Your favorite brands could be selling thinning and smaller versions of their products for the same price due to inflation and the rise of production costs. Although the war between Russia and Ukraine will contribute to a fluctuation in costs, “shrinkflation” has been happening for a while, according to CNN.
What is “shrinkflation?”: Shrinkflation is a catchy word for downsizing. Companies have been downsizing their products for almost as long as they have been selling them. This happens when manufacturers face pressure within pricing, NPR reported.
Which products are shrinking?: Edgar Dworsky is a former Massachusetts attorney general who has been tracking the shrink of products for decades and documenting his findings on his website, Mouseprint.org. According to Dworsky’s most recent post, here are some products that have shrunk in size:
- Charmin: Old packaging states that a “mega” role of toilet paper included 264 two-ply sheets. Recent packaging shows that each role of the same toilet paper only has 244 two-ply sheets.
- Snyder’s pretzels: An old bag of pretzels contains 12 ounces, whereas the new bag holds 11.25 ounces of pretzels.
- Pantene conditioner: The old bottle of conditioner reads that it holds 12 fluid ounces of product, the new container holds 10.4 fluid ounces.
- Gatorade: An old bottle of the drink held 32 fluid ounces, the new bottle only holds 28 fluid ounces of liquid.
Some companies are transparent in the product changes: Tillamook Ice Cream released a statement in 2021, saying that it would reduce the carton size from 56 ounces to 48 ounces to keep the price the same.
- General Mills: Cereal boxes in stores have gotten taller, but there is less cereal in the bag. The old box contained 19.3 ounces of cereal, whereas the new box only has 18.8 ounces.
- A General Mills spokesperson said in a statement reported by NPR: “This change allows more efficient truck loading leading to fewer trucks on the road and fewer gallons of fuel used, which is important in reducing both reducing global emissions as well as offsetting increased costs associated with inflation.”
Why are companies doing this?: Inflation is affecting everyone, as production costs, shipping costs and material costs are all on the rise. Due to inflation, some companies are charging more for their product, but others are just offering less of their product for the same price, according to CNN.