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Some little consumer geekaroid thought this shit up.
January 21, 2014 4:44 PM   Subscribe


 
2007
posted by Nelson at 4:46 PM on January 21 [13 favorites]


what a weenie.
posted by Uncle Grumpy at 4:49 PM on January 21


.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:50 PM on January 21


MetaFilter: some little consumer geekaroid thought this shit up
posted by brundlefly at 4:51 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


Pure joy.
posted by Fnarf at 4:52 PM on January 21


Having your own sausage made doesn't taste as good as Jimmy Dean? He needs to find a new butcher.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:52 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


Downsizing fucking pisses me off. Can't buy a cup of yogurt to eat anymore -- it's all 6 oz portions. Want a half-gallon of ice cream? Good luck -- 3 pints or 3.5 pints will have to content you. Remember the days when buying a standard-size candy bar would give you a satisfying snack? Not anymore.

If you aren't paying attention to package sizes, you end up getting ripped off. If you are paying attention, you end up basically not buying stuff anymore because you feel the new price-to-quantity ratio is a ripoff.

Either way you lose.
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on January 21 [25 favorites]


Pepsi-Cola hits the spot / Twelve full ounces, that's a lot / Twice as much for a nickel, too / Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you
posted by Chrysostom at 4:55 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


When I was a kid this song came out and I was deeply confused about why a sausage would be on a silver screen.

Jaaaaaames Dean.
posted by jamaro at 5:03 PM on January 21 [10 favorites]


...and a couple a dozen eggs...
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:03 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]




Everytime I hear this I think of my Dad, an Oklahoman with a bit of a twang even after almost 60 years not living in the south... He's the kinda guy who'll self-righteously have to make a point to some poor schmuck on the receiving end, like, mailing 20 dollars of money in pennies (costing more to mail than the amount of money)... And always that southern accent just sort of GOT TO MAKE THE POINT.
posted by symbioid at 5:07 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Remember the days when buying a standard-size candy bar would give you a satisfying snack? Not anymore.

Candy bars have always been about shortchanging consumers, though. Mitch Hedberg had a bit about how Kit-Kat has the name Kit-Kat stamped into the chocolate, which robs you of chocolate--but that's not the half of it! Kit-Kat isn't about having easily separable pieces to share with friends, but rather having air-filled grooves between the pieces to make the package look bigger. Aero? Chocolate with air pumped into it? Come on.

Mind you, the air wasn't harvested by child slaves, so maybe it's for the best.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:08 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


Well he convinced *me*.
posted by mazola at 5:10 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Nah they still make the 16 oz. tubes - I use 'em in my special spaghetti sauce.
posted by stinkfoot at 5:14 PM on January 21


It hasn't been the same since Jimmy Dean sold out his sausage company to Sara Lee (now THERE's a shotgun corporate romance). In fact, the way Sara Lee has been selling off its baked goods product lines and buying meat-based products (Hillcrest Farms, Ballpark Franks, Gallo Salami), it makes me think she's a worse cholesterol-pusher than Paula Deen...

Here in California, though, Jimmy Dean's original sausage rolls were still 16 ounces the last time I checked (in December, they were on sale in the Vons/Safeway ad) but he has some heavy competition from the West Coast pork processor Farmer John's ("The eastern-most in flavor, the western-most in quality" as Vin Scully says on EVERY Dodger broadcast), but still, we're talking breakfast sausage here, not something important like BACON.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:16 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


My big ol' boys need their got damn lard-cakes!
posted by cropshy at 5:17 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


OMG I need to write a fake Weddings section entry for Jimmy Dean and Sara Lee.

Not a NYT style Weddings piece, one of the ones from a small town paper in the south.
posted by Sara C. at 5:18 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Vin Scully IS Farmer John.
posted by basicchannel at 5:18 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I had to laugh the other day when I was shopping with a friend.

In the cereal aisle, where I rarely go because eating cold cereal floating in cold milk (or worse, some sort of chemistry set fake milk) for breakfast is how criminals condemned to an eternity in hell start their day, not civilized folks, and because he's bijou, he asked me to pick a box off the top shelf for him.

