Product Sizes are Changing – And It Might Affect Your Cooking!

Krusteaz Muffin Mix

Krusteaz Muffin Mix

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If you haven’t noticed, product sizes have been changing for the last several years.  On some products it doesn’t make much difference.  But on others, it can make a HUGE difference.

I was making a dessert the other day that used crushed Oreos as a base.  The recipe called for an 18 ounce package of Oreos (obviously an older recipe) but I could only find a 15 ounce package.  I didn’t want to buy two packages so I bought one and figured it wouldn’t matter.  But it did.  The crumb base was thin.

Another time I was making tuna patties and was surprised when my normal two cans of tuna weren’t enough.  I checked the can and noticed for the first time that the size had decreased from 6 ounces to 5 ounces.  Again, that one ounce made a big difference.  I ended up using three cans of tuna instead of two.

Of course, the product sizes are quietly going down while the prices are staying the same or going up – usually up.  And there’s nothing we can do about it.  All the companies are doing it so we can’t just stop buying the decreasing products.

So why am I telling you?  Because you need to be aware in case it does affect your recipe.  And if it hasn’t yet, it will.

But before I get off my soap box (can you tell this is a pet peeve?), here’s the worst case I’ve seen so far of product size decreases.  I occasionally buy Krusteaz muffin mixes to have on hand in case I need bread in a hurry.  The other day I was making a batch and noticed the muffin mix made 11 muffins.  Not 12 – but 11.  I couldn’t believe it.  It’s one thing to decrease the size of Oreos or tuna, but I’ve never seen a muffin tin that only holds 11 muffins.  What am I supposed to do with the empty tin? I will NOT be buying the Krusteaz muffin mix again.

So when you’re buying products for your recipes, keep your eyes open and be sure you’re getting enough for the recipe you’re making.

What products do you use that have decreased in size?  Have you had to buy more of anything to have enough?

Other cooking articles are available in the Cooking Index.

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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16 thoughts on “Product Sizes are Changing – And It Might Affect Your Cooking!

  1. Very interesting. Thank you for posting. I will be checking my purchases from now on….before I buy!

  2. This is one of the reasons why Europeans get frustrated at American recipes. A can of chicken broth means nothing to me. I can figure out it means chicken stock but how big is a can? Is it a litre, 400g? I was recently making a recipe that called for 4 eggs only to realise that eggs in the UK are much smaller than eggs in the US, thankfully before I baked it so I was able to add more eggs.

    1. Good point, Catherine. I’ll have to watch on the recipes I post. I’m not sure if I’ve done that or not – probably have.

      And I’ve actually experienced that same frustration when I’ve used OLD recipes. They’ll mention something like “a large can of . . .” and I won’t know what size they’re referring to.

  3. A carton that makes only eleven muffins? How preposterous! If we had Krusteaz here in New Zealand, I’d stop buying their products too.

  4. I noticed the decrease in tuna can sizes several years ago. That’s the one that bothers me the most. About the empty muffin slot in your tin — I read somewhere that you should fill the empty spaces half full of water. I do it, but I just “googled” it, and some websites claim this a kitchen myth and it makes not difference. I think I’ll still do it; psychologically it makes me feel that I’m doing something right.

    1. I’ve filled an empty space in my muffin tin with water before but I’ve also done it without water and I don’t think it makes a difference.

  5. Welcome to the new method to hold sales at current levels and increasing profits to the manufacturers. Seriously, the packaging did not change, but the contents of the package did. The measurements of the contents changed, but we didn’t notice that because the box, can, or other packaging pretty much stayed the same. It is somewhat deceptive, but consumers keep buying these things. I carry a calculator and divide the cost by the portions. After so many years of doing that, I know what the cost of a portion costs, so when I see a change, I make a note of it and check for alternative products. In the long run, I save more by simply not buying pre-mixed things and doing my cooking and baking from “scratch”. Fewer products containing things that are questionable to our health is the result. We eat well, but we avoid a host of problems that no one knows how to fix.

    1. That’s it, Dianne – the package size didn’t change, just the contents. And that’s how we know they’re trying to trick us. And that’s what irritates me the most.

      Do you have much success finding alternative products? I haven’t been able to since they’re all doing the same thing.

  6. I’ve noticed that baking mixes..the store brands seem to be the original size. Yeah, I rely on betty crocker brownie mix…love it! It just got smaller…even thinner 9×13 brownies.

      1. I’m afraid that’s the least of Ms Betty Crocker’s concerns. LOL!
        While I’m not into baking, I can imagine the inconvenience of dealing with different sizes other than in the recipe.
        In the case of the Oreos, a 15 oz package is a serious decrease in size from 18 oz, so one is not enough but two is too much.
        But if you look at it realistically, it’s 3 oz smaller, which would be equivalent to almost a 20% price increase!

  7. Great article, Patty. Thank you!
    I’m retired and have slowly become a sort of Mr. Smart Shopper. It’s interesting how these manufacturers try and try, isn’t it?
    I read about the “diminishing sizes” sometime ago, so along with the ingredients I have been checking them ever since. Sort of a newly developed hobby of mine, one might say.
    I have also noticed that a few prices have returned to previous levels without change in container size.

    e.g. After changing the format of the container, my favorite brand of SWEET’N SOUR BBQ SAUCE, boasts:
    * NEW LOOK, Same Great Taste – Still 455 ml * I got a chuckle out of that claim.
    It’s quite interesting how the ice cream containers have gotten smaller as well. Although some brands remain the same, the pricier one which initially were 1.89 liter, then shrunk to 1.62 liter, and now seem to have leveled off at 1.5 liter … hmmmm….
    Are they concerned about our health because we tend to indulge too much?

    As a consumer, I’m amazed that some people would buy a tin of 10 oz condensed and starchy Tomato Soup for 99 cents with who-knows-what-else-ingredients, instead of buying a 5.5 oz tin of Tomato Paste for much less than that, which yields at least the same amount and takes the same time and effort to prepare.

    1. Jeremiah – as far as the tomato paste, I’m not sure that a lot of people know that’s an option. People don’t cook as much as they used to.

      I hadn’t seen anything with “NEW LOOK, Same Great Taste – Still 455 ml” – that is funny! And a great marketing strategy.

      Since most of the time they’re not changing the size of the package, I know they’re trying to trick me and that’s irritating!

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