NewsNews5 Investigates


'Shrinkflation' is happening, but what is it?

grocery store photo.bmp
Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 20:15:24-05

U.S. consumers are dealing with the worst inflation in decades.

Many shoppers and drivers have noticed higher prices at gas pumps and at grocery stores, but now some consumers have noticed another trend involving smaller product and portion sizes.

"Shrinkflation" is when a company decreases the size or amount of the product they're selling while keeping the price the same---and consumer experts say it's not as noticeable as a price change which shoppers may notice immediately.

Example of "Shrinkflation"

Let's say an 11 oz. box of cereal runs $3.99. The manufacturer may reduce the product size to 9 oz., yet the price remains the same.

Can you save $$$ with Shrinkflation?

In the long-term---no. However, while waiting on new inventory to arrive, you may be able to find the original, larger boxes still on shelves in the interim. As long as the UPC barcode is the same, you should be able to pay the same price for the item.

Gas price impact:

Gas prices continue to sharply rise this month. A few months ago when gas was $2.79/gallon, it was only costing drivers about $50.22 to fill up an 18 gallon tank.

With gas around $3.91 a gallon in our state, the price to fill up that same gas tank is now $70.38.


Grocery store inflation:

Inflation at grocery stores ranges from 5-15% depending upon what specific items you're buying. Not all products have suffered the same percentage price hike.

The top five products with the largest price increases include:

#1 Beef

#2 Pork

#3 Fruit

#4 Fish

#5 Poultry

Food inflation
Food inflation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average family of four in 2020 was spending about $400/mo. or $4,800 a year on groceries.

Here's what those numbers look like based on the following grocery bill percentage increases:

+10% increase: +$40/mo. or +$480/year

+12% increase: +$48/mo. or +$576/year

+20% increase: +$80/mo. or +$960/year

Have a story idea or issue you'd like us to add context to? Email us: