I got an e-mail message from a supermarket chain last week (loyalty card thingie – it’s not that I have a deep and intimate relationship with supermarkets).
They’re changing the size of laundry scoops and the size of laundry powder packs. Packs are reducing in size, but the price stays the same. Looks like a gyp, but scoops are reducing in size to, so they promise, promise, promise, that we will get exactly the same number of washes out of each pack.
Hmmmm….. not so fast with that claim, clever marketing dudes!
Here are the old scoop, and the new. The new one is much smaller than the old. So on the face of it, it looks as though the claim is plausible. We will get just as many washes out of the new smaller pack and the new smaller scoop, as we got out of the old bigger pack, and the old bigger scoop. Nothing to see here, move along please.
I thought that I might test the claim. As it turns out, a full new scoop fills the old scoop up to exactly the half-way mark. So if the new scoop fills the old scoop up to the half-way mark, all must be well. Two halves make one whole; an old scoop must be twice the size of one new scoop. Just as many washes to be had out of the new pack and new scoop.
But, when you add a second new scoop to the already half-full old scoop, this is what you get.
A suspicious looking mound.
Two new scoops make more than one old scoop. Not so many washes out of the new smaller pack, which is sold at the same price as the old, bigger pack.
To be sure, there’s only about 10 to 15mls in it, in a scoop (old) that holds about 120mls, more or less. But the way I figure it, when you use the new scoop, you end up using about 10% more than you would have used for an equivalent old-scoop wash.
There’s probably some clever explanation for this. No doubt the manufacturers will tell us that on average, between half washes and full washes, we will get “about” the same number of washes out of the new packs and new scoops. No matter that in order to be environmentally friendly, we are urged to wait until we have a full load before putting the washing machine through. Maybe it’s to do with the way we measure quarter cups (new scoop) and half cups (old scoop): a quarter cup is set for convenience at 60mls, but a half cup at 125mls. Maybe the manufacturers have run their claim past consumer organisations, and it’s all close enough, so that’s okay then. Whatever. The fact is, on the face of it, I will get less washes out of the new packs.
All the washing powder manufacturers are making the move, so there’s nothing to be done about it. Except raise a sceptical eyebrow.