Consumer Alert: How to beat shrinkflation

Consumer Alert: Shrinkflation

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It seems everyone from the president to Cookie Monster is talking about shrinkflation, but few are talking about what we can do about it. While it seems that the power is in the hands of manufacturers, consumers have the power to speak with our wallets.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat representing Pennsylvania, just released a report that says, “Between 2020 and 2022, corporate profits rose by 75 percent—five times as fast as inflation.”

Food manufacturers disagree, saying everything from raw materials to shipping has gone up forcing them to find a way to save. But the question remains. Why not just raise prices rather fooling consumers into thinking they didn’t?

TikTok has exploded with videos of folks showing examples of shrinkflation. One man whose handle is @nomoredanny has gone viral, cleverly showing how products have gotten smaller yet cost the same.

And Danny boy isn’t the only one that’s peeved. So is Cookie Monster who posted on X, “Me hate shrinkflation. Me cookies getting smaller.”

The Whitehouse responded posting, “C is for consumers getting ripped off.  President Biden is calling on companies to put a stop to shrinkflation.”

Just some of the examples I found include, a family size box of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios is apparently now feeding a smaller family. While the box is the same size, the contents went from 20.1 ounces to 19 ounces.

Today you have fewer M&Ms to share in a “sharing size” package. It went from 10.7 to 10.05 ounces.

And while cartons of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish look the same; they’re not. They shrank from 30 ounces to 27.3 ounces.

“I’ve had enough of what they call shrinkflation. It’s a rip-off,” said President Joe Biden in a commercial that aired before the Super Bowl. “Some companies are trying to pull a fast one by shrinking the product little by little and hoping you won’t notice.”

But unfortunately, often consumer don’t notice. So, with the help of U.S. News, here’s Deanna’s Do

  • Get in the habit of comparing the unit price.
  • Ditch the big brands and consider the store brands.
  • Limit unhealthy premade snacks. The makers of snack foods are among the most frequent shrinkflation violators.
  • Consider a warehouse membership where you can buy in bulk.  Also, most warehouses post the unit price which makes price comparisons much easier.

Again, if you don’t like shrinkflation, let companies know with your wallet. For example, recently McDonald’s executives had to acknowledge their price hikes have driven off some consumers, so they’re now pitching affordable bundles. As consumers, the power is ours.