An article on New York Times.com notes the trend toward playing up the value of packaged foods by big companies like Kraft and Nestle. Stuart Elliott's article cites the May 18 issue of People magazine where ads for Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh meats, Lean Cuisine frozen foods, Chips Ahoy cookies and Capri Sun juice drinks all stress the economy of their products.
For instance, an advertisement for Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh meats states that it tastes "deli fresh without the deli counter price." And Chips Ahoy cookies and Capri Sun juice drinks partner for an ad that declares you can serve two snacks "for about a dollar."
Kraft foods also has value ads for boxed dinners like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Velveeta Shells and Cheese that revolve around the theme "Save. Share. Smile"; Kool-aid ads touting "More smiles per gallon;" and Kraft Singles cheese slices, which describes how a Singles cheeseburger can be made for less than a dollar.
I've noticed this trend from advertisers on TV. Commercials featuring the cartoon Helping Hand working an adding machine at the kitchen table with a woman, want you to realize that you can feed a family of four for under $10 if you center your meal around Hamburger Helper.