Why is Smaller Costing More?

Why is Smaller Costing More?

Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

Shrinkflation. When the size or quantity of a product is reduced, while the price remains the same or is increased. In other words, we are being ripped off! That’s right, Dear Readers, the research has been done and the evidence is in . . .we are paying the same or more for less. It is the saga of the incredible shrinking packages and ounce by ounce, inch by inch, we are being robbed!

Wondering why the toilet paper rolls look smaller? That’s because they are! As much as six percent less tissue and the rolls are 3/8 of an inch smaller in size. This situation stinks! Let’s forget that paper towels have fewer sheets, the average box of tissue has about five to ten less tissues. Just about every single paper product is packaged so we, the paying public, are getting less.

A bag of potato chips seems like it is filled with air. Oh yeah, the ads say we can’t eat just one, but they are giving us an ounce less in the bag which means we had better eat just one! Bars of soap that used to be solid rectangles are now curved – so we pay the same or more for a smaller bar. And look at how skinny the cereal boxes have become.

Holy guacamole! The trickery never ends. A common brand of guacamole now has domed the package upwards, so it looks bigger. Lies! It is actually smaller, and the clever packaging is supposed to fool us, the unsuspecting consumer. I guess the packaging industry paid close attention to the airlines. They’ve been watching the seats being removed to make for more rows, while passengers are squeezed into tight, little suffocating spaces. Pay more for less is the new business motto!

A mother of three emailed me to say she packs fifteen lunches a week. She noticed that American cheese slices are now 20 in a package instead of 24. This doesn’t sound very “American” to me. It’s funny that this entire “shrinkflation” phenomenon seems to be done on the sly. Like we consumers won’t notice the difference. Well, we do!

This disturbing trend is so depressing (to our pocketbooks) that it makes me want to eat a cookie. But since major brand cookies have “downsized” from a 14.5-ounce packages to 11.3 ounces, I better grab something more healthy and less expensive, like yogurt. But wait, isn’t Greek yogurt now in smaller little cups? Yes, a twelve percent decrease in volume has been reported. We are into global shrinking product sizes, from canned goods, frozen pizzas, to packages of rice, beans and flour. Sadly, smaller is the new normal.

Have you noticed that the usual five-pound bag of sugar is really a four-pound bag? And if you want a cracker, chew slowly, because there are fewer crackers in the box. Yikes, we are being bamboozled one bite, one ounce, one chip, one slice and one gulp at a time!

Companies like to call shrinkflation “downsizing.” Then charge us less! I guess we better not cry about it. After all, there are fewer tissues in the box.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Contact Judy at [email protected] or at www.aroundthebluhmintown.com.

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