Schweppes reduce bottle size

Has anyone else noticed that Schweppes has replaced their 1.25 litre PET bottles with new 1 litre bottles? I haven’t done a price comparison yet, but I am wondering if this is another example where the price will remain the same, but the quantity will go down. At the same time, Woolies have announced they will be limiting the range of Mount Franklin products available and will be emphasising their Select brand (see http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/woolworths-putting-cap-on-cocacola-amatils-mount-franklin-water-20170724-gxhyef.html).

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This has been an ongoing problem in supermarkets for years. Favourite brand product vanishes, and is replaced by their own branded product, which often is not as good.

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In Australia, all bottled water should be banned…unless tap water is not available or for emergency relief purposes. Noting, not drinking reticulated water because it contains fluoride and this the reason for drinking bottled water of is also questionable as that fluoride occurs naturally in spring water and filtered drinking water sources.

Tap water in Australia is some of the best in the world, and has Choice has shown in the past, bottled water may not be of better quality than the average tap water.

It also has an inflated price (1000s times more expensive) and results in enormous waste (both from the left over bottles and emissions from bottle generation and the less efficient bottled water treatment process) being produced. The single use plastic bottles may be able to be recycled where such schemes exist, but the can’t be recycled due to their size - they fall through the trommel/screening process at the recycling centres.

Instead of bottled water, buy a reusable water bottle and take your own…if drinking fountains or taps won’t be available. It’s cheaper, greener and also more abundant.

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Good point - however, I started this conversation about Schweppes beverage products in general, not bottled water specifically. Admittedly, the SMH article I linked to regarding Woolies and Mt Franklins/Coca-Cola Amatil is mainly to do with how they promote bottled water, but my concern is about Schweppes potentially pulling a “less product for same price” stunt (which other food and beverage manufacturers have done).

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If true, it’s another company gouging the Aussie consumer.
I bet this wouldn’t happen in bigger markets.

From Schweppes home page:

"Our brands include Schweppes, Solo, Cottee’s Cordials, The Real Iced Tea Co, Cool Ridge, Frantelle and Spring Valley. We make and distribute a range of products under licence including Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Gatorade, Mountain Dew, and distribute VOSS premium water.

Schweppes Australia is part of the Asahi Beverages Group."

I think it is probably a producers (I do mean multiple producers) wide issue and if you look at the companies involved in the Asahi group you will see it covers a much wider spectrum of beverages other than those specifically labelled as Schweppes. Bottles get smaller, prices stay the same for the less product or the price goes up.

You can buy a 2 litre bottle of Coca Cola almost within a few cents of a 600 ml bottle…why is that? Or buy a 1.25 litre bottle at the same price as a 600 ml bottle, and sometimes you can buy the two larger varieties cheaper than the 600 ml. Buy the 1 litre special bottle (it is for selling cold out of fridges) for more than the 2 litre bottle…madness

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It happens in all markets.

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A week ago in Woolies , or maybe Coles, there was a smaller size product on the shelf for more $ than the much larger size next to it that was on sale. I might have waited to see if anyone bought the smaller size because it was all they needed even though it cost more, or whether they were paying attention.

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That reminds me of the packets of crumpets in Coonabarabran Woolworths I saw in 2010
Buy 2 packets for $2.00
Save $3.18
Single packet price $2.59

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This is a major contributor to food wastage. These companies persuade consumers to buy more food product ‘because it’s worth it’, but then the extra food often gets landfilled because the consumer didn’t actually need it.

Although I will lose out when supermarkets shift to a universal lower price (rather than higher prices with frequent specials), it will help to reduce impulse buying and buying more than the consumer requires.

To address the original post, this is also why I prefer food products to reduce in size, rather than increase in price. Supermarkets in Denmark (eg. REMA 1000) have shown that reducing package size means the consumer only needs to buy as much as they need. This has been shown to reduce food waste and increase customer satisfaction of REMA 1000.

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I doubt you will have to worry about “losing out” in a long time. Think atomic half lives. The concept of a sale puts urgency in front of the consumer and encourages them to buy something. It is about getting people into stores, making them think all the prices are sharp, and is part of routine inventory management to push things that are overstocked or had special deals from the supplier.

Most consumers, given the option would buy a little more rather than just enough or not quite enough. Economics will kick in. Best example is hosting dinner (family or guests). One issue is that your family might be 3, 4, or 5, or more people not just 2…Multiples are important. It is difficult to buy for just 1. Do you buy just enough or a bit more than you expect to need? Are there packages “designed” for 3, or are they for 2 or 4, for example? Does the smaller package [still] adequately reflect the needs of 3? If you run out of food and your family/guests are still hungry it is a bad look.

If an item is $5 and 300g, and gets reduced to 280g for the $5, is the 280g enough or almost enough? If the latter you need more but risk needing to spend $10 for 560g. Back to square 1 about waste. This was obviously contrived and not very well, but hopefully makes a point.

It has long been established that a majority of consumers are happier when they have fewer, not more choices. In general, the more choices the more confused they become about which is best, which is most economical, and which they should buy. Reduced choice is why Aldi and all of its similar competitors do well, and one of the drivers behind Coles and Woolies evolution of the ranges offered. The demographics of people who shop at Aldi (and I presume REMA 1000) are going to be different from those who shop at Leo’s Fine Foods, and different again from those at Woolies or Coles. Thus what worked at REMA 1000 worked at REMA 1000 but may or may not translate to acceptance at other stores serving different demographics.

The one that truly irks me are the 2 for specials. I usually refuse to buy them on principle unless I am truly in need of the quantity, and as often as not a week or two later the price for 1 will be equal or less than the unit price in a 2 for. One of the reasons this happens (in addition to trying to obfuscate a not so great deal) is that it is almost universal to get better prices for bulk, so the store moving a lot of merchandise might get them better prices from their supplier, enhacing their profit margin.

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You haven’t tasted Adelaide water? It’s an experience - but be prepared; you’ll need some cutlery to cut through the stuff.

Otherwise, I agree with you - bottled water is like the lottery.

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Absolutely agree - bottled water is the biggest rip off. Also Mount Franklin is owned by Coca Cola so profits go offshore. At least Woollworths brand is Australian owned.

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Just to add. I bought a Soda Stream years ago and stopped buying bottles of soda water etc. Saves on cost and better for the environment as the bottles aren’t being chucked out all the time. Not to mention not having to lug heavy bags of bottles from the supermarket.

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Wasn’t an article recently posted to this forum about how one of the major supermarkets (I think Coles) was going to stop multi-buy deals and start introducing standard lower prices ‘Everyday’? They seem to be doing this already.

This sort of semantic argument is relatively pointless as you can always choose numbers that support the case of the package size being wrong. Many consumers are shopping more frequently and therefore buying food to last fewer meals and smaller time periods. This trend is only increasing. The idea I mentioned in my original comment is a way to get around this.

Bread is one of the most commonly wasted food products (link). How often do people buy a loaf of bread, only to have it go mouldy because they didn’t get around to eating the whole thing? I see this frequently at friends houses, and happens to too large a proportion of consumers. Having half-loaves would benefit these consumers, as they won’t be wasting as much food (or even no more food). My ideas are expressed more eloquently and thoroughly in this podcast, which I highly recommend listening to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04skkvc

Coles started out as a Crazy Clarks-type discount store before branching into convenience foods, then supermarket foods. The store moulds the customers they want. I want all food stores to take food wastage more seriously. :slight_smile:

Edit: basic typos

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Coca Cola Amatil which is an Australian publically listed company, is only 29% owned by the US company. In theory, the other 71% is owned by individuals and organisations (inc. Australian super and investment funds) similar to other listed Australian companies.

It could be argued that a significant proportion of profits are retained in Australia.

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No I saw the ad and the drinks sounded nice but the price was only good for 1.25 litre size not a rip off 1 litre effort.

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Indeed there was, with some hoopla. In recent catalogues there are fewer 2 fors, but still multi-buys. Even stores with “low everyday prices” have to advertise with the “new K Mart” being typical. Marketing demands stores do things to differentiate themselves and even with “everyday low prices” sales are required to undercut the everyday low prices.