Well, that damn box was the same height and width as a small cereal box I remembered from the days when I would eat the breakfast of a criminal condemned to an eternity in hell, but it was just a bit over an inch thick.

"What the hell?"

"What?"

"This thing is like a fucking pizza box! Why is it so flat?"

"I think they must have downsized," he said, sensing the horrible prospect of me going on a loud communist ranting binge in the cereal aisle.

"You think? It's like this box got up this morning, had a cup of green tea with stevia, then made itself puke because it thought it still looked fat! And it still costs the same! Who buys this shit?"

"It's two for four dollars and I have a coupon. Just give me the box, and one more."

"Who do they think they're fooling? Isn't it bad enough that eating cold cereal floating in cold milk is what criminals condemned to an eternity in hell do? Do they also have to get buttfucked by Kellogg Industries? Hell, that stuff was invented to stop you from jerking off!"

"Just give me the cereal," my friend said, in a level monotone with his jaw set. "I don't need the commentary. Besides, you sneak into my apartment and eat all my cereal while I'm not home anyway."

"Well, yeah, but not for breakfast. And I don't buy the stuff."

"Don't you need something in another aisle?"

"What?" I asked. I'm slow on the draw.

"I think you said you needed something in the pretentious asshole aisle."

"Oh yeah, I need lemon curd."

"I think you should go get that."

"I'll meet you in the frozen section."

Downsizing. Sheeesh.
posted by sonascope at 5:19 PM on January 21 [74 favorites]


The problem is that the meddling feds now make them wash the feces off the pig before processing. They have to pass the reduced weight on to the consumer.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:19 PM on January 21 [8 favorites]


Candy bars have always been about shortchanging consumers, though.

Candy bars have, for a very long time, had a weight stamped on the package which allows consumers to know exactly how much actual food weight they are getting for the price they are paying. Despite any attempts to make the package look bigger or whatever, it's always been immediately apparently exactly how much candy bar and bar-related substances you are getting for your (these days actually a full) dollar.

That kind of trickery is bad for consumers, too. But actually reducing the actual amount in the actual package and charging the same price? That's downsizing bullshit.
posted by hippybear at 5:22 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


hippybear, you used the words "food" and "substance" in a post about candy bars. Thought you might want to correct the error.

Texas man angry he can't give his family heart fucking disease and clogged fucking arteries as easily as before.
posted by xmutex at 5:24 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


sonascope: "In the cereal aisle, where I rarely go because eating cold cereal floating in cold milk (or worse, some sort of chemistry set fake milk) for breakfast is how criminals condemned to an eternity in hell start their day, not civilized folks"

“I know those words, but that sign makes no sense.”
posted by Chrysostom at 5:26 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Canned food always strikes me as a little nuts now anyway, given that in any sane economy the value of the can would be considerably more than the piffling amount of food inside. But it's that amount that just boggles me; what's a can of tuna now, 5 oz? Vegetables run about 14 ounces now? But the can is still the same size, for handling and sneakiness reasons. That's just a hell of a lot of ore getting shoveled out of the ground and refined for basically no food.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:26 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


We need to get detective BJ Novak on the case
posted by any major dude at 5:26 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Can't buy a cup of yogurt to eat anymore -- it's all 6 oz portions

I found the yogurt sizes weird in the US. They all have lower fat and a larger size. For the same brand:

Canada - 100g and 4% fat
US - 170g and 1% fat.

You're saying they used to be even larger?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:30 PM on January 21


I hear that, Chrysostom; I've long held the (incorrect!?) impression that what criminals condemned to an eternity in hell have for breakfast is a cigarette and a piss.
posted by mr. digits at 5:31 PM on January 21


If you aren't paying attention to package sizes, you end up getting ripped off. If you are paying attention, you end up basically not buying stuff anymore because you feel the new price-to-quantity ratio is a ripoff.

And since the smaller portions are not accompanied with smaller prices, it's a perverse kind of inflation -- one that does not erode the value of capital (yet further enriches its owners -- margins still high! Yay!), while it still erodes consumer purchasing power.

