December 15, 2012

Sneaky Organic Valley. . . it looks like a gallon, it’s priced like a gallon – but it’s not a gallon

Today at Albertsons I went to pick up some milk. I thought $4.99 was a great price for a gallon of organic milk (usually that’s my price point) and picked one up . . . only to realize it was lighter than I expected. 32 ounces lighter to be exact.

Apparently Organic Valley is now putting out 96 oz milks, that look just like a gallon but are actually only 3/4 a gallon! A full gallon is 128 oz.

On one hand, I’m intrigued because as a family we have a hard time going through a full gallon before it expires and the 1/2 gallon seems a bit too small. So this size milk would be great for our family, but I don’t really like how it’s priced (like paying $6.65/gallon on sale, or $7.98/gallon not on sale!) and I have a problem with how it looks so similar to the gallon jug. It seems tricky to me!

I still think one of the best places to get organic milk is Fred Meyer. Their Preferred Organic brand seems to hover around $4.99 a gallon. Where do you find a good price on organic milk?

This is a good reminder to always look at the weight/ounces of a product when determining a good price. Packaging (aka marketing) can often be misleading.

What do you think? Will you buy this size? Have you been duped into thinking you’re getting a bigger product because the manufacturer has decreased the size in the package?


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  1. Fred Meyer is where I have found it to be cheapest and best quality. I will do shopping and other places and only run into Fred Meyer for milk.

  2. my safeway is always 4.99 a gallon. And lately has been either .50-.75 off with the just 4 u coupons and personalized deals.

  3. I’ve seen this happen with cartons of oj, too. But I didn’t realize it until seeing “still a full gallon” printed on the Safeway oj carton. I checked the other brands and, sure enough, 1) they weren’t a full gallon anymore, and 2) they cost more than the Safeway full gallon. Very sneaky…

  4. This is disappointing. We have no trouble going through a gallon of Organic Valley before it expires and it is our favorite brand of 1% milk. Everyone in my family thinks it tastes better than the other brands.

  5. This is disappointing. We have now trouble going through a gallon of Organic Valley before it expires and it is our favorite brand of 1% milk. Everyone in mt family thinks it tastes better than the other brands.

  6. As a rule, if I find that there is marketing deception, I either don’t buy the product or if I find out after purchase, don’t buy it again. It’s to the point of ridiculous nowadays, a package could be 3 or 4 times bigger than the tiny product hanging out at the bottom of the box. Personally, I would rather see a smaller package with honesty than a blown up version with little to offer on the inside.

  7. I think it’s better to buy organic from smaller farms and support small business.

  8. I pass one of Organic Valley’s farms every other weekend on my way to get kids. I like that it is so local! Organic anything costs more because it requires more hands-on work from the farmers. We also have a hard time going through an entire gallon before it expires.

  9. Beth Johnson says:

    Very irritating when they do that! Sugar is now usually 4 lbs, ice cream 1.75 qts, etc. I got caught in that trap at the deli dept of Dominick’s when we were on vacation in IL, $3.50 sounded great for a pound of ham, but the posted price was for a HALF pound! Very small print under the price said so. Thanks for the heads up on this latest one!

  10. I’m pretty sure Dreyer’s has done that. I don’t buy ice cream very often, but when I’ve looked at what look to be the half gallons, I’m pretty sure they are smaller and lighter than they used to be. (…either that, or I’m just bigger and heavier!… I guess that could be it too!)

    Anyway, thanks for posting about the deceptive marketing. Anything to get our money. x-(

  11. We usually get from Fred Meyer, but have recently found Safeway has organic milk often priced around $4.99 as well.

  12. I only buy organic milk at FM as well. It’s been 5.28 lately. If I happen to run to a local QFC I always find it on managers markdown and I freeze it for when we run out.

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