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Shrinkflation: An Economic Phenomenon Associated With Inflation

Shrinkflation, a term coined by combining "shrink" and "inflation", refers to the practice of reducing the size or quantity of a product while maintaining its price. This phenomenon often goes unnoticed by consumers until they realize they're getting less for the same amount of money. Here's what you should know about shrinkflation.

What Is Shrinkflation?

Shrinkflation occurs when manufacturers or retailers decrease the size, weight, or quantity of a product while keeping its price the same or even increasing it. This tactic allows companies to maintain profit margins without overtly raising prices.

How Does Shrinkflation Work?

Instead of raising prices directly, companies may reduce the content or quality of a product. For example, a chocolate bar might shrink from 100 grams to 90 grams, or a pack of cookies may contain fewer cookies than before. Despite the smaller portion, the price remains unchanged, effectively increasing the cost per unit.

Shrinkflation in a Shop

Figure 1: Shrinkflation in a Shop (source: Craiyon)

Common Examples of Shrinkflation

Why Does Shrinkflation Occur?

Shrinkflation can be driven by various factors, including:

Understanding Producer Challenges in a Money-Printing Environment

It's important to recognize that shrinkflation isn't always an intentional or unfair practice by producers. In many cases, manufacturers and retailers face their own challenges amid an environment of rising inflation.

With inflationary pressures mounting due to factors like excessive government spending, mounting debt, and accommodative central bank policies, businesses often find themselves squeezed between higher production costs and consumer demand for stable prices.

By resorting to strategies like shrinkflation, companies may attempt to balance their books without resorting to overt price hikes that could alienate customers. These decisions are often driven by the necessity to maintain profitability in a challenging economic landscape.

Ultimately, while shrinkflation may appear as a consumer inconvenience, it's essential to consider the broader economic context in which these decisions are made.

Impact on Consumers

While shrinkflation may seem like a subtle change, it can affect consumers in several ways:

Strategies for Dealing with Shrinkflation

Consumers can take several steps to mitigate the impact of shrinkflation:


Shrinkflation is a subtle yet pervasive phenomenon in consumer markets, affecting everything from groceries to household goods. By understanding how shrinkflation works and its implications for consumers, individuals can make more informed purchasing decisions in an evolving marketplace.

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Based on the original Czech article: Shrinkflace – co je a jak se projevuje shrinkflace.