While the inflation rate has generally trended downward since its peak in 2022, it edged higher in December to close out the year. In the midst of that rise, shoppers have been facing a separate but related issue — shrinkflation, which is the practice of reducing a product’s size while keeping the price the same.
Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) has been vocal about the issue during this election season and recently took to social media to share her thoughts on the subject.
From Doritos to Oreos to toilet paper, giant corporations are shrinking how much they give but charging the same price or more. We're not fooled.
Corporations are boosting their profits with these tricks.
It's time to crack down on shrinkflation and corporate greed. pic.twitter.com/AefmKWAvZu
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) February 4, 2024
“From Doritos to Oreos to even toilet paper, these big corporations are shrinking how much they give us, but they’re charging the same amount or sometimes even more,” Warren said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Feb. 4.
How is shrinkflation affecting consumers?
Shrinkflation can happen with any product beyond the number of chips that come in a bag or the amount of toilet paper on a single roll.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Bounty shrunk its 12-roll paper towel bundles from 98 sheets per roll to 90 sheets, equating to around an 8% decrease. The Sun-Times also reported that the “family size” package of Oreo Double Stuf cookies “shrunk from 1 pound, 4 ounces to 1 pound, 2.71 ounces” while maintaining the same price — something that consumers have quickly picked up on.
— Brian Lozano (@bllamar0171) January 31, 2024
Oreo did not respond to Yahoo News’ request for comment.
Like Warren, other consumers have taken to social platforms to voice their frustration about “shrinking” grocery items.
“Companies are out here gaslighting us into thinking that shrinkflation isn’t real,” Brandon Wenerd (@brandonwenerd) says in a post while picking up a bag of chips at the grocery store. “There’s three chips in the whole bag.”
While shrinkflation is the practice of decreasing the amount of product while charging the same price, another trend consumers are seeing more of is “skimpflation.”
“This is when businesses try to skimp on what they’re giving you,” Braiden Shaw (@braiden.fulcrum), a mortgage broker and TikTok creator, says in a post. “Whether the quantity of it, the quality of it, the ingredients of it or whatever it is, to try and skimp on giving you the same thing that they did before to try and save money.”
In 2022, CBS News reported on skimpflation, describing it as when companies “reformulat[e] their products using cheaper ingredients to reduce their manufacturing costs” but still charge the same price.
President Biden weighed in on the conversation while at a Jan. 27 political rally in South Carolina by calling out companies that are implementing shrinkflation tactics.
“There are still too many corporations in America ripping people off: price gouging, junk fees, greedflation, shrinkflation,” he said. “Americans, we’re tired of being played for suckers.”