Americans Have Less in Their Shopping Carts

Downsizing on the rise, whether consumers notice it or not
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2008 1:04 PM CDT
Donna McMorrow of Abingdon, Mass., shops at a Shaw's supermarket in Braintree, Mass., May 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Food prices are rising, but thanks to some chicanery on product labels, many Americans may not realize it. Instead of raising prices, manufacturers are slimming cereal boxes, juice cartons, and bars of soap, and they’re doing it very quietly. If asked, they’ll say it offsets rising fuel and commodity costs, but most keep quiet and hope consumers don’t notice. Time goes shopping.

“People are just more sensitive to changes in price than changes in quantity,” says one business professor. “Most people can tell you how much a box of cereal costs, but they have no clue how much is actually in it.” (Read more food prices stories.)