Why Shrinkflation Has Consumers Scrutinizing Packages

As the world learns to cope with the current and very concerning food inflation crisis, consumers have noticed another issue related to the increase in food prices. According to Axios, not only are food manufacturers raising the amount on their price tags, but they are actually filling packages with less product than before. This reduction is being referred to as "shrinkflation," and it results in shoppers getting less bang for their buck.

Mouse Print, an organization that seeks to "expos[e] the strings and catches in the fine print," has been keeping a watchful eye on shrinkflation for some time and has noted some occurrences of the phenomenon. The site reported size reductions in "Family Size" boxes of Cocoa Pebbles, for example, with the newer box containing an ounce less cereal than older boxes. Another shopper noticed some shrinkage over in the snack aisle — new large jars of Utz pretzels were found to contain two ounces less than earlier large jars. On Reddit, someone even pointed out the reduction in the size of a Nature Valley bar! Though shrinkflation can seem pretty sneaky, some shoppers are finding ways to avoid spending every hard-earned cent on their grocery list.

Tips for navigating shrinkflation

As prices at grocery stores are hitting record highs, consumers are feeling the sting. Luckily, some resourceful shoppers are combatting inflation and shrinkflation with creative solutions and using Reddit to share their most cost-effective food choices so others may also find ways to reduce their grocery budget. Perhaps not surprisingly for Costco fans, the store's rotisserie chicken landed a spot on one Reddit discussion about high-value foods. Beyond buying food that costs less, there are some other ways to keep grocery budgets low.

According to The Takeout, one way to save money is to take inventory of what you have in your pantry to ensure you use up what you already have and avoid buying extra. Other tips from The Takeout include going the bulk-purchase route and splitting up the goods with friends or family, and jumping on sale prices when they happen but making freezable meals like stews and pasta that can be enjoyed at a later date. Of course, getting fewer Doritos in your bag of chips alone may not ultimately lead to a personal financial crisis, but it might just have you thinking about the big picture during your next snack break.