A few days ago I noticed that Safeway's Lucerne store brand of yogurt had a brand new package and look and sported the words "New smooth and creamy recipe". What I didn't notice until my father-in-law pointed it out this weekend is that the new yogurt container is also 2 oz. smaller than the old packaging. Of course, Safeway did not change the old price - effectively increasing the price per ounce by 33%... I was planning a large post about this, but JD of Get Rich Slowly beat me to the punch yesterday. Darn, I got scooped.
What Safeway did is not fraud, however, it clearly misled customers like me who have been buying the product for years and did not notice the change. Essentially, they pulled a fast one on us. There should be a law that requires manufacturers and retailers to clearly state in bold letters on the packaging if they decrease the product size from previous levels . The language should be simple and clear, something like: "warning: container now smaller". God knows they shout it out from the roof tops every time there is a slight increase in the size of the package. They should be required to do the same when package size is reduced. Specifying the new size of the package on its own is not sufficient, since consumers do not have a frame of reference unless they happen to remember the size of the old container (and who on earth does or can?). The only reason my father-in-law noticed the difference is that a new and old container were sitting next to each other in our fridge.
Anyway, I think that instead of its "new smooth and creamy recipe" tag line, Safeway could have chosen a more imaginative description, so I thought I would suggest a few ideas:
"Now more expensive!" - OK, unimaginative, but factually accurate.
"It's now richer, but you're not"
"There's one born every minute, and your number is up"
Let me know if you have any good new tag lines in mind. Maybe we can get Safeway to adopt one of them...