All Gold tomato sauce the latest package shrinker
In a move typical of tough financial times, Tiger Brands has shrunk its ubiquitous All Gold tomato sauce by 50ml/g, a development brought to public and media attention by www.iol.co.za's consumer journalist, Wendy Knowler.
She reports that this 'underhand' tactic has seen consumer, Mark Allan Henshaw, lodge a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), questioning the veracity of Tiger Brands’ website boast that the product “is crammed full of 36 tomatoes”, given that the bottle had since shrunk by 50g.
Tiger Brands responded by saying that the website reference to the 750ml bottle – and the 36 tomatoes – were errors which had since been corrected.
So, when the case came before the ASA Directorate last week (April 2-6), it accepted the company’s undertaking on condition that the website advertising was withdrawn and would not be used again in future, and as such there was no need to “consider the merits of the matter”.
The ASA Directorate did note that at the time of the ruling the tomato claim was still reflected on the website and stated that the company had two weeks in which to remove it.
At the time of writing, the offending line is still on that website: “the same passion, and the same 36 tomatoes, still gets crammed in to every bottle of All Gold”.
Of course, to reduce the number of tomatoes in that advertising claim would draw attention to the fact that consumers are getting less tomato sauce in that bottle, which is clearly not the intention.
What all the “pack shrinkage” manufacturers are hoping is that consumers simply won’t notice that they’re getting less.
When asked to justify the subtle shrinkage, they almost always trot out the line that the smaller product is “more affordable” to consumers.
What they don’t admit is that they’ve made the product more expensive per gram.
When pack shrinkage is accompanied by a price increase – a double whammy – they argue that the price hike would have been higher had the pack not been made smaller.
Disguising a price increase by giving us less is not a consumer-friendly tactic – it’s underhand.....