As inflation has risen in recent months, customers are noticing another trend, “shrinkflation,” in which companies package their merchandise in such a way that they sell less product while maintaining the same price.
Steve Reed, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, explained the term to ABC News: “’Shrinkflation’ is a term used to describe implicitly increasing the price of an item by slightly decreasing the amount or quantity in a package … the conventional explanation would be that consumers may not notice small decreases in size or quantity or react less negatively to them compared to an explicitly higher price.”
“Many of these size changes are subtle, like making candy bars sold in multipacks smaller than ones being sold individually, or changing the shape of their products so you can barely notice the difference in weight,” Business Insider reported. “Though manufacturers have always sought to cut costs and the trend is nothing new, it seems to have accelerated in recent months, as companies face sharply higher prices for raw materials and seek creative ways to cut costs,” The Washington Post reported in June.
Some examples of products whose packaging has changed: Walmart Great Value Paper Towels kept the price the same while reducing 168 sheets per roll to only 120; Frito-Lay’s regular bags of Dorito’s shrank from 9.75 ounces to 9.25 ounces; General Mills shrank its “family size” boxes from 19.3 ounces to 18.1 ounces; Hershey’s Kisses diminished roughly two ounces from an 18-ounce pack. – READ MORE
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