Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shrinking Value...

To my relief and delight I’ve finally read an account in the msm about the ever-shrinking packaging of food.   Staff writers for the NYTimes, Stephanie Clifford and Catherine Rampell, finally reported something that everyone who does household marketing on a regular basis knows, viz. food packages might look the same but what’s inside is shrinking, shrinking, shrinking.  The title for the article, “Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags,” explains it all.  One pays the same but one gets less.  [Here]  
I first noticed this trend in the shrinking size of toilet paper.  Ugh.  Next paper towels began to shrink.  Then I noticed the ever-shrinking size of my favorite foods.  Ms. Clifford and Rampell highlight Nabisco’s shrinking the packaging of saltines, which hasn’t hit my supermarket--yet.  Of course, this boils down to food price inflation.  The reporters predict that this trend will be reflected in higher prices for non-food items, such as clothing, that by definition cannot be shrunk.  
The article quotes John T Gourville, a marketing professor at the Harvard Business School, who said, “Consumers are generally more sensitive to changes in prices than changes in quantity.”  Thus we have the ever-shrinking packaging.  I wonder how many shoppers are aware that they are getting less for the old familiar packaged food?
And speaking of shrinking value...While we are applauding Ms. Clifford and Rampell for their acumen and the NYTimes for printing the story, we also must take note of Junior Sulzberger, talking (out loud) about the Times’s new paywall system that went into effect on Monday.  [Here]  [The emphasis is mine.]  
“Can people go around the [paywall] system? The answer is yes. There are gonna be ways, just as you run down Sixth Avenue and you pass a newsstand and you grab the paper and you keep running. You can actually get the Times for free.... So, yes, there are ways. We have to accept that.... Is it going to be done by the kind of people who value the quality news & opinion of the New York Times and analysis? No, we don't think so. It'll be mostly high schools kids & people out of work. -- A. O. Sulzberger
Some times in these old families the blood runs very thin....

Wherever did folks get the idea that the NYTimes was still a liberal paper?...

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