‘Shrinkflation’ hits major retailers

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(NewsNation) — There’s something going on industry-wide that might make consumers think they’re sticking to their budget, when really they’re just getting less for their money at the store.

‘Shrinkflation’ is real, and it’s hitting the shelves of major retailers.

It’s also not fair, and companies would argue that it is necessary.

Instead of raising their prices, companies are just shrinking their products. It’s not a new concept, either.

This practice has been around for a long time, but the market is seeing it a lot more with the supply chain crisis. And with inflation, this is how companies are making money.

Here are some daily products seeing ‘shrinkflation’ right now:

Kleenex

One of the more recent products seeing a change is Kleenex. While the three layers per tissue is still the same, the box now only carries 60 sheets. A couple months ago, the product had 65 sheets.

Plus, it’s allergy season, and most consumers keep an extra box around.

Gatorade

PepsiCo says that it released slimmer bottles ahead of the pandemic, making them easier to hold the middle of the bottle. But now consumers can’t find the original shaped bottles — the bigger, 32-ounce bottles. The slimmer, easier-to-grip bottle only holds 28 fluid ounces.

After a few trips to Walmart, NewsNation discovered only the 28-ounce bottles were available for purchase, and the 32-ounce bottle was unable to be found. The important fact here is that the 28-ounce bottle sold for $1.34 while the price tag for the 32-ounce bottle before it disappeared was $1.29.

Potato chips

A 13-ounce bag of Lay’s chips and a 12.5-ounce bag of Lay’s chips, both labeled “party size,” sold for two different prices. With a 12-chip difference, the 13-ounce ‘party size” bag of chips sold for $4.78, and the 12.5-ounce “party size” bag of chips sold for $4.78. Yes, that reads correctly: both bags, labeled the same but with different sizes, cost the same.

Companies get away with this because most consumers only check the price when they’re buying something. If consumers want to try to avoid being hit by “shrinkflation,” they want to look for changes in the weight of the item — the little font on the bottom — or buy generic, because generic products don’t use “shrinkflation” as often.

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