We’re used to our favorite cereal costing $3.50 per box, so when the price goes up to $4.00 it’s something we notice. But do we notice when the box contains only 15 ounces instead of the 18 ounces it used to hold? From fewer toilet paper sheets to less toothpaste ounces, consumers are reporting “shrinkflation”—reduced product amounts for regular purchases, due to inflation.
Because we pay more attention to price when we shop, we don’t notice subtle changes in packaging or read details about the size or weight of a product. During periods of high inflation, companies may downsize products so they can keep prices unchanged, resulting in shrinkflation.
Unit pricing is a way to compare similar products to find the best value. Check out Iowa State University’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. app or webpage, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu, for a unit pricing calculator!