Steals and Deals: What is shrinkflation?


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The US economy is experiencing something called “shrinkflation.” What exactly are we talking about? Things are getting smaller.

Whether it’s your morning donut, a popular salad at a local restaurant, or even paper towel at Costco, you are paying the same but getting less of things pretty much across the board.

It’s a strategy that companies are using to increase revenue right now. Instead of raising prices, they are cutting back on the quantity.

I think the conventional wisdom is that the reason this is done is that it is less noticeable to consumer than sort of an explicit price increase,” said Steve Reed, an economist with Bureau of Labor Statistics “

And here’s just one example.

One smart shopper alerted in March that a 9.75 ounce package of Doritos is now half an ounce smaller.

In June, Walmart was selling the smaller bag online for .22 cents more than the larger one.

And even at Costco. Do you know that giant bag of paper towel rolls? Last year you got 160 sheets on each roll, but now that’s down to 140.

Costco officials, however, say that is due to an increase in demand during the paper hoarding amid the pandemic and not the price point.

Still, it’s just a reminder to be smart when you are shopping. Make sure you are looking at packaging carefully to make sure you really are getting the deal you want.

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