Posted by: nickgerlich | July 1, 2008

Snap! Crackle! Bop!

Don’t you just love it when companies try to come at you under the radar? They must think our defense systems are so weak that they can fly in and smack us upside the head without our even knowing what hit us.

Like this week, when Kellogg’s started shipping some of its cereals in smaller boxes. And the price remained the same. Fourteen different cereal variations are now in packages that average 2.4 ounces less than before.

KelloggsI cannot help but think of the boiling frog metaphor. Stick a frog in a pot of water, and slowly raise the temperature. He won’t even notice as he goes from hot tub spa to boiled amphibian. Of course, the metaphor is more urban legend than truth, but that doesn’t alter the fact that I resent being treated like a frog. And now I’m boiling mad.

I don’t have a problem with companies having to raise prices. It is an economic fact of life. Whenever the costs of production and doing business increase, it must be passed along. Between expensive fuel and a waterlogged midwest corn crop, food costs are going to continue to increase.

But please do not try to pull the shredded wheat over my eyes. I am not so dense as to be oblivious to what you are doing.

The Sage of the Shrinking Package is certainly no new tale. Coffee marketers have done this for years. You can still find the familiar one-pound and three-pound cans, only this time a “pound” is 12 ounces. And the prices are enough to buy Juan Valdez a new sombrero.

At the least the gas stations, God bless them, haven’t started doing this…offering us a “gallon” of gas for $4 that is really only 100 ounces. The Weights and Measures Police would put them out of business in a heartbeat.

And all other marketers should be treated likewise, for to resort to such trickery is shameless, underhanded, and disingenuous.

Dr “Not Cuckoo For This!” Gerlich


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