I wrote about this a year ago, but the local fishwrap factory has a story today discussing the sneaky ways food companies are engaging in stealth reductions in food container sizes even as prices have been rising over the last year.
Food is pretty high on our hierarchy of needs, so people tend to be extra sensitive to pricing chances (especially for staples). Food manufacturers know this and have been doing their best to shave a few ounces here & there to save costs. Anyone remember when soup used to come in 12 ounce cans instead of 10.5 ounces? For the most part, we tend to ignore these small tweaks, since the packages look the same in many cases… they’re just slightly smaller.
An interesting comment in the story notes that in some cases store brand items have lagged behind in the shrinking game, so you could get more food for your buck by going with the store brands or generics.
High diesel fuel costs have been blamed for many of the retail price increases over the past year or so. This makes sense considering how much the American logistical system relies on over-the-road trucking to move cargo around. Anyone care to venture a guess on how fast those prices will drop with lower diesel prices? My guess is slowly, and those drops will be influenced more by the overall economic deflation gripping the country right now. Fast to raise prices, slow to drop…