What is shrinkflation and how can you avoid it?

What is shrinkflation and how can you avoid it? This article will teach you everything you need to know about this sneaky phenomenon that's affecting your wallet.


The new term has taken social media by storm, and you should pay attention to it.

Learn what shrinkflation means. Source: Freepik.

It’s no secret that inflation has been at a high for several months now. However, many consumers have been caught by surprise with another phenomenon called shrinkflation. It’s become such a big deal that the new term is trending all over social media. 

Morning Consult’s new survey says that approximately 64% of adults are worried about what’s causing shrinkflation while over 50% say they have read or heard something concerning this new occurrence.

But what exactly is shrinkflation, and is it necessarily bad? Keep reading the content below to learn more and what you can do about it. 

What is shrinkflation?

In short, shrinkflation is when you get less of a certain product but the price stays the same. It usually happens with different food groups, but it’s not restricted to it. Basically, products get smaller in quantity, size or weight and the cost remains. In some cases, it might even increase. 

Because of the ongoing inflation, consumers have been paying more attention to shrinkflation for a few months now. According to food and beverage analyst Emily Moquin, the phenomenon is more popular now as companies face supply chain issues, as well as higher prices for ingredients and gas. 

As the prices continue to climb, consumers are more and more susceptible to shrinkflation. Moquin agrees that the situation can be frustrating for many when they notice that they’re still paying full price for less product than before.  

Even though the term is gaining a lot of attention nowadays, shrinkflation is nothing new. According to Edgar Dworsky of Consumer World, this type of downsizing in products has been going on for a long time. 

Dworsky blames the current tidal wave of inflation, saying that consumers will see more and more items shrink in size until everything becomes stable again. 

How are people dealing with shrinkflation?

How are consumers dealing with the downsizing? Source: Freepik.

According to a recent Morning Consult poll, the categories most affected by shrinkflation are frozen foods, meat, bread, snacks and pantry items. In response to the downsizing, almost 50% of consumers say they chose to buy from a different brand.

48% of consumers say they bought items from generic brands instead of brand names. 33% just opted to purchase items in bulk instead of going for regular-sized packages. But there were some consumers who chose to quit buying products from certain brands altogether. Instead, they looked for alternatives who were not affected by shrinkflation 

Morning Consult also found that approximately 19% of consumers didn’t take any action even after noticing they were paying the same for less product. Dworsky believes that noticing shrinkflation is not always easy because companies tend to do it in more subtle ways. 

For example, a jar of peanut butter may go down a few ounces after the company who manufactures it puts an indent on the container. A cereal box may look the same when you look at the box, but feel thinner once you grab it. 

Is it possible to avoid shrinkflation?

Unfortunately, Dworsky believes that shrinkflation is here to stay even after inflation goes down and supply chain issues are no longer a problem. That is because it’s very uncommon for a product to revert back to its normal size. 

For now, what consumers can do is pay more attention to what they are buying at grocery stores and supermarkets. Dworsky says that right now it is up to people to become more conscious and look closely at the packaging. Manufacturers always have to specify whenever they downsize a product. 

To avoid becoming a “victim” of shrinkflation, look for different brands and compare the size, weight and volume of products they offer. Complaining to the manufacturer might also help. While it may not put an end to shrinkflation, it might earn you a discount on your next purchase. 

Tips for a better financial life

We all know inflation has taken its toll in most American households. While there’s nothing you can actively do to stop it, there are ways you can improve your financial situation. Follow the link below to learn some tips on how to have a better financial life. 

Invest in Yourself, text words typography written on book against wooden background, life and business motivational inspirational concept

10 tips for a better financial life

Learning how to manage your finances will give you a lot of advantages in life. Put these tips into action, and you'll see the results.

About the author  /  Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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