Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Charmin Shrinks With Exposure to Air, Bush Economy

One of the cool things about buying your household consumables in bulk (think Sam's Club, Costco, etc.) is that you get to see quite clearly how products and prices change with the passage of time. Also, you get to see what your high-school economics teacher meant when she said "Inflation can happen without sticker-prices rising, and don't you forget it, you numbskulls."

Case in point: Charmin toilet paper. Charmin Ultra Big Rolls, to be specific. I don't know how many rolls of Charmin Ultra come in the blue bales we typically purchase at Sam's, but it's enough to take up approximately half of our Honda's trunk, and also enough to last us for a couple of months.

On our last restocking of Charmin, my wife noticed a subtle difference between the last few rolls of our old stash, and the first roll of our new one:

The old rolls, in case you're wondering, are bigger.

The fabulous news here, obviously, is that America's collective butt is getting smaller, and the folks at Proctor & Gamble are merely keeping pace. They've narrowed the width of Charmin, the veritable Rolls Royce of Toilet Paper, purely in response to our nation's decreasing posteriors.

The previous paragraph, of course, is an outright lie. Well, except for the part about Charmin being the Rolls Royce (pun intended) of TP; I think that's really the case. What's really happening here is the more cunning sort of inflation: I can't say for sure, but I bet the price of Charmin hasn't dropped in accordance with the size of the rolls. (See, if I'd been keeping those price books, I could prove all this ...)

Anyhow, I'd like to thank my beautiful wife for noticing this most-nefarious transgression on the part of the producers of Charmin. The simple fact is that I don't spend much time looking at rolls of toilet paper, nor wondering why they suddenly fit better into our cabinets than they did before. Glad you were there for me, honey.

Worth a glance: Charmin FAQs (Notice the 12th question. I'm tempted to call the number.)


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— Posted by Michael @ 9:47 AM


sneaky, sneaky, companies. How come they don't highlight that on the wrapper like they do when you get "20% more free?"

I call this hidden inflation. It is very sneaky, and very misleading. My biggest complaint has been with the ice cream companies reducing the size of a 1/2 gallon of ice cream to 1.75 quarts. Bastards!



I'm with you, JLP.

I hadn't realized the ice-cream thing. That explains why the Blue Bell containers say "Still a Quart!" or something like that.


Hey -- this is Michael's "beautiful wife." :-) Now that you've published this, I'm waiting to hear back from Their People, telling you to "Stop talking about our smaller Big Rolls."

I didn't realize about the ice cream, either. Have you noticed that not-new recipes (maybe 15 years old) call for 16 oz. cans, but these days you can only find 14.5? I discovered this after Michael and I first started living together. I was a new cook, and wasn't confident enough to modify recipies for that missing 1.5 oz of tomatoes.



Anonymous The Battleaxe
, at 2:42 PM, March 27, 2007  

Yeah, well, Jiffy has shrunk the size of the peanut butter jars that they sell bundled 2 to a pack at Sam's as well - and I DID notice when it happened. At least they didn't add salmonella to the new improved smaller jars, eh?


Anonymous Anonymous
, at 11:20 PM, April 01, 2007  

It's basically every product out there, but the food industry is especially egregious. Putting in a couple less chips in the bag and what not (although I guess it's ultimately better for my waistline).

But it's true. They charge the same for less and the 20% more free is probably close to the original size from 20 years ago. You're just used to the gradually shrunken size, so it seems bigger.


Well guys if you observe any tooth paste or cream tube...there will be an air gap when you finish using it half or more than half of the tube...

Finance Guide 101


Why is "Bush Economy" part of the title of this post? Is George W. to blame for shrinking butt wipes too? Amazing, that man has more power than I ever imagined. Gotta admire a guy who can do that. :-P



Just my way of getting in a little Dubya jab where I can.

He's as good a blame magnet as anyone in the last 20 years, I'd say.


bush is a clown, and his dad got him all that power

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 10:02 PM, April 15, 2007  

Jennifer, you took the words out of my mouth.


This is actually old news. I first noticed it in September.

Jim C.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 3:58 PM, April 26, 2007  

Well here they go again, Charmin 24 Big Rolls = 48 Regular rolls. 24 Big rolls 501 sq ft, 48 Regular rolls 569.2 sq ft. Something doesn't add up. Extra profit for Walmart & P&G

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 3:31 PM, July 02, 2009  
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