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Consumers deal with “shrinkflation” as prices of goods and services continue to increase in the US

Shrinkflation is a phenomenon where companies shrink the packaging size of goods, but still charge the same price.
Shrinkflation is a way that keeps us from noticing a big price hike. How? You just get less for the same price.
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 5:48 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to roll on, you have probably noticed you are paying more for the same goods now than you have in the past.

The reason is inflation.

Back in January, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the consumer price index, which measures the change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services, increased 7.5 percent across all items when compared to January 2021.

The BLS report also noted that the 12-month increase was the greatest since the period ending in February 1982.

Perhaps a more subtle effect of inflation is “shrinkflation.”

Essentially, shrinkflation is a term used to describe reducing the size of a packaged good, but selling it for close to the same price. So while you may not pay much more, you probably are not getting the same amount of a good that you may have in the past.

By practicing shrinkflation, companies can avoid an easily noticeable price hike.

Despite the corporate savviness, Americans are still feeling the effects of a rising price index, even if it’s not reflected on a shelf in front of them.

According to consumer expert Lisa Miller, 43% of American families were living paycheck-to-paycheck in the month of January – up 10% from October 2021.

Related: ‘We’re trying to absorb as much as we can’: Belmont restaurant owner speaks about coping with inflation

Miller says that the rising prices of goods has prompted consumers to purchase only what they need in grocery stores, opting to prepare food themselves rather than buy more conveniently packaged goods.

Compared to a year ago, the price of produce in grocery stores has risen by nearly 6%, while meats have risen more than 12%, and gas prices are up 40%.

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