Anyone else noticing how much food makers are ripping you off?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Food prices are not only rising, but you are even getting less for what you paid for. The worst part is the fact that food makers are packing their products to make them look the same as they did before all while charging the same or more!


I especially noticed this with produce. It used to cost $3.99 for 1/2 a pint of blueberries. Then it cost $3.99 for 6 oz. Now it friggin costs $3.99 for only 4.4 oz. The whole time the plastic cartons that the blueberries come in almost look exactly the same as they did for the 1/2 pint.

Buyer beware!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
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I wish that food companies would stop trying to fool people. I would rather pay more for quality.

Example - Stouffers frozen chicken enchiladas. My kids and I loved these years ago. You would get 12 chicken enchiladas, soft flour tortillas filled with chicken mixed with cream cheese and smothered in a creamy cheese sauce, sprinkled with shredded cheddar. They were so good. :!!) It was chicken, cheese, and green chilies.

Now you get 8 crappy flour tortillas filled with corn and other junk with a few tiny tidbits of chicken, piled over a large slop of corn and rice. The price has remained the same but the taste and quality have fallen so low, we can't eat them anymore. Now it's a corn and rice casserole. :yuck:

I would have preferred to pay more and retain the same recipe.
 
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  • #3
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Food prices are not only rising, but you are even getting less for what you paid for. The worst part is the fact that food makers are packing their products to make them look the same as they did before all while charging the same or more!


I especially noticed this with produce. It used to cost $3.99 for 1/2 a pint of blueberries. Then it cost $3.99 for 6 oz. Now it friggin costs $3.99 for only 4.4 oz. The whole time the plastic cartons that the blueberries come in almost look exactly the same as they did for the 1/2 pint.

Buyer beware!
A lot of products are doing the same thing. 1/2 gallon ice cream containers are now 3.75 pints, but selling at the same price or even higher.

Really watch out for the prepackaged produce. I used to buy my favorite salad tray with the veggies already cut and packaged in a divided container. The price went up to $6.99 recently. I can buy the same ingredients mixed in a bag for $3.99.

It seems to be carrying over to other areas of retail. A 5 gallon bucket of paint now only contains 4.75 gallons.
 
  • #4
wolram
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Where i work profits are cut to the bone, it is the supermarkets that are making the money, the management is testing new automation so staff numbers can be cut, i kid you not a few pennies a product is make or break.
 
  • #5
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My mom ran into the same thing with blueberries. She first wanted to buy some at a ridiculous price, they were in a kind of large "cup" with a lid on it. But the price was too high so she didn't. Some days later she sees a huge carton of them with about the same price, so she runs up to them and notices that the carton is extremely shallow, so F that she said.

I also noticed this with gummy worms way back. Nice package of them, but the bottom is angled like the bottom of a can of soda, so in reality you get about half the volume you think you're getting.
 
  • #6
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Where i work profits are cut to the bone, it is the supermarkets that are making the money, the management is testing new automation so staff numbers can be cut, i kid you not a few pennies a product is make or break.
You're right that it's supermarkets making the big bucks. Small stores can't compete either.
 
  • #7
Astronuc
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I think my blueberry bushes, and raspberries and blackberries have already paid for themselves. It's nice to walk out to bushes in the morning and pick a bowl full of berries to put on cereal or in pancakes, or pick fresh for desert in the evening.

As for the OP question, food processors have been doing the reduced content while maintaining the same pricing for years. I noticed it about 8-10 years ago with commodities like coffee, chips and cereal, and then I noticed similar trends in canned and packaged foods.

But that is American capitalism at work.
 
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  • #8
Moonbear
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Yes, it's annoying, and it just adds more waste too, because if you really want to make a dish that requires the full 1/2 pint or pint of berries, now you have to buy two or three containers and now throw out 3 containers of packing material instead of just one. It's not fooling anyone when you realize there aren't enough berries in the container anyway. And yes, I'm aware it's not just berries. We were having this discussion in another thread about toilet paper and the changing size of the sheets, along with all the ways they make each roll look bigger than it really is.
 
  • #9
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I think my blueberry bushes, and raspberries and blackberries have already paid for themselves. It's nice to walk out to bushes in the morning and pick a bowl full of berries to put on cereal or in pancakes, or pick fresh for desert in the evening.

