The Shrink Rap

In an era of Super Sizes and SUVs, some goods are actually getting smaller

If you think your grocery bags have gotten a little lighter lately, you might be right. Manufacturers are quietly trimming the content of their packaged products--from yogurt and ice cream to laundry detergent and diapers--and often they aren't dropping prices to match. Called a "weight out" in industry parlance, product downsizing lets companies maintain profit margins without raising prices. Faced with a flagging economy and increasingly finicky, cost-conscious consumers, manufacturers have been using this decades-old tactic more aggressively in the past year.

Dannon, for one, recently reduced its 8-oz. yogurt container 25%, to 6 oz., saying "most people prefer a 6-oz....

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