Grocery Store Items Getting Smaller In “Shrinkflation”

Feel like some of your grocery store staples are getting smaller? You’re not seeing things, some items are actually getting smaller. Shoppers have probably noticed that prices on some products have gone up, but they might not realize that the sizes of some items are also decreasing. It’s called “shrinkflation,” or downsizing and it can leave you paying the same amount - or even more, in some cases - for less.

Edgar Dworsky, founder and editor of “Consumer World” explains that it’s a “backdoor price increase that typically happens as a result of inflation. When faced with increased costs of materials or shipping, manufacturers are under pressure to either raise prices or downsize products. And he says, “Sometimes, they may do both.”

So what can shoppers do about it? Dworsky suggests three things:

  • If your favorite brand downsizes, look for a competitor that hasn’t done it yet. And check the store brand, he says it’s usually the last to shrink their products.
  • Use unit pricing- the price per count labels on store shelves. It helps you compare price per ounce or per measure on different brands and sizes of the same item.
  • Become net weight conscious. Learn the net weights of the items you buy all the time and when you shop, check to make sure those haven’t changed.


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