Sunday, April 12, 2009

Economic Strategies: Cheapskates.

I should have recognized the downward economic trend years ago. Quite some time ago my mom pointed out to me the deceptive change in product offerings. Dryers, a favorite ice cream in my family, reduced their carton size from a half gallon to 1.75 quarts...without reducing the price. To an unsuspecting customer, the change would not have been noticed. The cartons look nearly the same, just slightly smaller. That's how they increase their profits without alarming their customers of the real but clandestine increase in price. We've boycotted Dryers ice cream ever since. I have eaten it, but I haven't purchased it since I discovered their seedy scheme.

I found a new favorite brand of ice cream. I don't need the well-known brands of ice cream; there are plenty of good ones out there. Instead I turned to Kroger, found at Smith's grocery stores. It's good ice cream and there are lots of varieties and reduced fat and lower sugar options. I was really excited about a month ago when they advertised a good sale on the ice cream. I though I had better stock up. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there was very limited space available in my freezer. When I got to the store, I realized that Kroger, too, has jumped on the band wagon of price veiling. They were in the process of replacing their older packing with newer SMALLER packaging. Following the lead of other brands, they have gone from a half gallon, to 1.75 quarts, and now to 1.5 quarts! What asininity!

Now, if that weren't enough, the cost cutting trend has penetrated other markets as well. It's not just food anymore. Tampons, too! Tampons are now smaller than the previous version. Don't think that I've gone out and brought the wrong size or something. It's the same brand, same packaging, supposedly the same product, now just smaller. If I am going to purchase something that I have tried and liked and become accustomed to, I better be told that the product I depend on is no longer the same. They shouldn't just change the product to avoid having to raise the price. That's misleading. At least with the ice cream containers the size is marked on the container. Tampons are sold by count, not by weight or size. How am I supposed to have known?

When I was in college I thought I would venture on to the MBA program. Fortunately, it is recommend that you work for a couple of years between your undergrad and the master's program. Good thing for that recommendation. I've realized over the years that I want nothing to do with business. I have found that it is a numbers game. How can we make the most profit? Companies don't care about other people as long as they're making the money, and not just some money, the most money they can. With the economy the way it's going, I can't imagine what they will come up with next.

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