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What I Learned This Week – 11/11/2012

This week I learned that General Mills, owner of both Totino’s and Jeno’s frozen pizzas, has started making Jeno’s pizzas smaller.


Note the difference in box size and weight. Blasphemes. (Note: While it looks as thought the boxes aren’t lined up, I assure you that they were and this is an illusion of the camera.)

Totino’s and Jeno’s used to be the same size and pretty similar in taste. I always preferred Jeno, maybe just because the parent company treated him like Totino’s less popular little brother. That, and I used to be able to buy Jeno with Canadian Bacon topping. But then grocer’s in my area stopped stocking it.

But this has gone WAY TOO FAR!

I haven’t drafted my complaint letter to General Mills yet, but it is on my to-do list. I don’t know how they will respond, but I can guess some reasons why they would have shrunk my Jeno’s pizza.

1. Now Jeno’s and Totino’s have brand differentiation at a glance.

2. This solves the sticky issue of high trans fat and sodium. Just make the portion smaller!

I am guessing the old Jeno’s pizza (using cheese as the sample pizza) was probably close to the 9.8oz weight that Totino’s still is sporting. The new Jeno’s pizza is 5 oz. That is almost 50% less than it used to be. Totino’s still claims to be 2 servings. Now Jeno’s claims it is “Pizza for One”. (I’m sorry, but I always ate the old Jeno’s frozen pizza as one serving.)

Totino’s Nutrition Facts (from box)

Serving Size: 1/2 pizza

Servings Per Container: 2

Total Fat: 25%*

Saturated Fat: 25%

Sodium: 25%

* All % Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Jeno’s Nutrition Facts (Unavailable*)

*Unavailable because I ate the sample pizza (sorry) and the General Mills website only lists nutrition facts for a cheese pizza at 6.9oz size (Man, how long have they been downsizing their pizza’s on me AND raising the price?)

General Mills, shame on you for denying me my Jeno that I have been faithful to for all these years. He was my stand-by dinner on a non-payday Friday night when I was too exhausted to do anything but stay awake for 18 minutes and then eat. (Pay-day Fridays? Why, fast food, of course!)

What is this world coming to, when a girl can’t count on her frozen pizza to remain unchanged?

On a more serious note, THANK YOU to all the veterans who have served our country on this Veterans Day, including my dad.

Random Fact: Jeno Paulucci, who created the Jeno’s brand and pizza rolls, died with a $100 million estate.  There is a lot of money to be made in frozen pizza.

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