A packaging trick by Johnson and Johnson!
Recently I purchased a prickly heat powder by Johnson & Johnson and like most people did not read the quantity mentioned on the pack – 300 gms (10.25 oz). I was attracted to the large bottle and assumed it would be at least three quarters full. I was aware that manfacturers pack mostly air in some product packs (potato chips have more air than chips) but I was a little surprised to see that a bottle of powder was also packed in a similar manner. Here is the photograph. The level of the powder is a little more than half. I paid Rs 89/- MRP ($2.25) for the bottle.
This is a sealed pack as you can see:
I have bought other brands of talcom and prickly heat powder in in the past but have never come across this kind of trick. After all, the packaging material is also expensive. Why is the company wasting so much plastic just to fool consumers? I wanted to see if J&J did this in their home market in the United States and from their site I downloaded these pack pictures:
It is difficult to make out the level of the powder but for a 225 gms pack (or 8 oz. ) one has to pay a price of about $2.89, which comes to approximately $1.28 per 100 gms.
The price of Shower to Shower sold in India works out to be about 75 cents or less than a dollar for 100 gms, much cheaper than the American one.
Let’s see if one can make out anything from the ingredients, which may not be the right comparison as the kinds of powder are different. Well, I assume that the powder sold as “prickly heat powder” in India is at least a little similar to their “sport” sub-brand.
These are the ingredients of the “Sport” sub-brand of Shower to Shower and taken from their site:
Zea Mays (corn) starch, Talc, Sodium Bicarbonate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Fragrance, Maltodextrin
The Active ingredients in the Indian version are:-
Salycyclic Acid IP
Boric Acid IP
Zinc Oxide IP
Different huh. Well, I have no idea what the difference means, whether it translates into cheaper ingredients. I think this must be the case otherwise the company wouldn’t sell the powder at less than a dollar for 100 gms. No company is here to do charity.
However what I would like to know is whether J&J leaves its plastic packs almost half-empty in the United States, like they do in India.