A weekly commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney. It was last broadcast March 9, 2003.
There are certain things in life we ought to be able to depend on.
We have to trust each other sometimes. If you get a roll of 50 pennies at the bank, you don't count them. You trust that there's 50 cents in there. When you buy a container of milk, you trust there's a quart in it.
It's time for another chapter in our continuing series on how some businesses violate this trust by charging more and giving less for what they pretend is the same.
Our first report was on coffee in 1988. Chock Full O' Nuts had not only reduced the amount of coffee in the can, as I told viewers then, but they'd also reduced the size of the print telling you how much is inside.
Back then, the net weight on a one-pound can dropped to 13 ounces. Today, the same can of Chock Full O' Nuts isn't even as chock full as it was then – now it's just 11 ounces.
In 1993, I congratulated Martinson's coffee for holding the line by selling 16 ounces in the same size can as the Chock Full O' Nuts. Well, sorry about Martinson's. To update, it's now down to 13 ounces. If they're not going to put a pound in it, they should use a smaller can.
In 1988, we had a one-pound can of Savarin, weighing in at a full 16 ounces. Well today, Savarin executives probably got stock options for putting out the lightest one-pound can of coffee on the market: 10.5 ounces. That's less than two-thirds of a pound.
Maxwell House still says it's good to the last drop. Maybe so, but there have been fewer and fewer drops over the years. The new Maxwell House is down to 11 ounces.
The only one-pound can we found that still has 16 ounces in it may be the best coffee, too. It's Brown Gold!
I have 17 cans of coffee here, and the total weight is 13-and-a-half pounds. Doesn't that seem like cheating?
Of course, I don't really have any right to complain. The actual content of 60 Minutes is now less than 42 minutes.