90 Miles From Tyranny : 'Shrinkflation' strikes shoppers across the country: Companies faced with rising costs are downsizing packages without reducing prices in stealthy move to hit consumers in the wallet

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Friday, July 23, 2021

'Shrinkflation' strikes shoppers across the country: Companies faced with rising costs are downsizing packages without reducing prices in stealthy move to hit consumers in the wallet

General Mills' Cinnamon Toast Crunch has shrunk from a 19.3 oz package (left) to an 18.8 oz box (right) in an example of shrinkflation that is infuriating consumers
  • Many brands are reducing package sizes in a stealthy move to cut costs
  • From paper towels to breakfast cereal, consumers are getting less for their dollar
  • It is a counterpart to inflation known as 'shrinkflation' or downsizing
  • Consumers pay more in the end as they buy more often, but may not realize it
As companies face higher costs for raw materials, some are jacking up prices for consumers, but others are resorting to a stealthier measure by shrinking the package sizes for everyday items such as paper towels and breakfast cereal.

That's contributing to the 5'.4 percent rise in prices consumers are facing for everyday goods - the sharpest annualized price increase since the 1990s.

Also known as downsizing, 'shrinkflation' is the notorious ploy of selling less of an item for the same price, infuriating consumers who wind up getting less for their dollar.

From the cereal maker General Mills to the store brands of Costco and Walmart, many basic goods have shrunk in recent months, as spotted by eagle-eyed consumers.

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 higher prices for raw materials and seek creative ways to cut costs.

Some companies would surely argue that shrinkflation is a consumer-friendly alternative to simply raising prices, helping to prevent weekly grocery bills from ballooning wildly.

But many furious consumers don't appreciate the stealthy tactic, pointing out that they will end up paying more in the end for staple goods, which they now have to buy more often.

'Consumers are price conscious -- they'll spot that price increase -- but they're not net-weight conscious,' Edgar Dworsky, a watchdog at consumerworld.org, told Good Morning America last month.

'If you ask someone how many ounces is in this jar of mayonnaise, or in the cereal box you buy, they're going to shrug their shoulders,' he said.

'That's kind of how manufacturers take advantage because you don't have those sizes memorized,' he added. 'So what consumers can do is they have to become...

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Tim said...

It has to be Trumps fault. Jared too.

tsquared said...

Last year this time a $19 Costco frozen ground beef was 5 lbs. Now the $19 package of ground beef is 4 lbs.

stine2469 said...

This has been ongoing since the 1980's (as far back as I can remember things like this.) Granola bars were originally more than twice their current size when they were introduced, but by 1995 they were 1/2 of the size.

HalfElf said...

The Sam's Club bacon has gone from 16$ for 4lb, to 23$ for 3lb. Let me guess, the pigs are on the enhanced unemployment as well, Kung flu has them staying home and binge watching Netflix.

Noor al Haqiqa said...

In Canada they switched us from Imperial to Metric. I still use old Imperial cookbooks.

What I noticed was HUGE shrinkflation as containers got smaller while most people were trying to understand the changes. It was noticed in everything; this was decades ago, in the 1970's.

Now we are being shrinkflated again up here. My butcher noted the other day that stuff he used to sell as lower cuts are now more expensive than his finest Arrowhead beef cuts. Said he was on to minced himself more often than not.

And never forget the UNNECESSARY theft by Kosher tax on almost everything you purchase!