One thing that really annoys me is the fact that manufacturers treat us like fools. They claim the prices of their products are not rising as much as inflation, but, on close inspection, it is obvious that the products they sell actually contain less than before.
Take cereal, for example. A report from the Today show in America this morning showed that a box of cereal used to contain 14 oz of cereal. Now it only contains 12.25 oz. In real terms, this means the old box used to give 14 serves of breakfast. Now, it only gives 12 serves. The cost per serve of cereal has risen more than what the manufacturer would have you believe.
The manufacturers claims this is either because of the rise in the cost of raw materials (yeah, the farmers believe that spin), or the reduction is to keep in line with competitors (I’m not sure what that is supposed to mean).
But the best one was toilet paper. Now when I was a kid, toilet paper rolls all had 500 sheets. Today, some have as few as 230 sheets, maybe even less (I won’t even try to guess at usage statistics). The manufacturer’s explanation? The new paper is softer and fluffier, therefore, they can fit fewer sheets on a roll. It is appropriate that they give that sort of spiel, considering the use of the product they are talking about.
Again, there needs to be accountability for this sort of deception. Or even a clearer exposure (perhaps a web site that shows reduction in size of individual products, compared to increase in prices). These practices seem to be very close to being breaches of the various fair trading legislations. Surely with advances in computer technology, greater awareness can be made of such deception.