial to Bryers. That company, and some of the others, but not all, went on a 2-step size reduction program. What had been a 1/2 gallon (8 cups*) container for many years went first to 1.75 gallons or 7 cups and then to 1.5 gallons or 6 cups within a couple of years.

The trick there was that they kept the lid the same size (or very close) and tapered the rest of the formerly rectangular prism shape. By the 2nd change it was very obvious, but did anyone else notice?

We bought some Breyers ice cream that was on sale 2 for 1 yesterday for a treat. Because we don't buy it so much (it's probably been a year), when I was still well outside the freezer from the I had an inkling that they'd done this thing again. I looked at it carefully, and then saw the description. Nope, my inkling was wrong this time. However, I'd be willing to wager a hundred bucks that we'll see more inflation by deflation of this product within a couple of years. It's been a long time, the US Dollar is not workless yet, but sure worth less, and people forget.

I won't miss that century note a whole lot anyway in 2 years, the way things are going. Mark my words, or, to keep up with the modern world, bookmark this page.**

* Official volumetric cups, of course. Yeah, that's olde British/current US units, but that's the way it is.

** Nah, the way this site is set up, it'll get you to the home page, I think. Post #2323 - see you in 2 years!

Friday - July 1st 2022 9:48PM MST
PS: Robert, a little kid wouldn't get it, but I knew someone who worked at a software company called PMS. That name was theirs for a long time, until, what some HR person got wise to the joke? They eventually added on a "C" for "Corporation" at the end. Easy-peasy.

Al, I stocked up on charcoal a couple of years back. They must have been the 20 lb. bags. I'm glad I did. Barring a fire, they should have a pretty good shelf life.

Peter, I didn't want to hear that. I do wish the ingredient list wasn't a page long. Will check tomorrow.
Al Corrupt
Friday - July 1st 2022 7:16PM MST

Another recent victim of deflation is charcoal. The old 20lbs. Package has been reduced by 10% to 18lbs., while the price, like the song, remains the same.
Friday - July 1st 2022 7:12PM MST
PS: OK, I can't resist:

We all BM for IBM

I really liked this one as a little kid --- I thought (knew) that IBM was the funniest business name in all if history.
Friday - July 1st 2022 5:36PM MST

Breyers chocolate used to be cream, sugar and chocolate. Vanilla was cream, sugar and vanilla. Now they’re filled with all kinds of crap. It’s not what it was.
Friday - July 1st 2022 4:29PM MST
PS: So, I was nearly right, Alarmist. I had never really looked it up, but I had always assumed the word "pound" for the currency referred to a weight, and then there is the term "pound sterling". So THAT'S how long you've got to go back, 1,200 years! And they were still cheating people out of a 454 gram lb.!! (Joking there - there's weird unit stuff with monetary metals, such as Troy ounces.)

So, a "Tower pound' - I'll have to remember that. Yep, I get 1.97gm using the (bogus, as you'll NEVER get it for near that price) current silver spot price and the 1.21 $/£ I looked up.

About the ice cream, I think there was a time I wouldn't have noticed, WalMart brand vs. my favorite, but it's all in the consistency. Hmm, I wish I had weighed the old containers accurately back then. (Probably depends the on chocolate chips in the mint chocolate chip vs. none of them in your coffee flavor and your French Vanilla, and ... Mmmmm!
The Alarmist
Friday - July 1st 2022 3:50PM MST

There was a time (circa 800 AD) when a £ was worth a Tower pound (350g) of silver... I think you get 1.9g per £ nowadays.

They’ll probably start pumping more air into the ice cream. You’ll know you’re in trouble when you start eating Great Value®️ (WalMart) ice cream. I saw a pint of Salted Caramel going for $1.59 a couple weeks back, when I was in the USA.
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