BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — As Americans face rising prices beyond the gas pump, many people on Capitol Hill say the country’s 8% inflation rate is unacceptable.
However, for some products, not only are the costs increasing, but you’re also receiving smaller quantities. This is part of a trend dubbed ‘shrinkflation.’
An assistant economics professor at Radford University, Jennifer Elias, says ‘shrinkflation’ is basically paying more for less without even knowing it.
For example, have you ever wondered why your favorite bag of chips keeps shrinking, but the prices stay the same?
“What happens with shrinkflation is that prices stay the same, but the quantities go down,” said Elias.
She says ‘shrinkflation’ is similar to inflation, but it’s not identical.
“If we’re talking about grocery store items, you walk down the aisle and all the prices now look higher, but you have to look a little bit closer to notice that the quantities have been reduced,” Elias said.
So, what are some other examples of ‘shrinkflation?’
According to Elias, the next time you buy a box of cereal, rice, or spaghetti, you may notice a smaller amount of food inside. In other words, the box will probably be the same size, but the weight of the contents will decrease.
Multiple Blacksburg residents, like Montana Snavly, weighed in on how they feel about ‘shrinkflation.’
“I do believe it’s a bit of a sneaky tactic in order to make people pay more for less,” said Snavly.
Snavly admits that she understands that companies have to keep up with production costs amid inflation, but she still thinks it’s not right.
Another Blacksburg community member even gave examples of where he has seen this tactic, which he described as downright greedy.
“There’s a number of coffee shops where the indentation at the bottom of the to-go cups makes it such that the same volume of liquid in the smallest amount is the same across the medium and the large,” Jack Phelps said.
While Radford University’s Elias tells WFXR News that ‘shrinkflation’ has been around for a long time, she says the type we are seeing now is more aggressive.