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Big companies are protecting profits with subtle repackaging, putting a little less into boxes of cereal, containers of ice cream, rolls of paper towels and other products. Guess who's paying for it.
"We are tightening our belts," PepsiCo (PEP, news, msgs) chief Indra Nooyi said in a company conference call last week. PepsiCo recently reduced the amount of Tropicana orange juice you get in a large container by 7%, from 96 ounces to 89 ounces. Bags of Doritos, also made by PepsiCo, have been trimmed by as much as 2 ounces.
PepsiCo is not alone in subtly cutting size as a substitute for raising prices. Kellogg (K, news, msgs), General Mills (GIS, news, msgs), Unilever (UL, news, msgs), Wm. Wrigley Jr. (WWY, news, msgs) and Procter & Gamble (PG, news, msgs) have quietly trimmed the amount of cereal, ice cream, chewing gum, paper towels and toilet paper you get.