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Good things come in small packages? Not quite

BY Allison Cerra

YONKERS, N.Y. — It seems that Americans’ everyday items are getting a little smaller.

According to a new survey by Consumer Reports, many packaged goods are being scaled back as suppliers face increased energy costs, as well as rising prices of ingredients. Tod Marks, senior editor and resident shopping expert at Consumer Reports, said that higher commodity and fuel costs are expected to spike in food prices by as much as 3% this year.

The report cited that such products as Ivory dish detergent shrank from its 30-oz. bottle to a new 24-oz. bottle, while containers of Haagen Dazs ice cream, which once were 16 oz., now tout a 14-oz. size. Both companies’ customer service representatives cited increased costs of either raw materials or ingredients as what prompted the size changes.

In light of this, Consumer Reports suggested that consumers compare different brands and store brands with typically purchased items, examine unit prices and buy in bulk while shopping. The report also encouraged shoppers to contact the company about the downsizing of packages.

The full report is featured in the magazine’s February issue, now available on newsstands.

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QuesaDippers joins Tyson’s Any’tizers line

BY Allison Cerra

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Tyson has expanded its Any’tizers line with a new dish that is sure to become a favorite among kids and party guests.

New QuesaDippers snacks combine flour tortillas, all-white chicken with taco or fajita seasoning and Monterey Jack cheese, all packaged with zesty garden or cilantro lime salsa packets, Tyson said. The snacks are packed in resealable packaging, allowing for easy storage in the freezer to maintain freshness.

All Tyson Any’tizers can be found in the frozen food section of grocery stores nationwide.

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Chocolate, peanut butter unite in new Snickers bar

BY Allison Cerra

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate is pairing its classic Snickers candy with peanut butter.

Snickers Peanut Butter Squared boasts classic Snickers taste, which includes peanuts, caramel, nougat and milk chocolate, but also possesses the rich decadence of peanut butter. Each 1.78-oz. singles pack includes two delicious square-shaped bars and sells for a suggested retail price of 89 cents.

"How do you improve the most satisfying candy bar in the world? You add peanut butter," said Debra Sandler, chief consumer officer for Mars Chocolate North America. "We know people love the satisfying taste of Snickers and research told us they also love peanut butter and chocolate. Snickers Peanut Butter Squared is the match made in heaven."

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