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So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    Freedom, you know. Freedom to innovate (new ways to cheat the s*ck*R's). Freedom to conduct one's business as (shabbily as) one wishes. In the marketplace of Smith's magical hand all would self-correct, but the market for these commodities are not really open to competition, it seems.
     
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  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I suppose I could buy a cow, but I've only got one bed.
     
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  3. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    If that had been our Nanny State, we would have been told that we are all obese and that if we can't reduce our fat intake voluntarily, then the state would have to do it for us. They would have probably increased the price too, because all that packaging needs resizing and relabelling.
     
  4. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    I do not want to cross a line here re FL's policy on politics, but if this ⇧ post is acceptable then a few points around it seem appropriate. I am stating upfront that my views lean very libertarian, but I still believe there is a role for the gov't and preventing force and/or fraud is one clear one that, IMHO, the gov't does a terrible job of doing around fraud in advertising. Let the libertarians scream, write laws that require clear labeling of relevant product features (obviously, including the amount of contents) AND any changes, as, IMHO, all this labeling nonsense is borderline fraud*. Also, real companies compete on their products' quality and pricing, not by misleading packaging.

    Also, at least in NYC, as I understand it, the market for milk is far from Adam Smith's free hand as there are many rules, regs and limitations set by gov't policy. Okay, that's what our society wants, but it is not fair to then fault capitalism when something in "the market" doesn't work when "the market" is really just a regulated mishmash of gov't and private companies (usually, with both in cahoots to screw the consumer).

    If the bartenders want to delete this post - please do so, but I'd say then that my friend (and I mean that) Vitanola's should also be deleted.

    * And if you want to see how deceitful advertising can be in screwing the consumer, check out the government run lotteries where the payoffs are exaggerated and risks ignored in ways that the private sector would never be allowed to get away with if it ran the lottery, especially when you note that the population of lottery ticket buyers skews heavily toward lower income people - many of whom are already on gov't support.
     
  5. Artifex

    Artifex New in Town

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    At least in the UK, supermarkets have the decency to put price-per-weight on shelf labels. They (and their suppliers) still employ the full range of sneaky tricks, but there are some metrics they can't lie about!
     
  6. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    An even casually observant person can’t help but notice that those who habitually write “IMHO” are generally anything but humble.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 2:28 PM
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  7. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    That’s done here as well, although it’s in the small print.

    There’s a move toward doing away with checkers (or cashiers, or whatever they’re called these days) altogether. At one supermarket I occasionally shop there are these scanner gizmos which the shopper can use to “ring up” her purchases as she places them in her basket. And then it’s a bing-bang-boom at the kiosk thingies where payment is made.

    Me, I’m holding out for produce grown with “natural” barcodes on its surface. I’m sure they’re working on it.
     
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  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Just took a cookie break (one of the perks of working from home) and noted the sizes of the packages of three cookie that I grew up with (which just, um, happened to be in our cupboard):

    Oreos: 13.2 OZ
    Vienna Finges 14.2 OZ
    Nutter Butter 11.8 OZ

    I have no memory of their package sizes from when I was a kid, but would be willing to bet they were larger in weight and, probably, they were a round number.
     
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Nutter Butter packaging c. 1973 is hard to find, but here's a clipping from a grocery trade magazine where you can just make out 13 1/2 ounces.

    [​IMG]

    Note that THE PEANUT SHAPE WAS BELIEVED TO BE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR. Suck it, whoever owns Nabisco now.
     
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  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The oldest Vienna Fingers packaging I can find with a weight marking legible is from 1997.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    ⇧ Lizzie's post inspired me so I Googled the below cookies and 1970s (when I was a kid) and got this:

    vienna.jpg

    This appears to be from the '90s owing to the "Got Milk" campaign (couldn't find a '70s package):
    nutterbutter.jpg

    Hence all three cookies - Oreos, Nutter Butter and Vienna Fingers - appear to have been 1 LB packages prior to the '00s (which, IMHO, is about when all this package downsizing nonsense started).

