Honey, they shrank the consumer! Smaller packages make you feel small.

Gary E. SattlerA subtle yet slightly disturbing trend is overtaking the American consumer: We are being downsized without our consent.

Manufacturers of consumer staples, in efforts to prop up their sagging profit margins, are selling us smaller portions of puffed up or watered down formulas under cover of the same old same old. It's not particularly surprising, and not especially detestable, but when it's done in a manner which indicates that the offending companies are hoping that their loyal patrons are just plain stupid, that's what really ticks me off.

For instance, one of the few luxuries which I still allow myself, is a good hot shower a couple times a week. In ages past, I'd shower daily, but that was in a simpler time before liberal globalism labeled me as a guilt worthy, American consumerist pig. In any case, recently I allowed myself a special holiday scrub-down, and I encountered a rude surprise when getting myself a fresh bar of soap.

I grabbed the package of Dial Gold Soap bars, which my wife had recently purchased. The odd thing that I noticed was that the soap bars were each nicely nestled in their own individual boxes.This is definitely something new for my favorite soap. I quickly realized the significance of the new packaging. I ripped open one of the little boxes, and out slid my favorite soap - in a size which must be about 20% smaller than any Dial Gold soap bar which I have ever had the pleasure to have known.What The Dial Corporation has apparently done, is to reduce the size of the soap bar I enjoy. Then, the company put the downsized product into a box which approximates the size of the old item. I'm sure that some highly compensated, marketing genius thinks that this idea is absolutely brilliant. However, what it tells me is that Dial Corporation thinks that we consumers are only worthy of blindly picking up their product off a shelf. Worse yet, it tells me that the company shall resort to subterfuge in an effort to keep us doing just that. I have news for Dial Corporation; I would have gladly paid 25% more for my old standard bar soap, with the understanding that the company's production costs have gone up. Conversely, by indicating it's belief that I am nothing but an unthinking, cash tossing automaton, The Dial Corporation has probably just lost one loyal, life time customer.

I didn't say anything when air was pumped into our favorite sandwich spreads. I kept my mouth shut when we were sold new foam under the old label of dessert topping. I turned a blind eye to the reformulation of chip dip which now turns to liquid when we let it reach room temperature. I even implied my consent by silently accepting chocolate candies which now taste more like corn syrup than cocoa.

However, I cannot, and I will not remain silent in the face of the degrading of my favorite bar of soap. I am not 20% less of a person than I was before we purchased this last package. When our current batch of bar soap is gone, I shall seriously consider which bath soap product shall be approached with the blessing of my hard earned, blue collar, American working class dollars. Until that time, The Dial Corporation might wish to reconsider this change, and simply ask an adjusted fair price for the familiar form of it's product which many of us have become so accustomed to.

Or perhaps, we should all just wash ourselves less. That would show 'em.
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