Have you noticed how a lot of your favourite brands have been decreasing the size of their products? This unfortunate reality is called Shrinkflation. Shrinkflation is becoming a big problem in South Africa with big brands like Coca-Cola, Cadbury and I&J to name a few.  Find out all you need to know about this new kind of inflation in OurHoods blog post below:

What is Shrinkflation?

Shrinkflation is the process of shrinking the size or the quantity of the product while keeping the cost to the consumer the same. Companies do this to reduce their cost of production for the relative unit, while not reducing the final cost, making the product more expensive.

Companies can also decrease the quality of the ingredients in the overall product to cut costs.

What is the big fuss?

Consumers are being deceived by companies due to shrinkflation. The reason for this is because the products look the same and are the same price but consumers don’t often check the quantity of the product they are buying or the ingredients in the product. They just assume it stays the same because there is no obvious difference and the amount they are paying stays the same.

There has been much public confusion on boerewors vs braaiwors recently. To be named boerewors the product needs to have a minimum of 90% of meat (beef, lamb, pork) and a maximum fat content of 30%. While braaiwors, which is considerably cheaper has up to 40% soya product to fill the total weight. This is just one of the many pitfalls of shrinkflation.

Another issue is that many people believe shrinkflation is hiding the real rate of inflation by cutting more costs than is needed. This means that the actual inflation rates are a lot lower than they are.

What are some brands that are doing this?

Coca-Cola is a big corporation which has recently been involved in shrinkflation. They decreased the sizes of the bottles of coke and decreased the amount of coke from 500ml to 44oml. That is 60ml less than we would have been getting in the original bottle.

Cadburys original chocolate size was 100g slabs of chocolate. Over time the amount has decreased to 80g which is a 20% decrease in the product you are getting.

This is just two examples of shrinkflation but you can find many more examples if you look around and pay attention to the products you are buying.

How can you beat Shrinkflation?

Even though most people feel that you can’t do much to take a stand against shrinkflation. They are a few things you can do:

Boycott

You can boycott brands that are doing this by not buying their products. This will force them to rethink their shrinkflation strategy and make consumers aware when they are changing their products.

Find a cheaper brand

Change the brand you normally buy and get a cheaper brand that is less likely to change their product. You can usually find cheaper products in the lower or higher shelves of supermarkets which are out of the natural eye level to get customers to buy the more expensive products.

Awareness

Become more aware of the products you are buying. Tell your friends and keep them informed about brands that are doing this so they don’t get ripped off themselves. Conduct some research when you have a few minutes of spare time to check on your favourite product to see if there are any changes.

Online shopping

Online shopping is a good way to keep track of the products you are buying and lets you compare prices more easily than if you were physically shopping. This way the products you buy are the best value for money.

Shrinkflation is a growing issue in South Africa and should to be addressed through our suggested ideas above. Take a stand against shrinkflation and create a greater awareness of the issue to your neighbours and community.

From your friendly neighbours at Ourhood