Shrinkflation: Why Hundreds Of Products Are Getting Smaller

Hundreds of products — including bread, breakfast cereal and chocolate bars — have decreased in size, leaving shoppers with sneaky price rises. Shrinkflation — where an item gets smaller but the price remains the same — has affected numerous products that you may not even be aware of. When was the last time you checked the amount of cereal in the box? If you’re like most, never. What you might find if you did is that there isn’t as much in the box as before. How about M&Ms? If you enjoy a bag of M&M’s now and then, you might be surprised to learn that now you’re enjoying about 15% less than before. Shrinkflation is a crafty way to effectively raise prices without incurring the backlash that comes with being upfront about it. Technically, companies aren’t really misleading consumers, since weight and volume information can easily be found on the label. It all boils down to this — when costs rise in food manufacturing, a company has three options: Raise the price, make smaller packages, or change the ingredients. Changing the ingredients is risky (ask Coca-Cola) and raising the price could inflame consumers, but simply making smaller packages is a no-brainer. So, the next time you do your grocery shopping, you might want to check out the labels to see if you’re actually getting what you think you’re paying for.