Shrinkflation

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In economics, shrinkflation is the process of items shrinking in size or quantity while their prices remain the same or increase.[1][2]

Economic definition[edit]

Shrinkflation is a rise in the general price level of goods per unit of weight or volume, brought about by a reduction in the weight or size of the item sold.[3] The price for one piece of the packaged product remains the same or could even be lowered. This sometimes does not affect inflation measures such as the consumer price index or Retail Price Index, i.e. might not increase in the cost of a basket of retail goods and services[citation needed], but many indicators of price levels and thus inflation are linked to units of volume or weigth of products, so that shrinkflation also affects the statistically represented inflation figures.

Examples of shrinkflation[edit]

  • In 2009 Mars reduced the size of their Mars bar from 62.5 grams to 58 grams, while the price remained at 37 pence.[4]
  • In 2010 Kraft reduced its 200 g Toblerone bar to 170 g.[5]
  • Tetley tea bags were sold in boxes of 88 instead of 100.[5]
  • Nestlé reduced its After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins box from 200 g to 170 g.[5]
  • Cadbury's Crunchie were sold in packs of three instead of four.[5]
  • In 2013 Cereal Partners sold Shredded Wheat Superfruity for £2.68 at Sainsbury's; was put on £2 special offer, before returning to £2.68, but with less cereal in each box.[4]
  • In January 2009 Häagen-Dazs announced that it would be reducing the size of their ice cream cartons in the US from 16 US fl oz (470 ml) to 14 US fl oz (410 ml).[6][7]
  • In March 2014 Coca-Cola reduced the size of their 2-litre bottle to 1.75 litres
  • Birds Eye potato waffles were reduced from a 12 pack to a 10 pack
  • PG Tips 80 teabags reduced in weight from 250g to 232g, while the price remained at £1.99[8]
  • Kit Kat Chunky was reduced in weight from 48g to 40g, while the price remained at £0.60[8]
  • In July 2015, a tub of Cadbury Roses which weighed 975g in 2011, was reduced to under 730g, while a tub of Cadbury Heroes was reduced 695g, however the price remained the same at around £9.[9]
  • In 2016, Mondelez International again reduced the size of the UK 170 g Toblerone bar to 150 g, while the 400 g bar was reduced to 360 g. This was done by enlarging the gap between the chocolate triangles.[10]
  • In 2017, McVities reduced the amount of Jaffa Cakes in every standard packet from 12 to 10, raising the cost per biscuit from 9.58p to 9.9p[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]