Shrinkflation is a hidden price increase that manufacturers engage in. You might not see the cost difference upfront. But rest assured, it punches you in the wallet every time a company engages in the practice. Here are the things that you need to know about this phenomenon.
Shrinkflation: A Covert Price Increase in Your Grocery Costs
When the prices of raw goods rise, manufacturing facilities have two ways to adjust their pricing to meet profit goals. They can do an overt price increase, raising the cost of their offerings. On the other hand, they can do a covert price increase, giving consumers less of the same retail price. The latter perfectly describes shrinkflation.
An Example of Shrinkflation
Here is a perfect illustration of how shrinkflation impacts the average family.
Every week you purchase the same box of pasta for your family’s favorite spaghetti dish. You purchased it for many years, and a single box served your entire family. It’s the perfect amount, with no leftovers to pack away and nobody leaving the table asking for more. You notice that you run out of pasta at the dinner table one day. You assume your family had a bigger appetite and blow it off. The next week, the same thing happens.
Finally, you peek at the box and notice something strange. The spaghetti used to come in a sixteen-ounce box, but now you only receive fourteen ounces of product. The next time you visit the store, you scan the shelves and notice that it’s not only your spaghetti but that the factory also shrunk the size of the elbow macaroni, rigatoni, and rotini.
See why I refer to it as a “covert” price increase? Very sneaky!
And by the way, not only is the company offering you lass product for the money, but they are also finding other savings. This shrinking product often reduces the price of their packing materials–saving by purchasing smaller boxes. And, the weight per case shipped to the store drops, shaving off transportation costs.
On top of that, many leading grocery chains are using this cover to make a little bit more for themselves, as well, as this report notes.
This is inflation, no doubt about it–and you are footing the bill!
This pricing strategy is happening all across the board. Your favorite brands are adjusting for inflation and leaving you on the hook, from laundry detergent to toilet paper to grains and frozen foods.
Wrap Up: How to Find the Best Values to Offset the Cost of Grocery Inflation
Take note of the actual price per pound of products on your grocer’s shelves. They indicate a price per ounce in addition to the unit price. Find the product with the best bang for your buck, and if it’s an acceptable alternative, give it a try. Of course, you only want to do that if it’s an apple-to-apple comparison.
Also, purchase key items that your family uses much of in bulk. When you get it home, try dry canning (if appropriate) or seal it up with a vacuum sealer.
Finally, remember to purchase fresh foods over convenience items. You might need to do a little more prep work, then you might find that the time you spend to have the healthier alternative to processed foods might be well worth it.
We at DIY Home & Garden will keep you updated on the latest news on the current grocery inflation. Also, we promise to keep bringing you money-saving ideas to help you spend less on groceries and other goods at your home. Until the next time, have a happy DIY day.