The cheeky con that’s fooling every one of us 22



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Are you finding yourself going through the rolls of toilet paper at an alarming rate? Don’t panic… It’s not you. As it happens, toilet paper producers have not only reduced the number of sheets in a role they have also shrunk the size of each square.

It’s a cheeky con, and you probably wouldn’t feel too bad about it if the cost of buying the loo paper had also had a bit of a cut, but it hasn’t.

Consumers are understandably annoyed, but could this bum wrap make its way to the courts too? You’ve all heard about the historic case involving laundry powder makers that halved the size of their products while keeping prices unchanged, which saw them rake in an extra $150 million along the way. It’s a conspiracy!

But while there’s been no suggestion of collusion occurring in the toilet department, one multinational toilet roll maker has not denied things are getting shorter. Kimberly-Clark admitted the length of your Cottonelle toilet paper has been reduced by 1cm, but the price remained the same.

The reason, apparently, is because you are getting a 10 per cent improvement in thickness and an increase in softness too.

If you use Sorbent, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s reduced the length of its roll. It was only by 0.5cm, but even so why not reduce the price at the checkout? A spokesperson for the Melbourne-based maker Asaleo Care didn’t want to say.

You might also have noticed your Quilton loo rolls being used at a rapid race, and it’s unlikely that has anything to do with last night’s curry.

“Faced with a tough decision: increase our prices or reduce the sheet count, we chose the latter in order to ensure Quilton’s premium quality remains affordable for all Australians,” Edmond Chan, national sales manager says.

Hmm, it’s a tough decision indeed.

Have you noticed any shrinking products in your shopping?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Personally, I gave up using commercial brands a few years ago and started buying from a small Australian company called (yes, this is actually the company name), Who Gives a Crap.

    1 REPLY
    • I buy from Who Gives a Crap too. Lasts longer, is softer, individually wrapped, Eco-friendly, a company with a social conscience. Why wouldn’t I?

  2. Having always been the person helping in the canteen at sporting events etc..l first noticed this issue with bread…
    We used the TIPTOP brand….
    The standard loaf of sliced bread used to be 24 pieces..12 sandwiches…
    Progressively, this is now down to 18….9 sandwiches..
    So more bread needed to be purchased, to create the same quantity of sandwiches..
    But the price of bread has continued to rise, without ever a mention of this discrepancy to the public…
    As Pauline Hanson used to say, please explain???

    3 REPLY
    • Shouldn’t there have been a change in the weight of the bread, not just in the number of slices?

    • I think you might find that the thickness of sandwich slices is now the same as toast slices, if you go to your supermarket and compare toast and sandwich sliced bread I think you will find they are the same thickness.

      1 REPLY
      • Yes, Don, you’re correct.
        Always bought ‘Toast’, to do just that!
        And ‘Sandwich’ for them.
        Then noticed same thickness, so just buy the latter now.

    • I think you might find that the thickness of sandwich slices is now the same as toast slices, if you go to your supermarket and compare toast and sandwich sliced bread I think you will find they are the same thickness.

  3. I have an old original Tupperware bread container, at one stage they bought out a new, larger one, because the loaves of bread were too big, now they again fit into the old ones. Peters 2 litre light icecream is now 1.8 litres, price originally stayed the same around $5, now closer to $7. Tubs of individual used to be 200ml. Now 180ml or even 160 ml.

  4. Sao biscuits are no way near the size they used to be, thinner and smaller in size.

    1 REPLY
    • I don’t even bother buying Sao now….they are completely different to what they were…thin, hard and small…not puffed and flakey as they were…

  5. I read about this marketing decision maybe 10 years ago – marketers know consumers are very sensitive to price rises – and can stop buying instantly if they see a price rise – so to avoid that nasty result for manufacturers, they prefer to gradually shrink the contents while keeping the sticker price the same

    another trick they use to avoid shopper comparisons is to use difficult to compute packaging sizes like 185gm – tho’ that got blown out of the water by unit pricing – which is how I shop these days – I look at the small figures on the supermarket shelf labels – how much per kilo or 100gm – that’s the easy comparison

    but I’m often amazed if I’m with someone and they have never noticed the small unit pricing figures – so I guess the supermarkets can still pull the wool over many people’s eyes if they don’t care to comparison shop

    People have mocked my frugality for decades – but I’ve got enough to retire in comfort.
    Those who mocked my frugality – tell me they don’t expect to ever be able to afford to retire.

    If you spend all your money – you may not have anything in the bank. See how that works ?

  6. If you take notice, you will also notice that the cardboard inner roll on your loo paper has gotten bigger so that we don’t notice the size of the loo rolls decreasing

    1 REPLY
  7. I have some old recipe books that include some recipes using condensed milk. The old original cans were around 430g but they are now down to closer to 390. I have to reduce other ingredients by about 10% when I make things from the old books.

  8. Of course we noticed. That’s why we read the labels.

  9. Weetbix is smaller to just won’t buy any more

    1 REPLY
    • Haven’t bought ANY Santorium product since 1980. It’s owned by SDA ‘cult’!

  10. I buy 24 pack ‘loo paper for $6 each, at ‘The Reject Shop’.
    Nothing wrong with it.
    Cheapest by far!

  11. Arnott’s ‘Chocolate Monte’ USED to have a thick layer of chocolate on the base.
    Now, it seems the chocolate is just ‘waved’ over it, being so THIN!

  12. We are all being conned by these companies. Have you noticed that some toilet paper is also very thin you have to watch out you don’t put your fingers through it.

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