As for the OP question, food processors have been doing the reduced content while maintaining the same pricing for years. I noticed it about 8-10 years ago with commodities like coffee, chips and cereal, and then I noticed similar trends in canned and packaged foods.

But that is American capitalism at work.




I'm sure it has been happening for years, but I think that it is just getting worse at a faster rate. I mean just last year during the winter I was able to buy 8 oz. of imported Chilean blueberries, but now I can seem to only find 4.4 oz containers of blueberries for the same price! That is almost a 50% reduction in the amount that they give you in less than a year!
 
  • #10
Astronuc
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Anything imported will cost more because of the declining dollar. Then factor in cost of energy of production and cost of transportation (higher energy again), and prices are increasing.

I need to be gardening like turbo, then preserving and putting in storage. :biggrin:
 
  • #11
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There is a lot of deception going on with containers. There is everything from vitamin bottles stuffed half full of cotton to vinegar bottles with raised bottoms.
 
  • #12
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Where i work profits are cut to the bone, it is the supermarkets that are making the money, the management is testing new automation so staff numbers can be cut, i kid you not a few pennies a product is make or break.
Yeah I know exactly what you're talking about. You know how there are self checkouts at a lot of stores and how there's usually (or at least should be) a cashier there running the self checkouts? Well, the store I used to work at (Fry's) now has the cashier in charge of it carry a portable touchscreen monitor thingy from which you can do everything you could if you were standing at the station. So now they do other things while at the same time running the station from their electronic device. They have to go all the way back if someone buys alcohol or cigs. This way they were able to have one less worker. More and more they are having the people do more and more. If you look at customer service ratings for the store, it's been steadily going down as they expect less and less workers to do more and more. When I worked there over a year ago we just had a great time working there and the store ran very smoothly. Now it's getting worse and worse.

However, the supermarkets don't make nearly as much money on food items as you think they do. According to several reports I read while working at Fry's, they only profit around 1% of everything sold.


EDIT: Gravenewworld, are you sure when it was 8oz it was during the same time of year? Seasons make a HUGE difference.
 
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  • #13
wolram
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Now fuel prices are so high, we would be better off going back to olden times where you had your butcher, baker, candle stick maker in your local, get the old wind mills grinding flour
and farmers growing a varity of goods, stop buying from abroad.
 
  • #14
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EDIT: Gravenewworld, are you sure when it was 8oz it was during the same time of year? Seasons make a HUGE difference.
Yeah I'm pretty sure, berries ALWAYS used to be sold by the 1/2 pint. I clearly remember the reduction to the 6 oz. container. Now it is even less--the 4.4 oz. container.
 
  • #15
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Now fuel prices are so high, we would be better off going back to olden times where you had your butcher, baker, candle stick maker in your local, get the old wind mills grinding flour
and farmers growing a varity of goods, stop buying from abroad.
I'd much rather do that even if the costs were higher. I'm tired of getting crappy bread made in frickin Wisconsin shipped all the way out here to Washington or something similar. I like my meats fresh and varied, not the same processed crappy Safeway ham.

But of course, you can't have a "local" butcher or baker. A truly local one would be you take a 5 minute walk from your house max and you are there. You can't do that in suburbs due to zoning. I have to drive at least 5 minutes to get to my closest store -- Safeway. That's at least a 15 to 20 minute walk, especially if you factor in that I live in Washington, where everything is uphill both ways.
 
  • #16
Evo
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What kills me is that the prices are so high that many people simply will not buy the stuff, so it ends up rotting.
 
  • #17
wolram
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What kills me is that the prices are so high that many people simply will not buy the stuff, so it ends up rotting.
Our produce has a three day shelf life and the supermarkets force us to produce on estimates,
when the actual order comes in it can be well short of the estimate, so we have to throw the excess away and absorb the cost.
On top of that delivery slots to the main distribution points are so tight we have to be ready or get a fine for missing the slot.
Even if we can not deliver the full amount of a certain product ordered (mainly because estimates were low and we have to reset machines to top the order up), we get a fine.
 
  • #18
Evo
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Our produce has a three day shelf life and the supermarkets force us to produce on estimates,
when the actual order comes in it can be well short of the estimate, so we have to throw the excess away and absorb the cost.
On top of that delivery slots to the main distribution points are so tight we have to be ready or get a fine for missing the slot.
Even if we can not deliver the full amount of a certain product ordered (mainly because estimates were low and we have to reset machines to top the order up), we get a fine.
That's terrible. There is so much waste in the food industry.

