Despite the trend, Ben & Jerry's isn't slimming down

If you haven't noticed, packages of food are shrinking, along with the content inside them, but the prices are mysteriously remaining the same. But Ben & Jerry's is drawing a line in the proverbial sand and declaring that the buck stops there.

This week, The Consumerist has a letter from Ben & Jerry's to the public on their web site, a letter which in part reads:

"At Ben & Jerry's we think downsizing pints is downright wrong. We understand that in today's hard economic times businesses are feeling the pinch. We also understand that many of you are also feeling the same, & thinking now more than ever you deserve your full pint of ice cream."
That's their comment after pointing out that, "one of our competitors (think funny sounding European name) recently announced that they will be downsizing their pints from 16 to 14 ounces to cover increased ingredient & manufacturing costs and help improvement their bottom line."

As The Consumerist helpfully adds, that competitor would be Haggen-Dazs.

This trend, unfortunately, as noted, isn't new. WalletPop contributor Zac Bissonnette was all over this last summer with a post, for instance, and several week ago, I had a story in the AARP Bulletin about paying the same amount but getting less in your grocery cart. What I found eye-opening in researching that story was how toilet paper manufacturers have been shrinking down the sizes of their products. Apparently nothing is sacred.

Take something like Scott's toilet tissue and its 1,000 sheets. You'd think that they couldn't shrink down their product without it being noticable, like having to put 843 sheets on the packaging. But in 2006, they shrank their product by reducing the length of the sheets from 4 to 3.7 inches, making the roll 300 inches shorter.

But, hey, it's still 1,000 sheets.

So while some critics might rightfully say that our waist lines would be better off if Ben & Jerry's did shrink their product, certainly our wallets wouldn't.

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