Clever Carton Accounting

It is a well-known marketing principle that you’ll make more money charging the same for less than charging more for the same amount.

So I wasn’t too surprised when I noticed that something had changed about my usual 64-ounce carton of orange juice.


Instead of raising the price of the 64-ounce carton of orange juice from $3.99, the good people at Tropicana just reduced the amount of orange juice I’d get by 5 ounces.  At the old price, orange juice cost around 6.25 cents per ounce.  At the new price, it costs about 6.78 cents per ounce.  That 5 ounce drop in quantity is effectively an 8.5 percent price increase!

I’m sure Tropicana knows that if they raised the price of a 64-ounce carton of orange juice to $4.33, some people would think twice about buying it.  People are comfortable paying $3.99 for their product, and they might be uncomfortable paying $4.33 for it.

Instead, by reducing the amount, the company can effectively raise the price without disturbing the consumer’s comfort level.  And since people pay more attention to price than they do to quantity, most consumers probably won’t even realize they are paying more.

And just in case they might notice, why not keep the carton the exact same size?

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