WASHINGTON (7News) — 7News On Your Side is helping you be aware and avoid “shrinkflation" -- It's when companies reduce the size of their products but keep prices the same.
It feels like a sneaky move, but something that’s always been done, according to expert Edgar Dworsky, Founder of ConsumerWorld.org. But he adds, that because of the current inflation, we’re experiencing a windfall of shrinkflation.
"The smart shopper has to pay attention," Dworsky said. "I hate to tell you, you have to memorize the net weight or the net count of the products you buy all the time. How else are you going to catch it when you go back to the store? Then, when you go to the store, check the net weight and count of the product, check to see if it’s been downsized. Look at the competitor. See if they haven’t changed yet. Check the store brand. The store-brand tends to be the last type to downsize. And use unit pricing. That’s the price per ounce, or the price per hundred counts right there on the shelf. That way you can easily compare the different brands and different sizes of the same type of item."
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Inflation is raising the cost of raw materials, so companies have a choice: they can raise prices, switch to cheaper ingredients, or shrink the size of the products and keep the price the same.
But you have a choice too -- avoid that product!
Here are some examples that you’ll currently see in your grocery store:
- Angel Soft was 425 sheets per roll, it's now down to 320 sheets per roll
- Honey Bunches of Oats used to pack in 14.5 ounces, but boxes now have 12 ounces
- Dial was 21 fluid ounces, now it only offers 16 fluid ounces
- Crest toothpaste downsized from 4.1 ounces to 3.8 ounces
- Walmart Great Value Paper Towels dropped from 168 sheets per roll to only 120
- Frito-Lay just shrunk regular bags of Dorito's from 9.75 ounces to 9.25 ounces
- Hershey cut down its 18-ounce pack of dark chocolate Kisses by almost two ounces
- Hefty's mega pack went from 90 bags to 80 bags, at the same price
- A two-pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups used to weigh 1.6 ounces. Now it's just 1.5 ounces
- Some of Royal Canin's cans of cat food now weigh 5.1 ounces, down from 5.9 ounces
- Gatorade bottles had 32 fluid ounces, the company shrunk it down to 28 fluid ounces
- Tillamook decreased the size of its ice-cream cartons from 56 ounces to 48 ounces
- General Mills shrunk its "family size" boxes from 19.3 ounces to 18.1 ounces – a drop of nearly 10%
- Post downsized Cocoa Pebbles and other family-size boxes from 20.5 oz to 19.5 ounces, according to consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky's watchdog website
- Quaker Life cereal also shrunk from 24.8 oz to 22.3, and it was renamed from "Giant" to "family" size
- Cottonelle's Ulta Clean Care toilet paper is down to 312 sheets from 340
- Bounty Triples reduced sheet count from 165 sheets to 147
- Cadbury individual pieces now have rounded edges and contain nearly 10% less chocolate than before
- Wheat Thins changed its family size from 16 oz to 14 oz, with about 28 fewer crackers per box
- Chobani minimized its Flips yogurt from 5.3 ounces to 4.5 ounces.
- Pedigree changed the size of some dry dog foods from 50 lbs to 44 lbs.
- Folgers reduced its 51 oz container down to 43.5 oz.
- Proctor and Gamble reportedly shrunk its Pantene Pro-V Curl Perfection conditioner from 12 fluid ounces down to 10.4
SEE ALSO | Doritos bags now have five fewer chips thanks to 'shrinkflation'