Do you read labels at the supermarket? If you do, you may soon notice changes in the ingredients of some of the foods you buy. Food makers are quietly substituting cheaper ingredients in processed foods to offset the high price of commodities.
The Wall Street Journal took note of this trend last weekend, reporting that Food Makers Scrimp on Ingredients In An Effort to Fatten Their Profits . However, that may be overstating their intentions. With high fuel prices driving up the cost of basic ingredients such as sugar and wheat, food companies are are forced to make a choice: raise prices or cut corners. Because competition in the industry is so strong, raising prices is the last thing food companies want to do. Instead, they look to the quality and quantity of the ingredients they use . For example:
- Kraft Miracle Whip now contains more water
- Nestle snack products now contain less milk
- Sara Lee has switched to cheaper wheat for some breads
- Mars Inc. is reducing the size of its Funsize candy packs
- Hamburger Helper products have reduced the number of spice and ingredient pouches
- Some of Hershey’s chocolates are now being made with vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter