With the rising rates of inflation we are seeing as a nation comes another threat: shrinkflation.
Inflation is a problem that is far easier to point out: An item you purchased last month has seen a slight increase in its cost.
When it comes to shrinkflation, however, it is much more hidden. The item that you purchased previously is still marked with the same price on the shelf and even the packaging may seem to be the same size, but underneath all of that, there is just less of the product included. In some extreme cases, it is a good bit less.
“Notable brands to ‘shrinkflate’ their products in recent months as the American dollar continues to lessen in value include Charmin, Bounty, and Gatorade, which have all been downsized in recent months but have retained their previous prices,” stated a report that went out on Wednesday morning from the Daily Mail.
“Joining the parade of downsized products is cereal stalwart Honey Bunches of Oats, which has seen the weight of its standard box, previously 14.5 ounces, lessen to 12 ounces — a reduction of roughly 17 percent,” stated the U.K. based outlet.
On toilet paper brand, Angel Soft, has chosen to reduce the size of its current 425 sheets per roll to 320, while Bounty paper towels have dropped their rolls to 147 sheets from where it sat at 165 sheets per roll. Gatorade has also dropped the size of its bottles to 28 ounces instead of 32 ounces where it was set previously.
The odd thing about this is that most companies go extremely far in their attempts to keep the containers for their products the same size despite the drop in product size.
One such case where it was discovered, and sparked a fairly large controversy, was with Folger’s coffee when they cut the amount of coffee per canister.
“Last month, the company elected to dramatically drop the number of ounces displayed on those canisters – previously 51 ounces, now 43.5 ounces – while keeping the number of cups that it says each package will yield, at 400, the same,” stated the Daily Mail. “When confronted about the 7.5-ounce reduction per canister last month on social media, which should see a decrease of more than a dozen cups of coffee, the company cited a new, more efficient bean pressing technology as to why the cup count has not been changed.”
“We have employed a new, roasting technology that makes the most out of every bean — resulting in lighter-weight coffee grounds that deliver the same taste you love across the same number of brewed cups,” stated the company on Twitter in an attempt to spin the discovery. “Through the use of this new roasting process, we’re able to get more coffee flavor from each bean while providing the same amount of coffee servings.”
“The total weight of our coffee products will be reduced, but the amount of coffee you receive, by way of total servings, will remain the exact same. Hope this clears up any confusion,” continued the company.
This obvious cover-up did not go over well with their customer base.
Give me a break! A lighter coffee ground? You’re greedy, I’ll switch brands!
— Melbeach (@Melbeach10) June 7, 2022