10% More; Packaging Size Vs. Net Weight

15/12/2011 11:30

You're walking through the shop, seeking a snack, and your eye is drawn to particullarly enourmous looking bag of crisps; best of all, it's labelled in large red tape "20% More!" surely that much food can satisfy anyone's cravings. So you pay for your item, you leave the shop, and you open your bag of crisps, only to find that more than half of that huge bag is pure air, with a measly amount of food sat lonely at the bottom of the pack. How do our favourite brands get away with this then? It's not such an uncommonly heard story, many of you will be grimacing over the last time your experienced something similar. 


Fact is, it's perfectly legal. Of course, the relevant authoroties pursue anyone taking it to the extreme with a lot more packaging than contant; you can't exceed more than 40% of emptiness otherwise it's acted on, but usually brands just about meet this rule. We as consumers, need to start looking at the fine print.


By law, the product's content must at the very least meet the net weight described on the packaging. If they say you're getting 50g of crisps, you legally should get what you pay for, but really how many of us know what 50g of crisps looks like, or an ounce or a kilogram? It's careful marketing to help the brand save a little money. 


Likewise if you read one of the usual "20% more!" descriptions or likewise, it doesn't always mean what we assume. We instantly think the product contains 20% more of it's origional weight in a standard pack; giving us percieved value for money. However, when you read the fine print you'll find advertisers can use phrases such as "*20% more than the nearest competitor", so make sure you always look to check what the comparison is against.