The Sneaky Way Dunkin' Could Be Getting More Expensive

Inflation typically happens every year as prices for products and services increase. Per Forbes, the average annual rate between 2016 and 2019 wass 2%, but the rate has been unstable due to several factors. Inflation is the worst it's been in over 40 years and the rate as of June 2022 is 9.1% (via U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). While Forbes reports that the Federal Reserve expects prices to go down and the inflation rate to return to a more typical level, it seems like it will be a while before they can. Now there's a new type of inflation to worry about: shrinkflation.

This is the approach some producers take to combat the cost of inflation, where they "shrink" new packaging while retaining the price of the old, larger product. Shrinkflation is affecting everything from canned goods and paper towels to pet food and candy. According to The Washington Post, Tillamook ice cream used to be 56 ounces but is now 48 ounces, Hershey's dark chocolate kisses went from 18 ounces to 16 ounces, and the Walmart store-brand paper towels now have 120 sheets per roll when they used to have 168. These size changes were made, but their pricing doesn't reflect that. Now, a Redditor thinks shrinkflation may be affecting the popular coffee chain, Dunkin'.

Cups may have a bigger gap underneath

One Redditor posted, "Shrinkflation at Dunkin Donuts. Smaller volume from the bottom up," along with a picture of the underside of their Dunkin' cup that purportedly showed the larger-than-normal spacing. The user explained how they noticed the change, writing, "The only reason why I noticed this, is because I usually rest the tip of my pinky finger underneath the cup. Today, it didn't touch the bottom, prompting me to look underneath and notice the increased gap."

A few users wondered whether Dunkin' had changed its size offerings to reflect the larger cup gap, but the overall consensus was that the coffee chain had not made any changes to its menu at all. Other Redditors debated if it really was shrinkflation or simply a flawed cup. Two users wrote, "OP did not provide any evidence of the old cup volume except a comment about the bottom feeling different," and, "Maybe he should repeat and buy more, [it] could be a defective cup." Whether Dunkin' really is discreetly decreasing its cup sizes or OP just got an imperfect cup, shrinkflation is something to be wary of.