The economy shifts between growth and recession all the time. Most transitions are subtle, and the world makes minor adjustments to adapt. Even so, noticeable changes are appearing on our grocery store shelves. No, we’re not talking about supply chain shortages. The phenomenon reveals itself in a “smaller” way.
Welcome to the term known as shrinkflation. It’s when companies repackage their products instead of raising prices. The bottles or boxes offered by manufacturers become miniature versions of their former selves. Downsizing is a tactic used by several companies, regardless of their distribution scale.
There’s no magical way to make items cheaper during global interest rate hikes. Also, manufacturers do not want to cut into their profits. As a result, a box of cereal that costs $4.29 for 18.8 ounces may become 15 ounces for the same price. It’s shrinkflation at its finest.
Actions to protect against shrinkflation
Consumers can take specific actions to get the best value while shopping for their weekly meals.
1. Make a grocery shopping budget
All plans start by knowing the basics. Get a fundamental idea of how much you typically spend each week for food. List your items out, along with the size and price. Apps like Instacart or Publix make it easy to keep track electronically.
2. Review your spending
Every few weeks, review the list of previous groceries you purchased. Review the cost per ounce and unit pricing carefully.
With all the information in hand, now it’s time to compare. Did you notice a price change, or a size change, during your review? Is a competing brand offering the same product at a lower cost?
How long will shrinkflation last?
British economist Pippa Malmgren coined the term shrinkflation in 2009. That means that manufacturers have used the method for a long time now. It may be more noticeable than ever before, but thankfully, the consumer has the power to choose which products they will purchase.