I'm reminded of Yossarian. "But it's cotton."

"The men will just have to learn to eat it."
posted by notyou at 5:32 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


People who used to frequent Livejournal once upon a time, and especially visited the community "Metaquotes," may remember the ongoing episodes of this:

The Licorice Allsorts Story.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:33 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


Downsizing? Adjusted for inflation, food is arguably the cheapest it's ever been.
posted by schmod at 5:34 PM on January 21


Adjusted for inflation, food is arguably the cheapest it's ever been.

The USDA says, "Food prices have also been rising faster than in earlier years, and food price inflation has easily outpaced price inflation for many other types of goods. Among major consumer categories, only prices for transportation, which include a number of energy price measures, and medical care have risen faster than food prices."
posted by mittens at 5:37 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


I think you said you needed something in the pretentious asshole aisle.

Luxury! These days, you're lucky if you can even find a pretentious asshalf.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:38 PM on January 21 [13 favorites]


I've long held the (incorrect!?) impression that what criminals condemned to an eternity in hell have for breakfast is a cigarette and a piss.

no, they have a live toad for breakfast

say what you will about it, but at least they know that's the worst thing that will happen to them all day
posted by pyramid termite at 5:41 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


The good news is that the heft of James Deen's sausage remains unchanged.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:44 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


He took a pill.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:45 PM on January 21


There IS no breakfast in Hell.


and for what it's worth I love to start the day with generic frosted shredded wheat. NOT name brand. Harris Teeter generic. LOVE the stuff.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:46 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: I think you said you needed something in the pretentious asshole aisle.
posted by stltony at 5:47 PM on January 21 [11 favorites]


There IS no breakfast in Hell

What about second breakfast?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:47 PM on January 21 [8 favorites]


I love to start the day with generic frosted shredded wheat. NOT name brand.

I won't eat that for breakfast, because criminals in hell and so forth, but it's great as breakfast-for-dinner or an après minuit marijuana freakout and the generic brands literally have two ingredients (plus traces of a few more on occasion), which is cool. Plus, it's two bucks for a huge box.
posted by sonascope at 5:54 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Breakfast is the reason you ordered the next pizza size up the night before.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:57 PM on January 21 [18 favorites]


xmutex: heart fucking disease

Well, there's an image I didn't need in my head.
posted by Runcible! at 6:01 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


I've skipped breakfast now for 770 days as part of my diet. The only thing I ever really miss about it is sausage gravy.
posted by mikelieman at 6:01 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


Put the sausage gravy on your lunch. Problem solved.
posted by mittens at 6:02 PM on January 21 [7 favorites]


Believe me, I would if I could. I just can't figure out how to work it in. There's a late brunch, but by that time I'm already thinking "Lunch". First World Problems, eh?
posted by mikelieman at 6:04 PM on January 21


I miss Mom slicing Jimmy Dean sausage and frying it up in the morning. I don't miss the taste of the their melted plastic rims though.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:06 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


> Harris Teeter generic. LOVE the stuff.

Enjoy it while you can. Kroger ("For those who love Wal-Mart quality but hate discount prices") bought 'em out.
posted by at by at 6:22 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


The Grocery Shrink Ray tag at Consumerist goes back for ten pages of posts that detail the various ways companies go about the shrinking.
posted by mediareport at 6:23 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Since the FPP links to one of those crummy blogs that sponges ad revenue just by linking to other people's content*, and the (GRISTLY TUBE OF) meat of the post is the video, here's a direct link (OF SAUSAGE LOL SEE WHAT I DID THERE) to it, indeed dated 2007.

(Clicking the YouTube logo in the lower right corner of embedded YouTube videos takes you to that video on YouTube. Linking to the video on YouTube helps prevent double posts.)

*MetaFilter: ...
posted by Sys Rq at 6:30 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Sad and funny at the same time considering Jimmy Dean's tagline used to be, " I'd rather have to explain the price than apologize for the quality."

