"Shrinkflation" Takes Hold in Product Sizing
The small things matter. Small in this case meaning the quantity in a package. In
case you haven't noticed lately, prices are going up and contents are going down.
If you're not sure about this, consider the new sizes of common household
products such as toothpaste and toilet paper. Example: A Crest toothpaste once
contained 4.1 ounces of teeth-whitening product, but now contains 3.8 ounces.
Gatorade was 32-ounces, but not it is down to 28 ounces. And (in case you are
counting sheets) a roll of Cottonelle toilet paper has shrunk to 312 sheets,
compared to its former count of 340 sheets.
Meal portions at restaurants have also been impacted. At Subway restaurants, the
chicken wraps and sandwiches have less meat now. Domino's Pizza reduced the
order size of boneless wings to 8 pieces from the usual 10 pieces. Burger King is
also downsizing its nugget meals from 10 to 8 pieces. What is going on?
At first glance none of this seems too alarming, but this movement is called
"shrinkflation" and tends to not retreat once implemented. Shrinkflation is when
manufacturers cut down on the product size or volume in a package, rather than
raising the price on the customary size. This happens during times of increasing
raw materials and supply chain cost increases.
has found that consumers, once aware that companies are
reducing product sizes or portions, will avoid certain brands and tell their social
circles to do so as well. However, shrinkflation has been an effective way to