In economics, the term shrinkflation could be characterized as a process in which a product shrinks in size or quantity or even gets its quality lowered, while the price of that product remains the same. In other words, it's making a certain product cost more without changing its actual price. Sounds unfair? Well, it does for a lot of people. Despite that, various well-known food and beverage companies have been using this strategy for years.

The trickiest thing about this practice is that the change is usually barely noticeable, so only the most attentive customers tend to notice it. And in the long run, even the smallest change ends up saving the company millions of dollars.

Without further ado, Bored Panda invites you to look through a few examples of products that at some point were affected by shrinkflation.

#1

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

Last year, someone on Reddit noticed how a "Bigger Bag, More To Share" pack of Doritos actually had the same amount of chips as the regular size pack. "More air to share," someone joked in the comments.

AApickleAA Report

Jia Kia
Community Member
2 months ago

them companies trying to make us turn our wallets upside down

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#2

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

In 2016, fans of Pringles started noticing how their beloved chips are now smaller. In addition, some noticed that the tube itself also shrunk, making it harder for some people to reach in. Despite that, the price stayed the same. “Is this Pringles can getting smaller or my arm getting fatter?” a consumer went on Twitter to express their concern. The company explained that the reason behind these changes was that manufacturing shifted from the USA to Malaysia. “The equipment we use in Malaysia is a bit different to our sister factory in the US … you’ll notice that both the chip and the can are a little smaller to fit with the production facility,” the company explained.

CalamitytheKid Report

it's me again
Community Member
2 months ago

I call BS

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#3

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

Back in 2016, Toblerone announced they were altering the iconic design of their UK bars by adding bigger gaps between the mounds, which meant that the bars were about to have 10% less chocolate for the same price. Apparently, the unfortunate change was due to an increase in the price of the ingredients. People weren't too happy about it, to say the least.

Two years later, the company decided to bring back the original shape. Sadly, the price of the bar had to be raised as well.

Wikimedia Commons , Lazada Report

Tabitha L
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

I think I'd rather pay more than receive an inferior product for the same price. Prices change. Quality doesn't have to. (Unless you are Costco's hot dog -price has stayed the same for decades.)

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#4

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

For a long time, the clear glass cookware brand Pyrex was known for making fireproof glassware. Ironically, a few years ago, the pans started exploding when they got too hot. Apparently, the manufacturer switched to a cheaper ingredient that strengthened the glass against being dropped but weakened it against thermal shock.

Wikimedia Commons Report

FurryPotatoCat
Community Member
2 months ago

thats not mildly infuriating, thats a safety hazard!

David kohn
Community Member
2 months ago

a couple years ago on a holiday my mom made a sweet potato pie and right after it was taken out of the oven it exploded next to me nobody was hurt thank god

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Olivia Agave
Community Member
2 months ago

PYREX (capitals) is borosilicate glass, pyrex (lowercase) is soda lime glass. They are made by different companies and licensed by different companies. Please look out for the difference.

Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
2 months ago

Btw, Gizmodo had a good write up of the whole situation last year: https://gizmodo.com/the-pyrex-glass-controversy-that-just-wont-die-1833040962

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BeazleBug
Community Member
2 months ago

For reference, the borosilicate glass is the one on the right- that is "real" Pyrex. The one on the left with the green-blue color is just tempered soda-lime...in other words heat treated, "regular" glass. If you have one of the ones on the left, you should not use it with heat at all.

Ljdia
Community Member
2 months ago

Thank you!

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Diana Dodd
Community Member
2 months ago

That’s why I still use my grandma’s measuring cups! I’m 73!!

Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
2 months ago

I've actually read about this one on numerous occasions. It's supported both by anecdotal evidence as well documented changes in the production process (very to to the negative). It's a damn shame, and certainly the entry here that deserves the most publicity (as other's have noted it is indeed an actual safety hazard, particularly considering the brand reputation).

Stephanie Did It
Community Member
2 months ago

A Pyrex bowl exploded in my lap when I placed hot popcorn in it from the bag. Did not microwave the bowl, only used it as the container afterward. I will never trust a Pyrex product again.

Tabitha L
Community Member
2 months ago

I only buy vintage Pyrex

Babs L
Community Member
2 months ago

If it doesn't hv that Blue tinge, don't buy it.

Amazon QT
Community Member
2 months ago

Exactly!!!

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 months ago

And that's why I treasure my OLD pyrex.

