Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Coffee Rant

I am sure that some of you are old enough to remember when the standard can of coffee was three pounds. No ifs, ands, or buts about it - the big can was three pounds. Then in the eighties, the can started shrinking as the price of coffee rose.

Old news you may well think. But ... have you noticed how the various coffee companies now try to cheat even more? You normally assume that the large cans (or plastic jugs) of ground coffee have similar amounts of coffee contained within. Not so!

The topic came up in an indirect way the other day. Mom intercepted some of my used plastic coffee jugs before they could be recycled to wash them and use them to hold gifts of Chex Mix. We were using the Maxwell House blue plastic jugs and the comment was made by mom that she wondered how much the Folgers red plastic jugs held compared to the Maxwell House jugs.

Last night I visited the stack of cans for reuse/recycling on my back porch to answer that very question. And I was dismayed at the chicanery being practicied by Folgers. In particular the Maxwell House blue jug carries 2 lbs. 1 oz (33 oz.) of coffee while the Folgers has just 1 lbs. 11.8 oz. (27.8 oz.) of coffee. So there is 5.2 oz. more coffee in the Maxwell House blue plastic jug.

Now consider how the cans look from the front:

and then with the handle cut-out showing on the Maxwell House can:

To the naked eye, you assume they hold the same amount with the handle cut out on the Maxwell House jug making up for its slightly longer side and height. But they don't. The Maxwell House can holds roughly 18% more coffee than the Folgers can. They generally cost the same at the local store and to me are the same grade and taste of coffee, so which one should I buy?  It seems pretty obvious to me that the sneakiness of the Folgers can loses.

What kind of packaging sneakiness have you spotted recently?


  1. This is one of my pet peeves. I hate feeling ripped off!

  2. You str pretty serious about your coffee. That is a sneaky trick.

  3. Though I don't do any of the grocery shopping, I remember having to read the cereal pckages closely as the differences in the bagged versus the boxed tended to be confusing.

  4. You won't be happy to see tuna cans went from 6 to 5 oz, peanut butter went down as well as ice cream (you can't get a gallon container, but you're charged it).

  5. That is hilarious. I have been watching more closely lately and am usually able to tell which has more or close, that definitely looks to be closer in content then it is! BTW, great blog :)


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