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Quick Hits: Honey, I Shrunk The Cereal Box


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines

How are the prices of certain brands of snacks holding steady? Portions are getting smaller.

According to USA Today, a standard container of ice cream used to be two quarts; today it's a measly 1.5 quarts. Meanwhile, Frito-Lay' s biggest change was to reduce its 12-ounce bags of Doritos and Lay's potato chips to ten ounces. General Mills' (GIS) Cheerios and Wheaties cereal boxes have shrunk by 1.5 ounces.

Rather than risk raising prices, a move that could alienate cash-strapped consumers, food makers grappling with the inflation of commodities are opting for the deflation of portions.

For now anyway, trips to the grocery store are either an exercise in paying more for the same or paying the same for less. Either way, the end user gets squeezed.

Yet there may be a silver lining to this very literal interpretation of downsizing. Obesity is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and 60 million Americans fall into this category. Perhaps vanishing portions will result in shrinking waistlines.

For more on American eating habits, check out Hoofy & Boo's always astute report:

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