KT
Community Member
2 months ago

Yep, I had one of their food containers explode in my works microwave. Came back to it shattered in a million pieces inside, the inside of the microwave damaged. I sent a complaint to Pyrex and never got a reply. Bad company

Tim Douglass
Community Member
2 months ago

This is a bit of a hard one to call. IIRC part of the reason for the change was because of environmental concerns about the ingredients, but it was mostly driven by market research that showed that people were more concerned about their pyrex shattering when dropped or bumped than they were about thermal shock. I'm not sure they made the right call on it, but it isn't really all about a cheaper ingredient, although I'm sure the cost factor played a role.

CatWoman312
Community Member
2 months ago

Wait until they get a lawsuit and then they’ll change it back. A lot of companies do this. They do things illegally and immorally until someone sues. It’s gross how capitalism works

Randy Word
Community Member
2 months ago

Story I heard was that they changed it because people were using their pans to cook meth.

Elaine Mattingly
Community Member
2 months ago

You can shrink my candy bar, blow up my bag of chips and make my moon pie the size of a fifty cent piiece, but DON"T put something in my kitchen that can do so much bodily harm as to change a persons life, possibly end it!

Kimberly Reetz
Community Member
2 months ago

I’ve had 2 Pyrex glass casserole dishes explode on me in the past 3 years. My daughter has PTSD because of this.

Chrys Barnes
Community Member
2 months ago

That happened to me with a pyrex bowl that had been refrigerated and then washed in warm dish water about two hours later. It broke in the cupboard after we put it away. What a mess! A dangerous mess.

Laughinmydreams
Community Member
2 months ago

also, a top U.S. cooking show on PBS tested these glass measuring devices, NO TWO HAD THE SAME MEASUREMENTS, all were slightly different. Zero quality control.

Amazon QT
Community Member
2 months ago

When companies take their manufacturing overseas, that’s what happens— quality suffers, along with their customer satisfaction. They lower their expectations, their product reliability to “save a few bucks” and then they cry about the gross loss they get at the end of the year. #DoThingsRightTheFirstTime

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Sharon Dean
Community Member
2 months ago

Thanks be I still have my vintage glass measuring cups....

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
2 months ago

They should not be on the market if they shatter with heat. Pyrex was designed for cooking in ovens not just measuring jug as show above. i use a trio sized of bowls in the microwave and all OK.

Id row
Community Member
2 months ago

Everything is being made smaller and shi**ier.

Benjamin Lensgraf
Community Member
2 months ago

i'm going to need to see a picture of the explosion before I believe it...

Susan Brown
Community Member
2 months ago

I had a 9x13 explode in the oven!

Bama Belle
Community Member
2 months ago

Anchor Hocking has gone to s**t, too.

Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
2 months ago

And they did it for the environment :D

Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
2 months ago

Haha, if by environment you meant to save money? hehe...

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#5

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

According to Metro, last year, a man named William Knight happened across a "vintage" 1996 Mars bar in the bottom of an old box in his loft. After measuring the old bar against a modern-day one, the man was surprised how much bigger the "vintage" one was. Despite that, the price of the bar has more than doubled since then.

Flying_Dutchmen Report

Olivia Agave
Community Member
2 months ago

The price of the ingredients to make it have more than doubled too.

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#6

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

Throughout the years, a Double Stuf Oreo pack has changed from being 16.6 oz to 15.35 oz and is still being sold for the same price.

Instacart , Target Report

BoredDragon
Community Member
2 months ago

Ugh now I want Oreos.

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#7

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For quite a while now, the length of toilet paper rolls has been shrinking. Apparently, once upon a time, the standard size of a toilet paper roll was 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches. Fast forward to now, most rolls are a half-inch shorter than they used to be. Despite that, consumers are still paying the same price.

WCPO 9 Report

Maggie Fariss
Community Member
2 months ago

Look at it this way- 1)you probably consume tp on the basis of length not square area and 2) the paper company can get more rolls out of the same raw materials. The environment wins.

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#8

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Many well-known chocolate bars have been shrunken down over time, but their prices haven't changed. For instance, a Twix bar is now about 14% smaller than it was back in the day. Apparently, in 2012 Mars, Inc. (who make Twix) announced a 250 calorie cap on all single-serve chocolate bars, and because of that, many of their products have been downsized.

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hobbitly
Community Member
2 months ago

If Im honest I dont think this is a bad thing cause 250 kcal already is a lot for just 1 snack.

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#9

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Customers have been noticing that throughout the years many cereal brands have been reducing the amount of cereal they’re selling in a box while keeping the price the same. Many brands have been making the boxes thinner, so from first sight, it appears to be the same size as it used to be.

ms.akr Report

Maggie Fariss
Community Member
2 months ago

It's actually kind of a miracle that they can use thinner cardboard and film liner. When I was working servicing cereal manufacturers the machines used to make the package "bag in box" were not capable of using thinner materials. The cereal guys are saving significant money with reducing thickness and it's mean less consumption and waste of trees and plastics.

