## Perplexing puddings

• Article by: AL SICHERMAN
• Star Tribune
• September 5, 2012 - 2:24 PM
In a sweeping move, Jell-O has repackaged its entire line of refrigerated pudding and gelatin snacks, changing the number of tubs in a package, slightly reducing the amount in each tub and lowering the shelf price. Unless you brought your calculator, you'd be hard-pressed to figure out how the per-ounce price had changed.

The changes happened suddenly, and Mr. Tidbit couldn't find all of the old packages in stores (to get the old prices), so although he had brought his calculator (you're welcome) he couldn't get the complete picture. Further confusing things, Jell-O introduced many new puddings -- in two-packs -- at the same time. It felt like the pea-under-the shell game, with pudding.

Here's Mr. Tidbit's best take:

Regular Jell-O pudding, formerly sold in six-packs of 4-ounce tubs (24 ounces total), priced at \$3.19 at one store (13.3 cents an ounce), is now sold as four-packs labeled 14.5 and 15.5 ounces -- each tub is 35/8 or 37/8 ounces. The four-pack is \$2.99 at that store and \$2.89 at another, so the new price is from 18.6 to 20.1 cents an ounce.

Jell-O gelatin went from six-packs of 4-ounce tubs to four-packs totaling 13.5 ounces (33/8 ounces each), selling for \$2.99 or \$2.89 (22.1 or 21.4 cents an ounce). Mr. Tidbit believes that the original price was the same as pudding: 13.3 cents an ounce at the first store.

The Jell-O Temptations line (puddings topped with various kinds of froth that Mr. Tidbit suspects costs less per cubic inch than the pudding) -- formerly sold in three-packs totaling 11.75 ounces (3.92 ounces each) for \$3.19 (27.1 cents an ounce) at several stores. They're now in four-packs totaling 13.4 ounces (3.35 ounces each), selling for \$2.89 or \$2.99 -- 21.6 or 22.3 cents an ounce, a startling price reduction.

Each of the six new two-pack (total 6.7 ounces -- 3.35 ounces each) puddings, including strawberry shortcake and banana caramel pie, features a separate topping. The only price Mr. Tidbit has seen is \$1.89 -- an unsurprisingly high 28.2 cents an ounce.

OK, now, where's the pea?

AL SICHERMAN