Still Sixteen Ounces

I'd like to share something that strikes me as hilarious. Look at the following photo: Anything seem unusual?

This otherwise normal container of delicious Ben & Jerry's ice cream says "Still 16oz" on the label. Repeatedly.

Now, why would Ben & Jerry's do that?

Well, because a key competitor in the so-called high end ice cream category, Häagen-Dazs, has recently employed stealth price hike tactics, cutting their container size from 16 ounces to 14 ounces. This effectively works out to a per-unit price increase of 14.3%.

It's also worth noting that these "pint" containers of Häagen-Dazs appear noticeably smaller on store shelves now, which kind of takes the "stealth" out of this stealth price hike.

In response, Ben & Jerry's is doing just what any self-respecting, honest company should do: competing for your consumer dollars. They didn't put a stealth price hike over on us, and they have every right to tell us about it. Hey, these guys rule.

Of course, as a consumer, you have your own options and alternatives. And if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know exactly what you can do: practice brand disloyalty--and drop Häagen-Dazs like a bad habit.

Readers, what are your thoughts?

Related Posts:
Why Davis Baking Powder Put in a 23% Stealth Price Hike
Companies vs. Consumers: A Manifesto
Understanding the Consumer Products Industry
What's Your Favorite Consumer Empowerment Tip?
The Mysteriously Shrinking Hershey's Bar
Ask CK: How Do You Like Your Prices Raised?
Can You Resist $107 Worth of Advertising?

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The Calico Cat said...

I'll take my ice cream fresh & local thanks all the same. After that indulgence, I'd have to think twice about taking a mass market brand ice cream home at any price/package size.

Eleni said...

Ha ha! I was a Ben & Jerry's girl before anyway, but this seals the deal :)

The DutchMac Tribe said...

I wish US grocery stores would label products on their shelves the way they do in the UK and Holland...showing the price per unit for every item (usually as the price per kg). It makes it so much easier to compare REAL prices between packages of similar items that may be of slightly varying sizes.

Then again, I suppose there are some less-than-honest food manufacturers that may grumble about that (ahem, Haagen-Dazs).

Daniel said...

Hi DutchMac:

They actually do list prices on a per-unit basis here too. And agreed, otherwise, you'd need a calculator (or you'd need to be a savant at math) to compare prices of different unit sizes. :)

One final thought: I don't consider Haagen-Dazs to be less than honest. They have a right to sell whatever unit size they want to at whatever price they want to.

However, we as consumers also have to exercise our right to either buy or not buy.


chacha1 said...

I wish Ben & Jerry's made plain flavors. I never see any that aren't chock full of some kind of candy.

Am doing my best to not keep ice cream in the house. There is an excellent gelato shop less than a mile from home and that is EXACTLY the kind of thing we ought to be walking to get!

Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

If that is stealth practice than it's everywhere. I don't know if I feel it's so stealth anyhow. I know what they are doing; I do check the price per unit and most often those little containers are too pricey no matter what.

I will say...I am not impressed with their new product named after a skit on Saturday Night Live; Schweddy Balls. OK, they're cool and irreverent and I'm not a prude but it's just such a gross name that I would prefer they swing a little price increase by me and not make me think of balls when I just want a scoop of frozen milk product. :)

Daniel said...

Chacha, B&J used to have a straight vanilla and a favorite flavor of mine called "Deep Dark Chocolate"--I haven't seen either in years, sadly. I like how you are literally voting with your feet in your response. :)

Barbara: it's funny but I had a random conversation with a stranger in the grocery store the other day on Schweddy Balls. One side of me finds that name hilarious... but yeah, by the same token, I'm not exactly tempted by that "flavor" myself and I don't see myself ever buying it or trying it.


Sally said...

Daniel, according to B&J's web site, they still have vanilla and chocolate (though it doesn't say "Deep Dark Chocolate"). My guess is that retailers are choosing not to stock it in favor of the other flavors.