How “shrinkflation” makes what we buy SMALLER

It’s the inflation you’re not supposed to see.

From toilet paper to yogurt and coffee to corn chips, manufacturers are quietly reducing package sizes without lowering prices. It’s called “shrinkflation,” and it’s accelerating around the world.

In the United States, a small box of Kleenex now contains 60 tissues; a few months ago, there were 65. Chobani Flips yogurts are down more than 10%.

In the UK, Nestlé has reduced its Nescafé Azera Americano coffee cans from 100 grams to 90 grams. In India, a bar of Vim dish soap has been reduced from 155 grams to 135 grams.

Shrinkflation is nothing new, experts say. But it proliferates in times of high inflation as businesses grapple with rising costs for ingredients, packaging, labor and transportation. Global consumer price inflation rose about 7% in May, a pace that will likely continue through September, according to S&P Global.

“It comes in waves. We happen to be in a tidal wave right now because of inflation,” said Edgar Dworsky, consumer advocate and former Massachusetts assistant attorney general, who documented the contraction in inflation on his Consumer website. World for decades.

Dworsky started noticing smaller boxes in the cereal aisle last year, and shrinkage skyrocketed from there.

Camera iconFrom corn chips to Gatorade, producers are quietly reducing package sizes without cutting prices. Credit: PA

He can cite dozens of examples, from Cottonelle Ultra Clean Care toilet paper, which went from 340 sheets per roll to 312, to Folgers Coffee, which reduced its container from 51 ounces to 43.5 ounces but still says that it will make up to 400 cups. . (Folgers says it uses new technology that results in lighter grains.)

Dworsky said shrinkage attracts manufacturers because they know customers will notice price increases but won’t keep track of net weights or small details, like the number of sheets on a roll of toilet paper. Businesses can also use tricks to distract from downsizing, like branding small packages with new, bright labels that grab shoppers’ attention.

That’s what Fritos did. Bags of Fritos Scoops marked “Party Size” weighed 18 ounces; some are still for sale in a chain of Texas grocery stores. But nearly every other major chain now advertises “Party Size” Fritos Scoops that weigh 15.5 ounces — and more expensive.

PepsiCo did not respond when asked about Fritos. But he recognized the shrinking of the Gatorade bottles. The company recently began eliminating 32-ounce bottles in favor of 28-ounce ones, which are tapered down the middle to make them easier to hold. The change has been in the works for years and is unrelated to the current economic climate, PepsiCo said. But he didn’t answer when asked why the 28-ounce version was more expensive.

Similarly, Kimberly-Clark – which makes both Cottonelle and Kleenex – did not respond to requests for comment on the reduced pack sizes.

#shrinkflation #buy #SMALLER

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