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American consumers beware!

The Great Metric Rip-Off

There is incontestable evidence that the metric system causes "downsizing", whereby packaged foods and goods are reduced on conversion from pounds and pints to grams and millilitres. The experience in England is that, once laws requiring lb/oz/pints labels are removed, producers drop English units and downsize to metric quantities - with no reduction in price.

This page features examples of metric downsizing as witnessed in England. England's experience of metric serves as a warning to America: don't accept metric-only labeling.

Metric downsizing close up: Schwartz herbs and spices. Labels change from 1oz/28g to 28g and then to 26g. The 26g jar contains 8% less than the 1oz jar.
 
Procter & Gamble's shrinking products conceal price rises: cans of Procter & Gamble Pringles crisps, weighing 2oz but labelled 56g (left), were reduced to a "hard" metric quantity of 50g. No decrease in the price was made, meaning an overnight price increase of 12% in real terms for Procter & Gamble.
 
The English Provender Company downsized its dressings and sauces by 28% on switching from customary to metric jars. The jar on the left is the traditional 12 fl oz jar, to the right is the metric 250g version (the equivalent of only 8.8 fl oz). Prices were also reduced, but only from £1.77 to £1.57, or 11%, meaning a price rise in real terms of 17%.

Below: the labels close up, showing the absence of a fluid ounce indication on the smaller, metric product. The product descriptions are identical.
 
Featured below are two versions of the confectionery product Fox's Glacier Mints. To the left is a bag weighing 8 ounces - however, the reference to 8 oz was replaced with "227g". To the right is the downsized metric bag of 200g. There was no decrease in price.
     
Other examples from England:
Crest toothpaste is owned by Procter & Gamble: 3oz tube labels were changed to 85g - then reduced to 75g. No change in price.
Campbell's: labels on cans of stew (Irish, Beef, Chicken) and Ready Meals (Chilli Con Carni, Beef Curry, Chicken Curry) were changed from 15oz to 425g. All cans were subsequently reduced to 392g (or just 13.8oz).
Mattessons sliced meat: re-labelled sixteen varieties of sliced meat from 4oz to 113g, then reduced them to 100g (the equivalent of 3½oz) with no comparable price reduction. For example, 113g packets of Sliced Ham were reduced by half an ounce but stayed at their 99p price.
Heinz Baked Beans: used to be sold in 1 lb cans, then converted to metric. Subsequently reduced to 415g (minus 9%).

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