Shrinkflation: The Sneaky Tactics Companies Use to Hike Prices

Shrinkflation Coffee Can Comparisons
Due to shrinkflation our coffee now typically is in a 30.5 oz. can compared to 36.8. I was lucky to find a can with the bonus size.

This pandemic is yet another convenient excuse for some companies to take advantage of consumers in order to make more money. Once again, they are downsizing the contents of packages such as food when people are struggling just because they can. However, the worst part of shrinkflation is the sneaky tactics these companies use to hike prices thinking that most of us will not notice.

Not so long ago, the consumer had the unit price of various product sizes on grocery store shelves for keeping track of prices of the product that they pick up. This was very convenient for comparing the cost per ounce to determine the cost of the sizes offered for the best value. Sometimes, it was more economical to buy the smaller size than the larger one. But these unit price stickers have disappeared in my area, which is another sneaky tactic companies use to keep the consumer off guard.

Instead, the companies resort to shrinkflation and taller boxes or the same size cans to sneak in less. At first glance, you might think that the contents are the same and that only the price has gone up. Nonetheless, you finally notice upon closer inspection of the product box or can of the sneaky tactic with fewer ounces inside in the same size or larger box or can. Cereal and coffee cans are perfect examples. How many times has this happened already in a short span of time due to corporate greed?

Shrinkflation isn’t limited to product boxes or cans, but also to the design of plastic jars for food like peanut butter. Have you noticed the dimpled base in a lot of brands? This isn’t a new sneaky tactic but one that has been around since 2012 since that dimple helps the jar appear to contain the same amount for one that has about two ounces less when Jif sold 18-oz. peanut butter and downsized into 16-oz.

From ice cream, paper products such as toilet paper, detergents, etc., it seems shrinkflation is just deceptive. Before you know it, companies will just continue to pull this trickery on consumers with even smaller sizes of cereal, coffee, ice cream and everything else because they can. The only way to stop it is when people take the time to voice their concerns to their legislators about helping with this issue and honest sizing.



  1. Maryann D.
    September 8, 2021 / 4:25 am

    I actually have noticed that companies are downsizing the contents of packages. Such a shame that they have to do this to make more money.

  2. September 8, 2021 / 2:20 pm

    I have noticed this as well! Sneaky to do, prices going up, and packages getting smaller…

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