As all the retails/grocers are jumping on board, “everyday low prices” has increasingly ceased to mean the best deal or lowest cost, so back to square 1. Coles and Wollies both claim “everyday low costs” these days, and both their catalogues have 1/2 price specials featured all through them. I trust that underscores my cynicism of the concept in its pure form. Their business is about volume, profit, and especially dividends in our capitalistic society (that could be another topic).

Addenda after today’s shop: Coles had LOTS of instore 2 for $X promotions. Lots.

It is not just a semantic argument, it counters your call for smaller sizes at the same prices to have an overall advantage. The only viable solution to match price, quantity, and need is to have products scooped out of a bin or hand selected.[quote=“natural.thought, post:15, topic:14276”]
Many consumers are shopping more frequently and therefore buying food to last fewer meals and smaller time periods.
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Everyone does not have that luxury in these days of everyone working. For those who can, to Woolies credit some of their campaigns are spend $XXX in “one or more shops” in the week to get X points but some remain “in a single shop”, while Coles still only has “in a single shop”.

For the most envronmentally and budget concious multiple smaller shops require smaller fridges that cost less to own and operate.

FWIW after years of missing them, I was introduced to small loaves at my regular bakery. They call them “sour dough rolls”. I was always always dismissive of them because they were called “rolls” and I needed “bread”. One day they were out of my “bread” but had one “roll” left; they told me it was the same batter so I bought it. $1.50 each and good for days, excellent product, exactly like the bread but small and hit my sweet spot as a product.

All CEOs are aware there is good business, bad business, good customers, and bad customers, and their goal is to acquire the most good customers who do good (eg profitable) business with them. They manage this by their ranges, prices, look and feel, and marketing/advertising. Sometimes it works (K Mart is doing well) and sometimes it backfires (the failed Woolies Cheap Cheap campaign). It is all about marketing while being seen to do as many “right things” as possible, regardless of whether the business is delivering on that. Life and business success are dominated by perception as much or more than on reality.

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That argument could be made, but I suspect it would be at least partially wrong. The big issue for local shareholders would have to be the ‘transfer pricing’ and ‘trademark tax’ that head office charges.

The Australian branch of Coca Cola is beholden to the parent company for its existence and profitability. The parent Coca Cola Company (CCC) owns the brand name, patents and copyrights and the lists of ingredients - if it turned around and decided not to sell these to CCA (Coca Cola Amatil, the Australian branch), the local company would be dead in the water.

So how does CCC set prices for its monopoly sales to CCA and other distributors world-wide? Dunno - but if they are the average modern company they do it by figuring out what will bankrupt its distributors and charge slightly less. Make sure the distributors can stay in business and pay a decent dividend to its shareholders, but charge as much as you can get away with for the monopoly supplies.

What’s the worst that can happen if CCC over-charges CCA?

  1. CCA could go out of business (either neatly by wind-up or messily by bankruptcy), and CCC would have to service the market directly - but if CCA goes out of business it will want to sell its infrastructure assets and CCC would be the obvious buyer.
  2. CCA cannot readily protest the transfer pricing; it has chosen to be in the Coca Cola, one product line business.
  3. A shareholder revolt could occur, although it is unlikely that shareholders have visibility into this transfer pricing. What are they going to demand, though? They have no hand!

Given the power dynamic and the way business operates (I win you lose), I expect that CCA is ‘reasonably’ profitable without being any sort of ‘outstanding performer’ on the share market. The kind of share you hold onto for rainy days.

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Returning to the OP’s concern:

I suspect that you may have looked in the refrigerator section of the supermarket. As at least one other commenter has stated, there are different prices (and sizes) of soft drink available cooled and non-cooled. The cooled drinks cost a lot more than those that are at room temperature - it is as though the supermarket wants to be a corner store for the space of that one refrigerator, and springs back into a supermarket in the rest of the available space.

Presumably they have to use different size bottles so they know whether the customer is purchasing a pre-cooled beverage or one that is on the ‘normal’ shelf.

I have noticed this phenomenon, as my wife has bought a chilled beverage and I said something (calmly, and respecting her autonomy and ability to make her own choices) about the price.

It is for the reader to decide whether I was brave or stupid.

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