The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Those heart-shaped boxes have lots of love - but little chocolate

By Laura Reiley

10 Feb 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Is it "shrinkflation" or "slack-fill?" The Post examines what companies are doing to make it seem like there's more in that box of chocolates. A tale of Valentine's Day deception.

It's a clutch decision. You buy your sweetie the Valentine's Day box. You know the one. Red shiny cardboard, heart-shaped, fancy-looking and boasting an assortment of milk and dark chocolates. One is made by Russell Stover, the other the classic Whitman's Sampler (which, incidentally, are owned by the same company). It sets you back about $7.99 at Walgreen's or your oh-geez-is-it-really-Feb.-14 store of choice.

The box is about is about 9.3 inches wide and 10 inches tall, a good size. But inside the Whitman's box are 11 candies. Inside the Russell Stover? Nine candies.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content