(The smaller-package-gambit is offensive to me, as a consumer. As a marketer, I would never approve the strategy.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:47 PM on January 21


For breakfast!?!?/

Sheesh.
posted by awfurby at 7:07 PM on January 21


This is a double.
posted by jayder at 7:07 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Put the sausage gravy on your lunch. Problem solved.

hero.
posted by device55 at 7:17 PM on January 21


Food price inflation is sort of OK in the US, as it's awakening local farming and re-igniting community supermarkets - if the fancy boutique heritage locavore stuff is only a few cents more, and tastes ten bucks more posh, why on earth not?

It's also OK, as those who can't or won't afford a few cents more for "Froot Loops" in a box half as thick discover that marketing costs money, and the generics often taste better and cost half as much for a great big giant bag that will last mooonths.

This is where I pointedly don't derail the conversation by discussing whether or not food deserts exist, but note that there's never been a BJ's in the 'hood.

It's fucking criminal in nations with food insecurity, tho, but the cause and cure is different there.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:25 PM on January 21


you can hear him continue to rant about “that fucking pussy roll of sausage.”

I am in awe
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:31 PM on January 21


[Re: double, we were slow on the draw, so I'm going to let this sausage rant stay.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:39 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


Double and old.
posted by Big_B at 7:52 PM on January 21


I decided to really really try to lose weight right about the time of the economic collapse so all the surreptitious downsizing in the UK was pretty obvious to me. When you count calories you pay attention to this stuff. On the other hand it didn't bother me one bit because shrinking sizes helped me a lot.

Alas, I am now in the US and the shrunken sizes are still far larger than even the original sizes in the UK.
posted by srboisvert at 7:55 PM on January 21


> I found the yogurt sizes weird in the US. They all have lower fat and a larger size.

Don't get me started on trying to find yogurt with some goddamn fat in it. When I do, it's sold in an extra-large size which implies "cooking ingredient as substitute for even-higher-fat dairy product." It's also plain unsweetened (which is actually what I want but shhhh don't tell them lest they ruin it.) Because surely no-one in their right mind would just EAT this.
posted by desuetude at 8:41 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


it's sold in an extra-large size

We call them 'quarts'. Each 'quart' contains four 'cups' or two 'pints' of yogurt.

The plain is ok, but the Stonyfield Farms whole milk vanilla wins in our house.
posted by mikelieman at 9:20 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Ah, "down-sizing." Much like the continued existence of the one-dollar bill, it is a phenomenon related primarily to the United States' deep-seated need to pretend that inflation doesn't exist, and that the US Dollar is rock-solid, always has been, and always will be.

One particularly nasty bit of culture shock when I spent Christmas visiting my family in the US was being reminded of this, quite starkly, every time I looked at the toilet paper roll holder and noticed that the toilet paper roll was easily 15–20% shorter than the holder it was on.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:44 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


e: I was late.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:57 PM on January 21


Stonyfield Farms whole milk vanilla wins
Yes it does and I can't find it anymore. I thought they must have stopped making it. GRRRR.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:24 AM on January 22


"It's all about the girth, not the length"
posted by Renoroc at 4:39 AM on January 22


Yes it does and I can't find it anymore.

It's all in my fridge.
posted by mittens at 4:49 AM on January 22


it was fun watching this happen with oreos at safeway. the packages kept getting smaller over time, and then they introduced a new 'family size', which was the old size at a higher price.

it's happening a lot in frozen food as well. i used to pick up a few frozen pasta meals and then noticed that every few months they would shave off an ounce or two. one started advertising itself as 'cheesier', and of course it was because the ratio of cheese to the rest of the ingredients was higher. recently they started showing up in 'family size' as well.

4 lb. bags of sugar still make me want to throw them at store managers, though.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:01 AM on January 22


A man is just about as big as the things that make him angry.
... he posts, with the virtual certainty that the next comment will link to one of his own outpourings of frothing rage over something trivial.
posted by sourcequench at 11:17 AM on January 22


I'm imagining how this would sound if it were Richard Nixon making the call.
posted by Pudhoho at 3:24 PM on January 22


Nah they still make the 16 oz. tubes - I use 'em in my special spaghetti sauce.

Yeah, and you have THIS motherfucker to thank for it!
posted by dobbs at 4:32 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


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