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USAToday reports this morning that major consumer packaged goods products are adjusting package sizes so that lesser amounts cost the same or more than they used to, a tactic known as a “weight out.”

“The game is not without risk for marketers,” USAToday reports. “Consumers can feel duped if they figure out the price cut doesn't match the smaller portions. And shoppers might quickly reach for a rival brand if the rival sticks with the old standard package — and unit price.”

This conclusion was confirmed by a survey for USA TODAY of 2,000 consumers by Supermarket Guru, revealing that shoppers don't like being toyed with. Given a choice, 69 percent of respondents would prefer a price increase vs. 31 percent who'd prefer a reduction in package quantity.

“From all the consumer surveys we do, people say, 'Raise the price and be honest with us,’” said Phil Lempert of
KC's View:
There are two reasons why this practice by marketers doesn’t make sense. One is that consumers don’t like it. The other is that it opens the door to newspaper and magazine articles like this one, which help to undermine consumer confidence in the system.