Inflation hits not only your wallet, but also your favorite snacks
MILLIONS of Americans have seen rising gas and grocery prices since the pandemic — but that’s not the only earth-shattering change that comes with rising inflation.
With the inflation rate at its highest in four decades, customers across the country have been disappointed to see many companies adapt to rising costs by reducing the amount of product in each package.
During times of high inflation, “shrinkflation” is a common practice for businesses to reduce the size, quantity, or quantity of items while maintaining the same prices in an effort to increase profits.
The reduction in package size may not be noticeable to consumers at first, as an increase in unit cost is not as striking as a price change for the entire product.
“Downsizing happens in waves, and it tends to happen in times of rising inflation,” consumer rights attorney Edgar Dworsky told Quartz.
“Results are reduced and there are three basic options: raise the price directly, take some of the product out, or reformulate the product with cheaper ingredients.”
Consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky has posted compilations of the products that have been discounted, and the number of shrinking products is staggering.
According to Dworsky, paper products like Charmin and Cottonelle changed their products by reducing the number of sheets on a roll of toilet paper.
Classic snacks like Doritos, Wheat Thins and Utz potato chips are all products that have shrunk recently.
The Doritos bag has gone from 9.75 to just 9.25 ounces. That means about five tokens were lost from the average bag, a Frito-Lay spokesperson confirmed to Quartz.
“Inflation hits everyone,” a Frito-Lay spokesperson told Quartz.
“We’ve taken just a little out of the bag so we can give you the same prize and you can still enjoy your chips,” a rep said.
Nabisco’s Wheat Thins “Family Size” product was reduced from 16 to 14 ounces, and Utz Potato Crisps were reduced from 9.5 to 9 ounces.
Dworsky reported that the packaging for Snyder’s Honey Onion Pretzel Pieces was renamed and shrunk by 0.75 ounces.
Not even toothpaste is safe, as Crest 3D White Radiant Mint has gone from 4.1 ounces to 3.8.
Finance experts are warning consumers to keep an eye on groceries – knowing the size of packages and the unit price could surprise you as inflation continues to rise.
What is the current inflation rate?
The Labor Department said on March 10 that the inflation rate in the United States rose to 7.9% in February 2022 from a year earlier.
This is the highest rate since January 1982 and the fastest pace in 40 years.
The cost of housing has increased by 4.7% over the past year.
Food prices increased by 7.9% during the year.
In December 2021, the Head of Oil at GasBuddy said gas prices would be the highest in the first half of this year and that remains true.
Meanwhile, according to AAA, the national price for an average gallon of gasoline was $4.26 as of March 19, 2022.
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