During times of inflation, companies get around raising prices by shrinking products.
It’s known as "shrinkflation" and there are lots of examples you’ll find in everyday products.
Shrinkflation comes in waves according to Edgar Dworsky, a longtime consumer advocate and editor of the website Consumer World.
“That's kind of a sneaky way of passing on a price increase because they hope most consumers are not going catch it," he said.
Dworsky has a shopping list of examples on his site including Angel Soft Toilet Paper.
“The old one had 425 sheets on a roll,” Dworsky pointed out. “You may still find this in some stores. The new one, 320. You lost over 100 sheets on every roll."
Arm & Hammer laundry detergent shrunk too. The new bottle is missing almost an entire cup. The company sent us a statement about the size difference.
As part of our ongoing sustainability efforts, we introduced liquid concentrated formulas that require less water and plastic packaging. ARM & HAMMER™ Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent requires a smaller dose per load than prior formulas, while still offering consumers the same cleaning power in every wash load today as before. As a leading value brand, our commitment will remain the same: to continue to provide our customers with great products at a great price.
“Snack foods, candy, breakfast cereal, paper goods. Those are some of the product categories you tend to see get smaller over time,” Dworsky explained. “It's not just limited to supermarket products.”
Dworsky said Miracle-Gro plant food withering by 12 ounces.
But don’t shed any tears over shrinkflation, Kleenex took a hit too. The new box has 5 tissues less than it used to.
Dworsky has tips for anyone spotting their favorite brands getting smaller.
"Try a store brand,” he said. “Store brands, usually, are the last ones to downsize. Use unit pricing, that's the price on the shelf that tells you the price per ounce of a product, that way you can easily one brand to another, one size to another. It really is the great equalizer."