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                   Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com

Saturday, November 15, 2008

 

It’s not just candy bars that shrink


KIF_2136

Some supermarkets have jacked up prices more than others on a particular item. It’s hard for the consumer to tell whether increases are due to the higher cost of ingredients or just plain price gouging.

When the manufacturer shrinks the product, it’s easier to detect. Tropicana, which makes a not-bad fresh (not from concentrate) orange juice which we’ll buy when it is on sale and Florida Natural is not, must think we consumers are pretty dumb, though. They are promoting a new bottle as though it’s something so great we should rush out and buy it right away. In actuality, they’ve shrunk the product from 96 ounces before to 89 ounces in this new packaging. That’s almost one serving disappeared.

In exchange, we are supposed to love this new bottle. That’s hard to do. You’ll be cursing at it should it fall off your refrigerator shelf after opening.

KIF_2138 The big deal is supposed to be the new cap. On the front it says “New easy pour pitcher,” and the back suggests pushing in the center to hear a snapping noise as it shuts.

Opening the cover initially is more difficult than just unscrewing the cap on the usual pitcher. Shutting it is easy enough wherever you push. I found myself pushing on the front lip of the cap so as not to hear the stupid “snap.”

What’s much worse, though, is that if you should accidentally drop a container with a typical screw cap, chances are that nothing will spill (it’s happened to me). With this container, the cap can pop open and you might have a few choice words for Tropicana about the convenience of their new pitcher.

To test this, I took my empty Tropicana pitcher into the bathroom, filled it about 2/3 with water, and dropped it onto its side from a height approximating the top shelf in my fridge (on a side-by-side model, the shelves would be even higher). Sure enough, the cap popped open and water began gurgling out. Three times out of three. Your mileage may vary, but it may not.

So much for the great advantage of the new bottle design.

KIF_2138

(Click any of the pictures for larger image.)

(Yes, the picture is tilted, because the bottom of the container bulges out.)

The Nutrition Facts on the back still show a serving size of 8 ounces. The old 96-ounce size would have held 12 servings. This one is almost one serving short.

Consumers have a choice. You can buy this bottle or not. 

We are not sheep, we have intelligence. Let’s use it. If you have a calculator handy in your cell phone or PDA, check for which brand is cheaper by the ounce.

Also consider how much effort it takes to clean up sticky orange juice from the kitchen floor on that day when, not if, a container slips off the shelf (and suppose it runs under the fridge. Ugh!).



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Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com
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