Shrinkage affecting your grocery bill

By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – It's a trend that you may or may not have noticed at the grocery store, you are paying the same price, but in many cases you are getting less. It's a cost cutting move made by the manufacturers.

It's called shrinkage and it's a way for manufacturers to give you less than what you usually get, but have you paying the same price.

"We get it from the manufacturer as is so we really don't have a lot of control in what they're doing with packaging," said Eddie Owens, with United Supermarkets.

When you walk down the aisle in the grocery store you may not realize what's changed. "I think it's quite interesting knowing that people are getting away with that," said John Flores, a United Supermarkets customer.

"Jars we've known they've been changing for quite a while," said Gloria Hyslop, a United Supermarkets customer.

Customers said they don't like this nationwide trend, but United Supermarkets said it's because of increased costs.

"I think more than anything else it's their cost relative to production," said Owens.

Instead of increasing prices, manufacturers are decreasing package sizes and the product amount in the packaging.

"Coffee they went a 13 oz. can that looked like a one pound can," said Rex Febus, a United Supermarket customer.

"We were just looking at a couple of orange juice containers as a matter of fact. They look like the same container, but one holds 59 ounces and the other contains 64 ounces," said Owens.

Here are some of the products that have changed. Tropicana squeezed a small glass of orange juice out of their new container which is five hours less. Kraft's 2 percent American cheese slimmed down by two slices. For Haagen Dazs, you used to be able to get a pint, 16 oz, now it's 2 ounces less. And a bottle of Ivory soap looks like the old one, but the new curves mean it's 20 percent skinner.

"It's like fooling the customer thinking they're getting everything they're paying for," said Kathan Anderson, a customer at United Supermarkets.

Because of these shrinking items, customers said their dollar doesn't go as far as it used to.

"It's increased our price of groceries a little bit. We have to buy more often," said Louis Howard, a United Supermarkets customer.

But United Supermarkets said by comparing brands, checking unit prices and buying generic brands you may be able to save some dough.

"Even though you may be getting more in a given package the units costs may be lower and just the flat price may not tell the whole story," said Owens.

No matter which way you look at it your money isn't stretching as far as it used to.

"I just try and find bargains where I can and get the ads, get coupons," said Vieregge.

United Supermarkets said you can also save money by stocking up on products when they are on sale.

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