Thursday, March 31, 2011
Food Inflation Hidden in Smaller Packaging
I noticed when I went to Walmart a couple of months ago that Helman's mayonnaise was now being offered in a jar that was 20% larger. The price of the old jar was $3.00 and the new jar was offered at $3.88, a 29.3% increase in price. A clever way to hid a 9% increase in price.
John Maynard Keynes once said of inflation: "There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is a kook for pointing this out months ago.
Chips are disappearing from bags, candy from boxes and vegetables from cans.
As an expected increase in the cost of raw materials looms for late summer, consumers are beginning to encounter shrinking food packages.
With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages. So far, the changes are most visible at the grocery store, where shoppers are paying the same amount, but getting less.