Incredible shrinking food

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that their grocery bill is the same, but there seems to be less food in your cart.

Well, you are not imagining it.

Information coming out to the University of Guelph indicated Canadians are in fact getting less for their money at the checkout line, but manufacturers are not raising prices to do it.

They are, instead, keeping prices relatively constant but are cutting back on quantity.

Packages appear to be the same, but actually hold less.

I noticed this recently with a re-packaging of a particular brand of yogurt. The new container in fact took up more space in my fridge than the old one, but upon comparison, the actual amount of yogurt was roughly 100 milliliters less than with the old packaging.

But the price wasn’t reduced by the same ratio. In fact, I actually spent more to get less.

And now I feel cheated. Hoodwinked. A victim of a massive marketing ploy designed to deceive me into thinking I’m still getting something I’m not.

Part of me wonders why I’m so upset. I should be wise to this already, based on the ever-shrinking nature of Halloween candy.

Remember what a single Halloween Kit Kat bar looked like back when you were a kid? Talk about a sugar rush.

Seen today’s Halloween Kit Kat bar?

You’d need five of them to equal the bar of yesteryear.

That being said, I also am a mom who feels like a warrior in a seemingly never-ending quest to ensure my children eat mostly healthy food and do not become obsessed by high-calorie, non-nutritious junk.

I confess to throwing away perfectly good candy out of my kids’ Halloween bowls to prevent ingestion of more high-fructose corn syrup or artificial flavours and colours.

And so I didn’t mourn the ever-shrinking size of candy bars or chocolate Easter eggs or Gummie bears.

But now they are messing with my yogurt and other food staples like orange juice, granola bars, margarine, even loaves of bread that are being baked smaller than before.

And it is all being cleverly packaged to make me think I’m not missing out on anything.

Nothing legally prevents processors from altering their packages, but it smacks of deception.

I personally appreciate when grocery stores feature the cost for a set amount of that item as part of the price. This way, you can compare correctly the cost of something one brand versus another regardless of how fancy the packaging.

I know dieticians are preaching to us about controlling portion sizes, but I’d like to do that myself, not have a manufacturer try to sneak it by me.

Tracy Hughes is the editor of the Salmon Arm Observer