What’s The Real Secret In Lipton “Recipe Secrets” Soup Mix?

I’ll give you a hint… The secret is not inside the box.

I think the secret might be what they left out. Shhhhhh !!!


Another Shrinking Product:

Lipton “Recipe Secrets” Soup & Dip Mix

At RoutingByRumor, we love to use Lipton’s “Recipe Secrets” mix in recipes, rather than preparing soup with it. We’re not too pleased that the packages might have shrunk.

We pretty sure that Unilever has shrunk the size of their Lipton Vegetable “Recipe Soup & Dip Mix”. We don’t buy it very often, but if memory serves us correctly, it used to contain two one-ounce packets in a two-packet, 2.0 ounce box. When we bought a box recently, it was nearly impossible to read the weight printed in the box. Take a look at the box above. Do you think Unilever, the owner of the Lipton brand is trying to camouflage something here, or is that just a printing problem? Don’t you think it’s just a bit suspicious that the net weight statement happens to be printed where it partially blends in with the varigated background of the bowl of soup, instead of printing it over a solid background, where it could be easily read?

Notice the solid color, high contrast background behind the easy-to-read statement that claims “Also Great for Slow Cookers!”. As other websites have pointed out, a common ploy when shrinking the contents of a product is to place some eye-catching graphics or announcement on the package, to draw your attention away from the shrinking content statement, whether it is a lower weight, item count, square footage, etc.

If they have indeed shrunk the size of their Recipe Secrets dry soup mix, then it seems to us at RoutingByRumor that their Deception Engineering department could have done a much better job on the packaging. It’s so hard to read the package weight that it’s pretty obvious they might be trying to hide something here.

We don’t have an older package to compare this to, so if any readers of this blog have an older 2.0 ounce package of Lipton Recipe Secrets soup mix to compare this with, we would appreciate your comments, and if possible, a scanned image of the front of the box. We will post your box here for comparison.

If indeed Unilever has shrunk the size of their Lipton Recipe Secrets soup mix from 2.0 ounces to 1.8 ounces, that is a full 10% reduction in what you’re getting for your money, assuming that the package price has not gone up. To add insult to injury, the 0.9 ounce packets (two per box) of soup mix are now very thin, flimsy, metalized plastic, instead of the much more sturdy paper and foil envelopes that the mix used to come in. Perhaps Unilever will tell you they improved the packaging, but for my money, I’d rather have foil laminated paper envelopes instead of plastic. Paper is a renewable resource, unlike plastic, which is made from petroleum, and probably takes a zillion years to decompose in a landfill. If your trash is incinerated, do you want to be breathing in the waste products produced by burning plastic? I’m sure the switch to plastic has lowered Unilever’s packaging costs. Wouldn’t it have been nice if they passed on the savings to consumers, or used the lower cost of materials to INCREASE the size of their soup mix instead if shrinking it?

Are the ingredients in Lipton’s Vegetable Soup & Dip Mix so costly that they were forced to shrink the size of the package? They aggregate the (dehydrated) vegetable ingredients as the first item on the ingredient list (carrots, cabbage, onions, leeks, peas, green bell peppers, red bell peppers and tomatoes). The second most prevalent ingredient is salt, which as you probably know, is nearly as costly as gold and platinum. Give me a break.

Lipton’s nutrition panel lists over 3100 mg of sodium per box (>5 servings with 610 mg sodium per serving). Considering the fact that sodium is only part of the weight of table salt (NaCl contains Sodium and Chlorine atoms), my guess is that if they did not aggregate the vegetables on the ingredient list, that sodium would be the first ingredient listed (in descending order of predominance, by weight). Bear in mind that, atomically speaking, table salt is almost exactly 40% sodium and 60% chlorine by weight. That means that the 3,100 mg of sodium per box (as per the nutrition label) equates to approximately 7,800 mg of table salt per box. So, when you think of it, getting less soup mix, besides meaning less soup mix, also means less sodium, which means less hypertension (ie: lower blood pressure) for Lipton’s consumers. Thanks, Unilever !!! We’re feeling healthier already.

If our hunch is correct, it shouldn’t surprise anybody that other Unilever brands are shrinking also. See our previous post about the incredible shrinking bottles of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (known as Best Foods Mayonnaise, West of The Rockies), another brand brought to you by Unilever.

As is our policy at RoutingByRumor, if Unilever wishes to comment, we will be happy to post their statement here, unedited, and correct any factual mistakes in this article.


1 Comment

Filed under Consumerism, Deception Engineering, Food, Home, Life, Money, Personal, Retail, Routing by Rumor, Scams, Shopping, Shrinking Products, The Planet, Your Money

One response to “What’s The Real Secret In Lipton “Recipe Secrets” Soup Mix?

  1. S C

    I found an older box of Lipton Recipe Secrets Beefy Onion, which states “Serving Suggestion 2 Envelopes; Net Wt. 2.2 oz (62.3.g)”. The expiration date is 5/16/08. I never used it because I converted to organics & whole foods, so all this processed garbage is just laying around the back of my cabinets waiting to be thrown out.

    – Brooklyn, New York

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