Deceptive packaging has always been something that has made me crazy. There are so many examples that make me want to shake my head, I don’t know that I can even recall them all.
Today’s winner, and who knows if it was done on purpose, but it really ticked me off. I was making some wraps for dinner, using some burrito sized flour tortillas. I buy the bigger size specifically because it makes them easier to fold into a package that I can pop onto my Foreman Grill. Put some meat, some cheese, BBQ or tomato sauce, some thinly sliced onions and peppers, fold them up, pop them onto the grill and — Voila! You’ve got a hot, quick, easy dinner that the kids enjoy. They especially love choosing their own fixin’s, which makes them less likely to complain about what they are eating. As I was putting them together, I’m noticing that there are smaller tortillas within the larger sized ones. There were some that were more than an inch in difference. You can’t tell me in this day and age of machination that they can portion control pretty precisely so that all of them are the same size and you know what you are getting. Certainly a brand like Chi-Chi’s is mass produced, and they can’t chalk the excuse up to: each one is uniquely made by hand. Come on people, get your act together. I paid for the whole package to be burrito sized!
Another one of those things that makes me bonkers is when they reduce the size of packaging so that they don’t have to raise the price. Don’t you remember the good old days when a half gallon of ice cream used to actually have a real half gallon in it? Or one of my old favorites, the 8 ounce container of yogurt that can no longer be found. Most brands these days contain only six, but more and more brands hype up their product to justify putting them in ~4 ounce containers–La Creme, Chobani, Oikos, etc. At what point will there be any left in the cup at all?
I also find packaging in the health and beauty aisle ridiculous too. I think it’s funny when you buy some type of over the counter medication only to find that the container inside is dwarfed by the box it is enclosed in. Even more outlandish is how much space is actually left over in the container. Some of the bottles can’t have much more than half of it filled with whatever you have bought. They tend to be stuffed with some of the requisite cotton so it seems full until you pull out all of the cotton, and finally get a glimpse of what you were actually buying the container for.
I suppose it happens everywhere. Even my first trip to our local custard stand revealed that this season looked as though the cups were smaller sized than I recall them being last year. I love the stuff, and will still continue to buy it, but it didn’t make me any less unhappy when I forked over 11+ bucks for three smaller than usual custards.
Another thing that I notice every now and then in the store is that they offer family sized versions of whatever you may be buying, but when you look at the UPC labels and compare the regular size versus the family sized, you are not always saving money. Which is really odd, as you would think that they would give you a break for buying more. Nope not always. I’m certain that the manufacturers assume correctly that most people won’t take the time to do the math. That’s one of those reasons that it pays to actually read the labeling when you are going shopping.
So will I still buy the same brand of tortillas? Who knows, but I’ll probably take a closer look at the packaging to make sure I’m really getting what I want. Will I go on a custard strike, good god, no. But I do wish that companies will give us all a little more credit, and realize that we don’t always like what they are doing underneath our noses…do you have any packaging pet peeves that drive you nuts?