WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) — Your eyes don’t deceive you. You may have noticed that some products are getting smaller, but the price remains the same.
“For example, Post Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. To look at the two boxes head-on, one is 14.5 ounces, the other is 12 ounces. You lost 17% of the product, but the boxes look the same,” said Edgar Dworsky, founder of consumerworld.org.
This phenomenon is called shrinkage.
“We tend to see it come in waves, and now with inflation we’re in the middle of a tidal wave,” Dworsky said.
That’s because production and shipping costs are going up, but many companies don’t want the bad public relations of a price increase. They will stay the same, but reduce the amount you get.
Some buyers in the north of the country have understood.
“They feel like you’re still getting what you’re used to, but the boxes are slimmer, still tall,” said buyer Karen Tarzia.
The majority of shoppers who spoke with 7 News off-camera said they hadn’t noticed the products they were buying were getting smaller. Dworsky says that’s the point.
“Manufacturers will brag about having 20% more sheets, 20% bigger, when they increase the size of their product. But when they remove some of the product, you won’t see something that says 20% less right on the packaging,” Dworsky said.
Whether you’ve noticed the change or not, buyers admit there’s not much they can do.
“I’ll be more aware, but you still have to buy the food, you know?” It doesn’t really matter,” Tarzia said.
Dworsky says that once a product shrinks, it very rarely goes back to the size it was before. In fact, he says the shrinkage will likely continue over the years.
Copyright 2022 WWNY. All rights reserved.