‘Shrinkflation’ frustrates shoppers


The cost-of-living crisis has hit Aussies hard in their wallets – and now in their pantries and stomachs too, it seems.

Shoppers have accused Australian food companies and supermarkets of “shrinkflation”, the practice of charging the same price for a smaller quantity or serving.

Cereal and dip companies, burger chains and cafés have been gradually decreasing the size of products and meals without a price reduction, according to some Reddit sleuths.

The changes have been incremental, so some shoppers may not even notice at all.

One shopper on Reddit claimed “shrinkflation” has impacted the humble Weet-Bix.

“Shrinkflation strikes this Aussie staple. Box dimensions [are] exactly the same, but lose out the equivalent of 5 bix,” they shared, alongside a photo of a 1.2kg value pack next to a 1.12kg value pack.

The 1.2kg value pack which retails for $5 still appears to be on sale at Woolworths.

Cereal fans also noticed an 805g ‘value pack’ of Nutri-Grain appears to have shrunk in size but increased in price.

“Kellogg’s has both reduced the size of the value pack of Nutri-Grain AND increased the price. From 805g for $8.50 to 765g for $10.00. 22% hike,” one customer wrote.

A commenter did some quick maths and surmised that Nutri-Grain would now cost around $13.10 per kilo – comparable to the price of meat in Australia.

Another food fan took to Reddit with a similar complaint about Black Swan-branded dips.

They claimed the 200g Crispy Bacon and Caramelised Onion dips had shrunk in size from 200g to 170g, but cost the same price ($4.60) as the 200g Dill and Mint Tzatziki dips.

A commenter claiming to be a Coles worker said the 200g dips were being “phased” out and replaced by 170g products for the same price.

“Can also confirm. Had to remove a couple dozen 200 gram ones for the 170 grams. Told the manager that it’s too much and nowhere to put it. No idea where it’s gone now,” one wrote.

Some 9Honey staff members have also noticed their local cafe’s serving sizes have changed, while the prices either remain the same or are higher.

One café in Sydney’s northern suburbs changed their avocado toast to just one slice, instead of two, but is charging the same price according to a customer.

The grocery “shrinkflation” issue comes as a customer complained about the price and serving size at their local burger joint.

The Redditor, who dined at cult burger restaurant Milky Lane, shared a side-by-side comparison of food bought at the venue in October 2021 and October 2022.

The 2021 food haul included a burger, chips, popcorn chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes and a shake, which totalled $55.

A photo of the same meal bought in October 2022 appeared to show a noticeable difference in size.

However, some commenters defended Milky Lane’s serving size and said the price of produce such as oil and potato had skyrocketed.

“You know there is currently a potato shortage in Australia, which means there is a short supply of chips. The cost of chips has increased by about 200-300 per cent. Not to mention, the price of oil has doubled over the last 12 months,” one person wrote.

“It costs about $80 to fill a deep fryer with oil. Not that cheap,” another added.

Many other Australians appear to be worried about how they will cope with the rising cost of groceries and took to the r/Australia thread to air their concerns about inflation.

“Hands up who’s struggling just to make ends meet,” one person wrote.

“Like, how much more is the price on groceries going to increase by? Like what’s the end game here, cause it’s now at the point of way past ridiculous.”

Article Credited to April Glover, 9Honey, Kitchen

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