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#10

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Turns out, some bags of Lay’s potato chips contain fewer chips than others. Lay’s regular "Family Size" packs are 10 oz., but the company’s bags of flavored chips are 9.5 oz, yet both sell for the same price. According to the Associated Press, the difference is equivalent to approximately 5-6 chips.

Target , Target Report

OpalTheRainwing
Community Member
2 months ago

IM SORRY 6 or 5 CHIPS THAT DID NOT HAVE A HOME IN MY BELLY

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#11

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

As you may know, a standard US pint is 16 oz. Apparently, some bars in US practice “short pouring” their customers by using glasses that are only 14 oz. Since these glasses are the same size as the real ones, though, most customers tend to not notice it. These glasses are usually called “falsies” or “cheater pints.”

Bernt Rostad Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
2 months ago

Short pouring is illegal. Most of a bars profit comes from beer sales. Once word got around that they were doing this, they would lose all their customers.

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#12

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

Turns out, some brands replace cotton in their "tissue tees" with cheaper and much thinner synthetic fabric. Because of that, these t-shirts appear almost see-through.

Wikimedia Commons Report

kate h
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

I HATE these! Then when you finally find a 100% cotton tee, they often use short staple cotton which is crap. Long-staple cotton frays less, pills less and wrinkles less than short staple. You can feel the difference as well - long staple feels smooth and short staple feels somewhat rough. This is also why high count thread sheets are not necessarily better than lower count - it depends on what type of cotton they use.

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#13

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Back in 2017, consumers started noticing that the size of family-size cartons of Tropicana downsized by almost 9 percent. Despite the change, the price remained the same.

caroleluck Report

Maggie Fariss
Community Member
2 months ago

Companies know that price increases cause people not to buy. When the cost to make the product goes up, they downsize the container to be able to sell at the same price.

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#14

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

A month ago, a user on Reddit shared how they've noticed that Hefty bag cartons went from containing 90 bags to containing 80. Despite that, the price stayed exactly the same.

wulkes Report

Marilyn Holt
Community Member
2 months ago

Yes--everything costs more. Consumers notice when a price goes up. They don't necessarily check other parts of the label. We need to become more intelligent shoppers. And we need to understand that the price of everything goes up.

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#15

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

At the beginning of this year, someone on Reddit noticed that Powerade was also affected by shrinkflation. Apparently, the original 32 oz bottles were downsized to 28 oz, but the price remained exactly the same.

putinmania Report

Lucas Ke
Community Member
2 months ago

who drinks powerade? eLeCtRoLyTeS

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#16

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

In 2014, Coca-Cola reduced the size of their large bottle from 2 liters to 1.75 liters. However, the price remained the same.

Nan's SuperValu Ballymun Report

Matthew White
Community Member
2 months ago

Speaking of coke I was selling soda at school and I ran out after 32 cans snd made 32 bucks and this Sneedy jerk went up to buy one but I informed him it was sold out he ran to the teachers I was selling COKE but forgot to include it was soda they thought it was COCAINE shortly after that I had to serve 3 weeks in In-School suspension it's now on the police record so YAY( sarcasm)

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#17

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Cadbury announced that by the end of 2021, they're going to reduce the calorie count of bars that are sold in multipacks. According to BBC, the four-packs packs of these popular sweets are about to contain no more than 200 calories each. "We must play our part in tackling obesity and are committed to doing so without compromising on consumer choice," said Louise Stigant, UK managing director at Mondelez International, according to BBC. However, they're not planning on changing the price.

Open Food Facts Report

Patty Stier
Community Member
2 months ago

Just causes people to eat an extra one - hence, calorie intake goes up higher!

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#18

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A few years ago, the New York-based yogurt company Chobani decided to downsize some of its yogurts from 6 oz to 5.3 oz. Despite that, the price of the yogurt hadn’t changed. Customers weren’t too happy about it. The company explained that the change was to improve consistency with its newly launched products as well as competitors who favored the 5.3-ounce pots, so it could be easier for consumers to compare nutritionals.

Wikimedia Commons Report

it's me again
Community Member
2 months ago

Again, I call BS

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#19

Brands-Companies-Products-Sneaky-Cheapen-Shrinkflation

Last year, bottles of Heinz Salad Cream shrunk by approximately 9 percent, and the product became more expensive.

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Red
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

S-salad Cream......?

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