October must be downsizing month, because it seems every year at this time a number of packages in the grocery store suddenly get smaller. One notable example: Rolls of Charmin have shrunk.
Donna Cann of Pierce Township, Ohio, first noticed something different with Charmin when she recently handed an empty cardboard roll to her dog to play with.
But the "treasure," as she called it, looked a lot smaller than she remembered.
So Cann found an older package of Charmin in the cupboard, and couldn't believe the difference when she set the full roll, and the empty cardboard tube, side by side.
"What I noticed was my toilet paper rolls are shrinking considerably," Cann said.
In the bathroom, she said, the new roll flops around on the holder, making the wall holder look much too large.
She's not the only user who's noticed.
Charmin's Facebook page was filled with comments from unhappy customers. One said "less wipe for your buck." Another said "why oh why did you shrink the square?"
How much smaller?
Donna says a tape measure confirmed what her eyes told her.
"I decided to get out the tape measure and see how much difference there is, and there's a half inch difference in the rolls now," she said.
A spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble, which makes Charmin, confirmed the shrinkage, but explained that the exact reduction is 3/8 of an inch, not a half inch.
She said it was done to "reinvest in the product " with stronger tissue, so that "you don't need to use as much. " And she said there's been no price hike, which was a top priority.
All this puts Charmin in the same cupboard as many other toilet tissue brands, as well as another bathroom staple: Renuzit air freshener.
Renuzit also downsized its cones this fall by a half ounce, but it is still the same price.
"The products get smaller but the prices stay the same," Cann said.
(Follow Scripps consumer reporter John Matarese on Twitter @DWYM)
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service)