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Will Fake Chocolate Flood Store Shelves?

September 19th, 2008 at 12:10 pm


You may have caught on this morning's news how Hershey, trying to control costs and retain profits, has replaced the cocoa butter in many of its chocolate candy products with vegetable oil. The FDA says it's not real milk chocolate without the cocoa butter, which gives it its rich, creamy taste. So Hershey's has changed its labeling and wrappers. Will most consumers take the time to read the new labels that say "chocolately taste"?

Yesterday, I saw another interesting way that retailers are trying to save costs, and this idea, at least, wouldn't seem to hurt consumers or give them less product for their money.

I had a free-after-rebate offer (courtesy of this website) to try Arm & Hammer's Essentials Multi-Surface Cleaner. When I found it on the shelf, I was surprised because the plastic spray bottle was completely empty. Attached to it was a much smaller vial which contained a powder that is designed to be mixed with water in the container. You can then buy the small vial refills as needed, and continue to reuse that same plastic spray bottle.

Now this was a good idea. Just think how much Arm & Hammer is saving on shipping costs if their bottles are, well, filled with air rather than liquid. And consumers are actually helping the environment by avoiding the need to buy additional full-sized, plastic spray bottles. (Of course, one could help the environment even more by using a home-made vinegar mixture in your own reusable spray bottle.)

Have you come across other ways you've seen retailers trying to save some money?

9 Responses to “Will Fake Chocolate Flood Store Shelves?”

  1. MICLASON Says:

    Here in ES they are reducing the size/increasing prices at the same time! EEk!...
    oh, and you CAN tell, if you REALLY are a chocolate lover...just like you CAN tell a cake that was made using "ready mix" from a "real" cake baked from scratch...If you grew up eating "the real thing", you can tell...believe me!...I got that distinct "boxed cake" taste at a local bakery...needless to say, that was the first and last time I ate there!

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    Interesting. I'll be sure to keep that in mind.

  3. ktmarvels Says:

    Wow, I had no idea about the chocolate. I'm not a big chocolate eater, but I'll have to check it out the next time I'm at the store.

    I have heard about the Arm and Hammer product though. They are marketing as a way to be more eco-friendly (less packaging) and their marketing ploy is "why spend more for water"

  4. Analise Says:

    Yes, I have noticed that many foods are now the same price (or higher) but the quantity is less. Our favorite cereal is an example.

    I am dating myself but I actually remember when a 1# can was actually 16 oz. instead of the 14.5 ounces it is now.

  5. princessperky Says:

    I can TOTALLY taste the difference in my chocolate! I cannot eat 'cheap chocolate' which is terrible as I love it so much! course I also do not eat milk chocolate much, rich dark chocolate is my thing....

    I think the powder cleaner is a great idea btw.

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    That's terrible! This may help me get away from my chocolate addiction. . . . Um maybe not. Just no more Hershey's for me. Frown

  7. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    One brand that is very prevalent around both Easter and Christmas is Palmer's. They are made in all kinds of novelty shapes, themed to the holiday. They are the worst supposed chocolate I have ever tasted. Tastes like barely softened paraffin wax with artificial vanilla flavoring and no chocolate taste, just enough brown color to make you think they might have put some low grade cocoa into it. It has been horrible for years, already cutting the quality to the max. Blechk, blechk, blechk!

  8. baselle Says:

    Yep. One of the other side benefits of the price book. Unit price, unit price, unit price. Coffee, peanut butter, yogurt ... anything packaged. And it usually comes with a "freshening" of the packaging - subtle changes in font, color, etc.

  9. greengirl Says:

    i work at a bakery and our supplies prices increased just after we had risen prices to cater for a previous suppliers price increase, so my boss had to make the difficult decision to make slices smaller instead of raising the prices again. none of the customer said anything about it, which was nice - sometimes it IS hard for the owner of a business to increase prices too!

    i had another thought about the decreasing of sizes though - of course it's bad that it still costs more, but it might be good in terms of the world combating the obesity epidemic!

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