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Packaging 11/19/12

Opening a box of cereal shouldn't cause an "explosion." But Consumer Reports says that's just one of many "Packaging Gotchas." "We literally get hundreds of letters, cards, e-mails, posts on our Facebook page from disgruntled consumers who are fed up with lousy packaging." Gotcha number one - "Oysters." They're those hard-to-open packages. Tod Marks "Several readers complained vehemently about the No-Touch Kitchen System from Lysol, saying it was basically impervious to every implement they could bring to the table." And freeing a Barbie doll isn't much easier! Tod Marks "Trying to pull her out, can't do that … We've got those ties on the back going through her head … She's still stuck. DING!" Another gotcha - "Downsizing." These Barbasol shaving cream cans are the same size. But one is eleven ounces and the other is ten. The company says: "a slightly reduced product volume … improved function …" Ivory Soap used to weigh four-and-a-half ounces. Now it's just four. Tod Marks "They're keeping the price the same but giving you less for your money. Well, gosh, that amounts to a price increase if you ask me." Then there's the Black Hole … … packages that make products look bigger than they are. Take this container of Velveeta Shells & Cheese. Once you're done making it, look how little food is actually inside! And check out how little is inside this box of Nice! Apricots. Tod Marks "Companies spend roughly 130 billion dollars a year on product packaging. Roughly seven percent of a product's cost is in the packaging. So it's coming out of manufacturer's pockets, and it's coming out of consumers' pockets." ."

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