Don’t Waste Your Money: Sizing Up Cereal Boxes


CHARLOTTE, N.C.– Every trip to the grocery store brings new surprises, from higher beef prices to smaller sizes of packaged goods. It’s now called “shrinkflation.” But a new report claims some products might be getting smaller at the same time they appear to be giving you more.

New names make boxes appear larger. Ed Dworsky of says cereal manufacturers are slapping new names on boxes that make them appear to give you more, such as Family Size and Giant Size. It cites Post’s Honey Bunches of Oats that used to offer a Family Size of 23 ounces.

Now the Family Size has shrunk to 18 ounces but they added a new Giant size at 23 ounces. Dworsky says Kellogg’s Corn Flakes had a Family Size for 24 ounces, but has now shrunk that to 18 ounces as well. They also added a Giant size of 24 ounces. Neither company is commenting publicly to Consumer World. We did not receive a response to our emails either.

What may be behind the change? But from the “doesn’t that stink” file, the confusion over all the new sizes. It’s hard to keep track, and hard to know if you are getting more or less. ConsumerWorld says if you are used to buying family size, you may tend to stick with that package, even if the amount inside changes.

“This is a very clever ploy by manufacturers to teach shoppers to buy by size name rather than by net weight,” Dworsky said. “So if you become habituated to buying Family Size , that is what you will likely look for on the package the next time you shop. For manufacturers that shrink their products, if you only buy by size name you won’t notice content changes as readily.”

Neither Post nor Kellogg’s appear to be giving you less with these latest changes, as their largest boxes are still 23 or 24 ounces. But remember, it all comes down to the actual ounces you are buying, not the label or shape the box. That way you don’t waste your money.