Sometimes, companies change the size of a product instead of changing the price. This isn’t a new tactic; they’ve been doing it for decades. They have realized that most consumers won’t notice a change in size as much as a change in price.
If you’ve been working on your own price matrix, you’ve been paying attention to the sizes of everything so you can compare the unit price. Over the last few years, a couple of items really caught my attention when the size changed.
I don’t buy orange juice very often because of my hypoglycemia and acid reflux. I do tend to drink it a little more during the winter to give my immune system a boost. For years, I’ve been buying one that is marketed as “low acid” since it’s better for my sensitive stomach. About a month ago, I was surprised when the bottle looked a little different. As I expected, the size changed from 59 ounces to 52 ounces. Of course, the price was still $3.57 at my usual store (it’s the closest and has decent sales). I was in a hurry that day, and I decided not to look around for a cheaper alternative. Plus, I felt that I really wanted the less acidic version.
Last week, I decided to get a store brand orange juice when I was going to another store I love (a little further away, so I don’t go often, but the prices are really good). I don’t like their juice as much, but that’s okay. I’m tired of being charged too much for it. Well, they were out. They’ve been remodeling the store, and during the final stage, they decided to turn off the coolers. I went across the street to a store that I prefer to support as little as possible. I couldn’t believe what I found… 64 ounces for $1.78! That’s less than half the price of my former brand! I almost didn’t buy it because I was worried that it would be awful. It is actually really good! This morning, I noticed my usual store has 64 ounces for $1.79. I’ll try it next.
Sometimes, my price sensitivity ends up making me healthier. When I first quit drinking soda however many years ago, lack of my usual sales price led me to stop buying it. I used to only drink one per week, but I haven’t had any soda in at least seven years! After I quit buying soda at the grocery store, I had one with a kid’s meal. My body almost immediately let me know that I shouldn’t have done that. Wow. I switched to tea (I only like unsweet) with my monthly kid’s meal (at my favorite fast food restaurant), and I haven’t had any issues.
There’s a particular brand of chips that I love (but they don’t love me) that I no longer buy. Several years ago, the sales stopped being as good, so I stopped buying them, and my stomach thanks me. About a year or two ago, my price was available, and I bought a bag, and then I noticed the size was smaller. That didn’t make me happy. Earlier this year, they were on sale for a great price, but I didn’t buy them because the size had been reduced again. I’m done; they’re off my radar. I like other snacks that are more affordable, and many of them are healthier.
Changes in size and/or price tend to make me healthier (physically and financially). Do they have an effect on you?
Updates: I stopped buying as much at my “usual” store because their sales aren’t as good as in the past. Plus, I stopped buying many products in general like most junk food, cheese, beef, orange juice, and some other items. I usually visit my favorite store once a month and stock up on everything I still purchase. I almost never visit fast food restaurants anymore. I will only visit if I have a coupon for something free, and my favorite sometimes sends those coupons.