Groceries, be it downsizing or shrink ray, in the end its your backside thats going to feel it
Over at The Consumerist they are running a story about the Grocery Shrink Ray hitting food stuffs in the UK. They have already been running nearly daily stories about the shrink ray and what it means to consumers but this one story has an apologist for the industry that just stroked the wrong nerve in me. His name is Alex Beckett and here is what he said that bothered me.
Alex Beckett- "This isn't about ripping consumers off - the cost of making these products has rocketed because of more expensive food ingredients and energy costs."
Hogwash, if it is just about recouping costs then why is it their profits are rising as such high rates?
Alex Beckett- "Downsizing portions and maintaining the original price isn't sneaky. It is a way of cushioning the blow to the consumer. Bumping prices up would hit people much harder."
Ahh so this is about not hiding it from the consumer! So why is it then we dont see fancy graphics on the containers that say things like;
"Same product! 30% less for less economic impact!"
Because its bullshit plain and simple. They will gladly toot their own horn when they increase the size of their package, but when they shrink it, they will slink off with your missing portion down a back alley.
Alex Beckett- "And besides, smaller portion sizes are healthier for consumers, especially at a time when obesity is so widespread. It won't do us any harm to be eating a little bit less."
Wow thank you so much for pretending to care about my health asshole. So umm Mr Beckett, does this mean that this new fancy package creates less waste, less of a carbon footprint so to speak? Hell no.
I am now switching over to the comment I posted at the consumerist. Please read on and see some more of the logic I apply to the bullshit that is the grocery shrink ray.
One thing these mindless shills for the food companies don't seem to get is this.
I cant very well downsize my family or their food needs.
That may sound a bit harsh but its a simple fact. In a time when we are looking to lower our global impact, whether it be using less energy, less material, etc. So what we see here is not a lowering of the cost to maintain profitability on a global scale, but only one to protect interim shareholder value. So lets take the Pringles for example. The downsize they mention of 16 per package. thats roughly 1.5 lunch servings for my daughter. So lets do that math together shall we?
Say 12 chips a day, 300 days a year is 3600 chips.
Assuming approx 2g / chip since they say 30G less is about 16 chips less.
At the above consumption rate we are looking at 35.6 packages a year to fulfill that need.
In their new package we are looking at 42.3 packages a year. 7 more packages.
So 7 more packages, now granted the package may be 15% smaller since they took away 15% of the product. So by my math that is only 5.95 times as much waste generated to get you the same amount of product. Though that is still going to be (assuming the package volume results in 100% improvement in shipping efficiency)6 more units of product delivered, 6 more products manufactured, 6 more packages manufactured, and more importaintly 6 times as many waste products generated!
Oh and btw my consuming friends, that is 7 more times the price so considering here a can of Pringles runs $1 to $2/ea thats going to be $7 to $14 more per year. Of course nobody but you will be paying to accommodate the waste management of the products packaging after the product is consumed, so expect trash pickup to soar in price. Why? They too are already facing the same economic issues as everyone else and now they will have many times the amount of waste to dispose of and find a place to put.
So frankly I say people like Mr Beckett can take their fluffing of consumer products and go hang. Oh and Mr Beckett who appointed you to the weight police too? Why is it every time a company lately increases the cost of their products or decreases its size we hear about record breaking profit? After all they aren't really trying to make tons more money off of us are they?
So get your butt off the soap box Mr Beckett, they didn't do it to save consumers failing health, they didn't do it to just compensate for a increase in costs, they did it to increase their bottom line and the rest be damned