Grocery prices are on the rise—but that’s not the only reason we aren’t getting as much for our money. Some companies are holding prices steady but shrinking product sizes—shrinkflation!—or replacing ingredients with fillers. A few examples from the consumer-advocate website MousePrint.com…
Bounty Paper Towels: Triple-roll packages now have 147 sheets per roll, down from 165.
Dial Body Wash: Bottles are 16 ounces in size, down from 21.
General Mills Cereals: Family-size boxes have less cereal, even though the boxes are taller.
Kirkland Bath Tissue: Each roll has 380 sheets, down from 425.
Quaker Instant Oatmeal: Boxes look the same, but many varieties have eight packages per box, not 10.
In other cases, some ingredients have been replaced with water or fillers. This is especially common with prepackaged meat and poultry—as much as 10% of the weight of a prepackaged turkey might be saltwater. And frozen dinners might weigh as much as ever but have more sauce and less meat and vegetables.
What to do: Compare cost-per-unit even when shopping for things that you’ve purchased before. Be wary when the package is redesigned or has a claim like “new formula.” Scan prepackaged meat and poultry labels for added water or broth. Better: Buy meat and poultry from a butcher or deli. Be wary of frozen and prepared foods that mention gravy or other components before the more desirable ingredients in their names.
Consumers are facing an uphill battle these days—Bottom Line Personal is always looking out for you!