“Shrinkflation is the process of items shrinking in size or quantity, or even sometimes reformulating or reducing quality, while their prices remain the same or increase.”
The process of reducing quantity (or quality) of a product trying to keep the same price level is not (in general) a good commercial strategy in my humble opinion.
Why shrinkflation exists
Inflation is hitting raw material and energy costs, that's why producing the same quantity of a product costs more to companies.
There are few strategies companies can assume to afford this situation:
- keeping the same product prices reducing profits;
- increasing the cost of their products;
- using shrikflation to mask the increased prices.
Why shrinkflation is not good
From a consumer perspective hidden shrinkflation is a kind of fraud.
First of all companies are used to mask quantity reduction behind some little tricks like keeping the same packaging of the product even if the quantity is reduced.
But if customers are used to buy 500 gr of pasta and now they buy 400 gr they will soon or later realize to have been gabbed.
Shrinkflation also complicates the process of comparing products.
It is better to buy 450 ml of milk at 1,85 eur or 500 ml at 2.15 eur?
If you are not Albert Einstein you will need a calculator to compare prices.
I'm quite sure customers are considering these practices against their interests, exposing all the brands applying them in a bad light.
Marketing managers, where are you?