No Food for Thought

More is less and preMEGAditated Pringles marketing

admin Saturday April 27, 2019
 Keep Calm and Remain Seated with a Pack of Chips

No Food for Thought makes an exception today to cover an important food topic. No worries though, we'll be back to tastier topics soon.

One of the things I remember best from my high school and college days is the communist pantry. Back then I would share a locker at school with friends to store shared food. We would buy several types of non-perishable food appreciated by teenagers and store it in that "communist locker". In these good old days when we took our health as granted, one of my favorite contributions was packs of Pringles chips. One pack would sell for 1.99 CAD and weight 200 g.

Shortly after, I was disappointed to see the contents diminished from 200 g to somewhere around 170 g. I suspected that Procter & Gamble would eventually increase quantity back to where it was increasing the price. But I didn't suspect just how premeditated the move was.

Before increasing back, Procter & Gamble (or the current owner, Kellogg's) would reduce again, to 148 g. Without changing the can's size at all. And it's only last weekend that I could finally see the result of this well-planned crime, when I saw a tall Pringles can called a "Mega pack", with 30% more Pringles. This can now sold for 2.75 CAD (as a promotion) contains a Mega stack of 194 g of Pringles - which is less than the original can.

I now wonder what Kellogg's next moves will be. One possibility is that the can keeps growing by 30% every 15 years. In that case, I would estimate that Pringles cans can no longer fit in communist pantries in 2 to 4 centuries. But there's another avenue which I suspect Kellogg's considers. Instead of restarting such an inflationary cycle again, they could market a communism-friendly and "eco-vegan Pringles can", with the ecological achievement of reducing the packing material by 25%.

I will not make an exact prediction about what Kellogg's is premeditating, but with climate change, one thing is sure - the stackstakes are higher than ever.

P.S. This is written with all respect for Procter & Gamble, which used to sell the most dense pack of chips on the market.

2020-12-23 Update: Kellogg's is now making Pringles cans eco-friendly by reviewing their composition.
2023-11-12 Update: The Mega pack is now called the Party stack, and now sells for 3,57 CAD. And rampant inflation has gotten the practice Procter & Gamble pioneered a name: shrinkflation.

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