    The one attempt I read awhile back by a cookie company (forget which one) trying to defend the "downsizing" was that its raw ingredients, fuel and labor costs were going up and that its surveys showed that its customers wanted to be able to buy a package of cookies for the same price even if it meant less cookies versus the company charging more for the regular-sized bags.

    My guess is the company asked the question (if there really was a survey) in a way that produced the answer it wanted.

    Edit add: I did this after Lizzie's Oreo post and before her next two ones on Vienna Fingers and Nutter Butters - just an FYI.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 4:11 PM
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  13. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Based on all the above and the little I read in-between, it really does seem that the '00s was when the downsizing started. Had I not found the 1990s 1 LB bags of Nutter Butter, I might have been more sympathetic to NB, but even so, based on Lizzies 13 1/2 OZ bag, today's 11.8 OZ one is still a cheat.
     
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  14. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
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    As you note, away from the bag-size shenanigans, the current round version of the Nutter Butter is an abomination. What's funny though is that I can still find the peanut-shaped one in the smaller packages at convenience stores (an FL member pointed this out to me the last time this topic came up) and, once in awhile, a drug store with a small food section will get an old-style, peanut-shaped-cookie full sized bag of them in (and, yes, they are fresh), so they still seem to be making the peanut shaped ones. The above bag in Lizzie's post feels very 1970s.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 4:19 PM
  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I think a lot of this has to do with corporate consolidation. Nabisco and Sunshine went thru a lot of corporate mergers, downsizings, and manipulations starting in the '80s, and it really hit a peak when Nabsico was taken over by Kraft -- which absolutely gutted the company and then sold the tattered remains to Mondelez; and Sunshine was bought out by Keebler which was bought out by Kellogg's. With each merger came a new layer of dour black-suited bean counters out to maximize the ROA. Such ones don't understand that a cookie is more than just a baked disc of sugar and flour, it's a way of life to the people who buy it, and it must not be trifled with.

    I still haven't forgiven the swine at Kraft for discontinuing the Uneeda Biscuit, greatest soda cracker that has ever existed or will ever exist. How could they???
     
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  16. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Yep, that's around the time the brand was introduced in 1972-73. No doubt you remember those bizarre animated commercials with the weird Gene Wilder-type character with the peanut shaped torso, pestering kids with "Wanna 'nother Nutter Butter Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie?"
     
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  17. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    Location:
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    Any idea why the Gaucho cookie was discontinued? It seemed to be very popular in the '70s (I guess it wasn't) and, then, it was just gone. You would think the cookie market would be big enough for two peanut-butter sandwich cookies especially with, as you note, a few big companies competing.

    iJAkq-1460562594-3282-list_items-cookies_gauchos-2.jpg

    To another of your points and having worked for very large companies, albeit in finance, they really do lose touch with the product and the customer in a personal way and the product becomes a "widget -" tested, surveyed, measured, spread-sheeted-to death, etc., but only occasionally passionately understood.
     
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  18. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Germany
    Damn, I want that living-room!!


    :D
     
  19. Haversack

    Haversack Practically Family

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    Location:
    Clipperton Island
    tony wrote: "Me, I’m holding out for produce grown with “natural” barcodes on its surface. I’m sure they’re working on it."

    Well, some of the peach growers that used to exist in the Paris suburb of Montreuil used to put paper cut-outs on their ripening peaches so that when they were ready for market and the paper removed, the peach would a sun-shadow symbol indicating who the grower was. (Montreuil used to have acres of thick plastered wall garden to grow specialty crops for the Paris market.)
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,711
    Location:
    Cloud-cuckoo-land
    The walled peach orchards at Montreuil still exist though nowadays they are part of a museum attached to a horticulural school. Apparently this method of growing fruit trees 'en palissade' against plastered walls was introduced in the 16th century at Montreuil & the peaches grown there were so renowned that they found themselves on the tables of European royalty & notable bigwigs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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