You may be a victim of “shrinkflation” and not know it

Instead of marking up prices, some companies are giving us less product

(CBS) – The latest data from the Bureau of Labor statistics shows the price of food shot up 10% over the past year, the biggest annual jump since 1981. And if high prices weren’t enough, now some of the products, we buy are getting smaller.

It’s called shrinkflation. Consumer advocate Mary Bach was at the grocery store last week and noticed a new bottle of Gatorade with four ounces less than an older bottle.

“The newer bottle is a little bit slimmer – 32 ounces down to 28 ounces, and they were both exactly the same price,” Bach says.

The group Consumerworld.org says many products have less. A certain Kleenex now has 60 tissues, a few months ago it was 65. Chobani Flips yogurts have shrunk from 5.3 ounces to 4.5 ounces. And some Dawn detergent now has a half ounce less.

“At the moment, because of inflation, it’s a tidal wave of shrinkflation,” Edgar Dworsky, Founder of Consumerworld.org says.

Right now, manufacturers’ production and shipping costs are going up, and many companies don’t want to raise prices.

“They know consumers are price conscious and are gonna catch that. Or they can do it the more subtle way, take a little bit out of the product,” Dworsky says

Some companies are upfront about changes. Earlier this year, when chicken prices soared, Dominos announced it was shrinking the number of wings in its carryout deal from ten to eight.
But consumer advocates say most companies never point out downsizing.

“Manufacturers are really good when they want to give you a bonus as a big banner on the package that says look 20% more. Unfortunately, we’re never going to see one of those that says look 20% less,” Dworsky says.

Some manufacturers may reintroduce larger packages when inflation eases, but Dworsky says once a product has downsized, it often stays that way.

Categories: Consumer News, Jobs & Economy, US & World News