‘Bigger and Better’ packaging labels can be found in any of your local grocery stores shelves, but do their claims live up to what they are advertising? While certain companies choose to repackage some of their products with a new look, others claim to offer 50% more. I found it more than interesting when recently I learned that French’s mustard label used “50% More” on their bottle, but when in fact, it didn’t. Consumers believe they are getting more for their money, but the fine print just shows the difference between 12oz. and 18 oz. Their customer service rep (according to Consumers Report), stated that the word ‘free’ didn’t appear anywhere on the label, so it’s not misleading; though I beg to differ. They also explain that years ago they only offered the 12 oz. bottle, so offering the larger one is indeed 50% larger.

So what about that potato chip bag? Which feels like a lot of air when holding them; once you pop the bag open, you can actually hear the air come out sometimes; Bags have become smaller in size, though the prices stay the same; “I call this inflation.”  Putting your hand in the bag once its open is like searching for crumbs in a cookie jar that is near empty; but it’s been the ‘norm’ for quite some time now.

Let’s talk about the dimples being used in plastic jars (packaging), as well as wine bottles. On the very bottom of these items mentioned, you will find a dimple in the center, which is raised into the jar, and, or bottles, offering less space, meaning less product but same price. I was aware of the wine bottles using dimples; however I learned more recently that mayonnaise makers along with peanut butter companies also use this strategy… while maintaining the same dimensions of their packaging, but inserting that dimple into the base. So instead of being an 18 oz. container, it’s now a 16 oz., though for the same price. Customer service reps clearly believe it is a better alternative than hiking up their prices. Either way you look at it, I say it’s a price increase.

The subject at hand here is not limited to foods or drinks, but also strategically being used for products such as soaps. In 2012, Ivory soap downsized its standard bars from 4.5 oz. to 4 oz. They also offer an alternative size depending on the package size you purchase, such as; 3-pack bars weighing in at only 3.1 ounces while the 10-pack offers you the standard 4.0 oz. You should always look at the labels and sizes being offered before you make your purchase. Getting the best bang for your buck is important today, as prices continue to rise, we need to be more vigilant at keeping ourselves informed, so make sure you do your comparisons.

Everyone likes to be informed, and I have always been a fan of Consumer Reports, so I will leave you with their website at www.ConsumerReports.org . Whether you are making a large purchase or just doing your weekly grocery shopping, saving money as well as giving you a peace of mind… it’s always worth checking out.

Make your week count.