A baker and TikToker was purchasing Betty Crocker cake mix when she noticed the box felt lighter.
Despite a 2-ounce difference, the suggested pantry ingredients stayed the same.
Betty Crocker told Insider it was important to the company to keep products affordable.
A baker and TikToker with an investigatory eye noticed something different about her Betty Crocker cake mix when she was restocking it last week.
Malina Lee, 29, who operates Sweet Grace bakery in Texas, typically keeps about five boxes of Betty Crocker Super Moist white-cake mix on hand for a single wedding-cake recipe she offers (though most of her other items are baked from scratch).
Lee told Insider the last time she'd stocked up was about six weeks ago with the usual 16.25-ounce boxes. But recently, after picking up a new stash at her local Walmart, she realized they felt lighter. Upon closer inspection, Lee saw that the new boxes were 14.25 ounces.
In a TikTok video with 4.1 million views, she shared the discovery with her 274,000 followers. Lee noted the suggested amounts of water, oil, and eggs on the back of the box had stayed the same, which she said would change the texture of the cakes. This was particularly concerning, she told Insider, because professional bakers often rely on doctored cake mixes.
"Baking is definitely a science," she said. "At the very least, they could have let their customers know."
Betty Crocker acknowledged the change and said it's important to keep its products affordable
In a statement emailed to Insider, a customer-care representative for Betty Crocker, the 102-year-old company owned by General Mills, said all mixes in its Super Moist line in the US and Canada (and not just the white flavor) had been changed. Its website lists 20 Super Moist flavors, including yellow, devil's food, butter pecan, carrot, and cherry chip.
"Keeping our products affordable, especially given the rising prices for ingredients, is important to us because it is important to consumers like you," the statement said.
The new boxes require slightly different amounts of pantry ingredients, the company said, except for the white flavor.
"ONLY the Betty Crocker White Cake Mix had changed the bake time; the other required ingredient amounts stayed the same," the customer-care representative added.
Oven times also changed slightly across the board, but the company said "the products bake-up almost the same."
Betty Crocker also said some Super Moist flavors had been reformulated "to give more cocoa."
Viewers and bakers say they have noticed the same product changes
Commenters under Lee's video corroborated her observation, with several calling it a result of "shrinkflation" — or a term to describe the practice by brands of selling smaller amounts of their products to hide rising costs.
"Yes!!! I used to be able to make 24 cupcakes out of one box now I'm lucky if I get 18," one viewer wrote.
"My grandma wrote Betty Crocker a letter about this a few years ago cause she was so mad," another added.
Earlier this week, upon closer inspection of the labels, Lee noted several other differences between the 16.25-ounce and 14.25-ounce boxes. The cupcake yield had gone down from 24 to 23, she said, and the baking time had been reduced by roughly one minute.
To get to the bottom of things, she's planning to hold a bake-off with both boxes next week. But she's doubtful she'll continue using the Crocker mix. Pillsbury reached out to send her free boxes, she said, explaining that its sizing had stayed consistent.
"Probably because I know that they haven't switched any of their sizes, I'll just switch over to them and use their white mix," Lee said.
Read the original article on Insider