High dudgeon over Dannon

size comparison, Dannon yogurt and store brand.

Did they really think we wouldn't notice?

This spring, Dannon reduced the size of their Light 'n Fit™ yogurt from 8 ounces to 6 ounces. This 25% reduction in the amount of yogurt you get has not been matched by a corresponding reduction in the price you pay.

The Dannon web site offers two different reasons for this change.

Our most recent market research indicates that a 6 oz container is just the right amount for consumers in general and has a more attractive calorie count, 90 calories per container. In fact, DANNON® Light 'n Fit is lower in calories than any other nationally branded light yogurt. Many consumers are telling us they prefer smaller portions of yogurt so that they may consume yogurt as a snack or as part of a meal.

Our new family look makes it easier for consumers to find Dannon products on store shelves and to easily identify different varieties and flavors.... Additionally, we chose our new container design in the interest of keeping a consistent look so that our product would maintain consumer recognition. Although we have changed the serving size, we have maintained the shape of our containers that Dannon consumers have recognized for decades.

Yeah, right!

Dannon yogurt lid

Container vs cup. "A more attractive calorie count, 90 calories per container" — The lid actually says "per cup." The last time I checked 1 cup is still standardized at 8 ounces, which in my mind makes this deceptive advertising.

close up of Dannon container labeling. close up of Dannon nutrition facts

Smaller portion size. Those two ounces really make a difference, don't they? So much so, in fact, that you can now eat the yogurt "as a snack or as part of a meal." That makes it sound like consumers eat like sparrows. "Many" Americans generally load up their plates as if they were working 12 hours a day at strenuous physical labor. "Many" Americans think nothing of driving into McDonald's and ordering a Big Mac®, large French fries, and a large Coca-Cola® (calories 1450). Who does Dannon think they're kidding?

Container shape. "... that Dannon consumers have recognized for decades." It is to laugh! The reason that shape has been recognized for decades is because the same generic plastic container is used for a gazillion things, such as almost every other brand of yogurt (except Yoplait) and sour cream, just for starters.

Calories. "...[L]ower in calories..." Not if you compare the same size containers!

Price. In days of yore, yogurt used to sell for 39¢ and was frequently offered at 3 for $1 or even 4 for $1. More recently, Dannon Light 'n Fit has sold for 75¢, which works out to 9.375¢ per ounce. In my local Ralph's supermarket, the repackaged Light 'n Fit still sells for 75¢, which now works out to 12.5¢ per ounce.

Do the math — that's a 33% price hike. Now we're getting somewhere! This isn't about making it easier to locate Dannon yogurt on the shelf. This isn't about responding to market research. This is about greed, pure and simple.

Light 'n Fit? More like "lean and mean," with an emphasis on the mean.

By the way...

If you look at the Dannon yogurt container, you'll see that the Dannon Company of Tarrytown, NY, is part of Groupe Danone, "a multinational food and beverages company, headquartered in Paris, France" more.

Enough said.