I was absolutely shocked to find out that the little restaurant in our office building throws away all food not sold after mealtime. For example, all food not sold by 9:30AM for breakfast is thrown away. This includes all breakfast sandwiches, sausages, bacon, etc... there is absolutely no reason they could not be sold the next day. Heck, put them on sale for half price as an option for lunch, they would be snapped up, but they won't do it.
 
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  • #19
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I guy I knew who worked at KFC said they used to have bins out specially for throwing away "good" food so that homeless people could go through them at night. They were still edible, but nobody would buy them.

But they were told to stop it, because if a hobo gets sick he could sue the store.
 
  • #20
wolram
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That's terrible. There is so much waste in the food industry.

I was absolutely shocked to find out that the little restaurant in our office building throws away all food not sold after mealtime. For example, all food not sold by 9:30AM for breakfast is thrown away. This includes all breakfast sandwiches, sausages, bacon, etc... there is absolutely no reason they could not be sold the next day. Heck, put them on sale for half price as an option for lunch, they would be snapped up, but they won't do it.
We could not do that because of restrictions imposed by the supermarket, we did trial giving it to a charitable organisation, but even local street people can not eat the over production, it would have to be (locals) as the distribution cost would be be inhibitive.
 
  • #21
turbo
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Anything imported will cost more because of the declining dollar. Then factor in cost of energy of production and cost of transportation (higher energy again), and prices are increasing.

I need to be gardening like turbo, then preserving and putting in storage. :biggrin:
Yep! The cost of seed is up a bit, but nothing like the cost of food. Our garden and freezers have paid for themselves not only with the quantity and low cost of our vegetables, but in quality. It is impossible to get real quality vegetables in supermarkets, since the growers are distant and the produce is trucked in. Example: when I'm harvesting green beans to freeze, I'll put trays in the chest freezers and every time I've got a basket of beans, I'll run them up to the house and spread them out on the trays to flash-freeze, then go pick more and repeat. When the beans are frozen, I put them in zip-lock bags. They don't stick together that way, and when we want beans out of season, we just get what we want out of a bag, rinse them and snap them and toss them in a steaming basket to cook. These beans were just minutes off the bush when they were frozen, and they taste almost as good as fresh beans, with great color and texture.

Regarding the tricks with serving size and price, this is especially prevalent in the vending-machine business. Where I used to work, the vendor seemed to be able to get peanuts packed in almost any increment he wanted - the net weight would drop about 2/10 of an ounce every few weeks while the price remained the same, then the net weight would go up a bit (along with a price increase of 5-10 cents) only to start going down incrementally once more.
 
  • #22
Moonbear
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That's terrible. There is so much waste in the food industry.

I was absolutely shocked to find out that the little restaurant in our office building throws away all food not sold after mealtime. For example, all food not sold by 9:30AM for breakfast is thrown away. This includes all breakfast sandwiches, sausages, bacon, etc... there is absolutely no reason they could not be sold the next day. Heck, put them on sale for half price as an option for lunch, they would be snapped up, but they won't do it.
That's always the case with restaurants. They aren't allowed to sell it day-old. What doesn't make sense to me is that they will just stop serving it by some arbitrary time of the morning or afternoon and throw it out then. Not keeping it until the next day, I can understand, but why throw it all out at 9:30 when they could just discount it and serve it as long as people are willing to buy it...there have been times when I would have liked to get breakfast food at 10:30 or 11:00 AM because I was on a weird schedule, but it's all tossed out by then. On the other hand, I used to get very generous lunch servings when I'd go to the cafeteria just before closing time...since they were going to throw it out anyway, they'd just pile on the food...I'd keep half for dinner. :biggrin: If they're regularly throwing a lot away, though, then they have a problem with making good decisions on how much to prepare.
 
  • #23
turbo
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At the headquarters of a company I once worked for, the cafeteria served up corned beef hash with eggs, potatoes, creamed chipped beef on toast, etc every morning. The place (especially the top brass) was heavily staffed with ex-Navy personnel, many recruited directly out of nuclear sub service, and they liked their hearty Navy-style breakfasts. That was a GREAT cafeteria.
 

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