Why your toilet paper is shrinking

November 9, 2010, 1:00 PM UTC

When times are tough, companies don’t want to raise prices. Instead the things we take for granted get a little smaller.

By Beth Kowitt, writer-reporter / Graphic by L-Dopa

Everything shrinks in a recession: GDP, investment portfolios, even the products on store shelves. Consumer  goods companies know that customers won’t go for price increases during a downturn. Instead they often use a different tactic to offset things such as new competition or the rising cost of raw materials: cutting quantity while maintaining price. Yet it may not be obvious that your ice cream or OJ containers have shrunk. Manufacturers must note new specs on packaging, but the changes don’t have to be advertised (ever seen a now smaller! label?). Here’s a look at one of the most recent examples.