Shrinkflation: the phenomenon that affects consumer products.
This phenomenon concerns products that are bought at the supermarket, Italy too is affected by this trend.
If those products you buy every week seem to be getting smaller and smaller but aren’t decreasing in price, there’s a new trend hitting stores. It’s called shrinkflation, and it’s impacting consumer wallets worldwide. When shrinkage occurs, product packaging shrinks dramatically without a consequent drop in price.
In other words, you are paying for a smaller quantity , while the price stays the same or increases even more . Shrinkflation is a subtle mechanism used by companies to increase their profits at the expense of unsuspecting consumers. Here are all the details on this new phenomenon.
Shrinkflation, what it is and the strategies to adopt
Shrinkflation is a reality that accompanies us more and more: it is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly widespread, especially in the last period. This is the rapidity of the characteristics of the dimensions of food and non-food products: the packages are progressively reduced and with them also the quantity that each contains. But the price remains the same, or even increases! And so a real increase in prices takes place, since to buy the same quantity we have to buy more products than in the past. Unfortunately, shrinkflation is an ever-expanding phenomenon and you need to keep your eyes peeled to avoid spending too much money on decreasing quantities of product.
What we have just presented to you is a reality that often affects everyday products such as packaged foods , soft drinks , detergents and hygiene items . These are products that we see every day in our homes and in our kitchens but which are now changing in many respects: their packaging becomes smaller, the contents lighter but the price does not decrease. Shrinkflation is becoming more and more common and therefore it is up to us consumers to be careful of how often we can fall victim to this deception. Always check weight and package size before purchasing!
To avoid surprises on spending it is possible to take a few simple precautions. The most important thing to do is to read the product label well : prices are sometimes higher than expected, especially if the product format has been reduced or if part of the content has been lost. It is also important to always compare prices between different stores so that you can find the best deal and find out about any special offers. It’s also best to take an inventory of your pantry so you don’t buy things you already have around the house, as well as set a realistic budget and stick to it. By following these rules, it will be possible to avoid spending surprises.
Shrinkflation in Italy and the Antitrust action
Shrinkflation is a phenomenon that is gaining ground all over the world, including Italy. When we talk about shrinkflation, we are referring to the price reversal on basic consumer items such as groceries, personal care and household products. The Italian producers reduce the dimensions of the containers , reduce the quantity of product inside, but do not reduce the prices. The consequence is a net increase in the total cost for the buyer. It is a phenomenon that occurs gradually over time and is difficult to identify; for this very reason it can have devastating effects on the wallet of the Italian family.
The Antitrust is investigating this increasing phenomenon and recently a statistical report revealed that the packaging of some food products such as cheese , chocolate and crisps have decreased by 4-7% during the last 3 years with no reflection in the increase of prices. The Antitrust has said it will investigate companies to make sure they are not using this deceptive technique as a means to charge higher prices without properly informing consumers.
The Italian Antitrust Authority has decided to carry out investigations on this matter to put a stop to this problem which could cause serious harm to consumers. The goal is to contain product prices and ensure maximum transparency in the communication of information on items sold. The first initiatives against shrinkflation include the introduction of new strict rules to monitor commercial activities more closely and guarantee people greater safety in the purchase of food and electronic goods.
Global economy: a worrying prospect
The effect of shrinkflation on global economies is worrying. As is the case with some canned food brands that have reduced the size or content of the product but kept prices unchanged, shrinkflation is impacting the economic efforts of families and the wallets of states.
Reducing the amount of products that can be purchased per monetary unit can have a significant impact on the overall economy, people and governments can resort to measures such as increasing disposable income or buying more goods or services. Furthermore, if consumers feel cheated by manufacturers who cut sizes but not prices, they may become less likely to buy those products, with direct negative effects on company revenues.