What is going on with product downsizing these days?  I mean, have you noticed that you are paying more for less product on most of the items you buy at your local grocery store?

Product shrinkage is nothing new.  Product downsizing has been happening for some time and the companies practicing this crime, are hoping you don't notice.  Too late.  I noticed.

"Consumer Reports" has an example of some of these company crimes and they include some of your favorite brand name products.  The 20% reduction in Ivory dish washing soap was blamed on "increase in raw materials."  My favorite was Kraft American cheese singles taking away 2 slices of cheese.  Kraft reps claim the old size "wasn't selling as well."  Do they really think consumers are that naive?

Other products that have been reduced include, a 9% reduction in Scott toilet tissue, 12.5% in Haagen-Daz ice cream and Hebrew National hot dogs, who blames it on their marketing department "changing the packaging and with that came a change in size."

So what can you do as a consumer?  First,  read labels carefully for the amount in the can or bottle and compare brands.  Watch out for red flags with words such as "new look" or "new size."  Then, take a few minutes to contact the company directly and let them know that you are not happy.  Many times, a quick web search for the consumer relations department with a e-mail or a call on their 800 number will do a lot of good.  Next, stick with store brands.  The more people that do this, the more they will get the message.

And finally, don't rule out store brands.  Often times, store brands from Wegman's, Price Chopper and Weis brands are every bit as good as the national brand and almost always at a better price with more product for your money.