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SHRINKFLATION: Soaring Prices Lead To Smaller Burgers, Pizzas At Restaurants
Assorted mini delicious cheeseburger sliders with cheese, onion and sauces
Ivan/Getty Images

Everything’s getting more expensive.

But have you noticed? Everything’s getting smaller, too.

Cereal boxes, soup cans, paper towels, you name it, are all shrinking in a phenomenon known as “shrinkflation.” Manufacturers figure consumers will notice higher prices, but who can tell when a box of Wheat Thins goes from 10 ounces to 8.5 ounces?

Now, shrinkflation has hit your favorite burgers and pizzas.

“For the first time ever consumers are mentioning ‘shrinkflation’ in Yelp reviews,” the website said in a release, citing new data. “In Q2 2022, consumers are talking about shrinkflation-related experiences most commonly at restaurants serving more affordable offerings like hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, followed by seafood restaurants, Italian food, and Chinese food.”

“In Q2, consumers experienced inflation the most at more casual restaurants and food businesses, with inflation mentions in reviews up 38% and 36%, respectively, compared to Q2 2021. Notable category increases include chicken shops (up 82%), TexMex (up 68%), fruit and vegetable markets (up 66%), Caribbean restaurants (up 65%), poke (64%), soul food (up 57%), Hawaiian restaurants (up 57%) and convenience stores (up 55%),” Yelp found.

“Consumers are also experiencing high inflation at arts and entertainment businesses (up 33%), particularly at festivals and street fairs (up 164%), stadiums and arenas (up 43%), arcades (31%) and movie theaters (31%). Nightlife businesses (up 30%), event services (up 22%), and hotels and travel businesses (up 20%) follow as the most inflationary categories based on Yelp reviews,” the release said.

Other brands that are deploying shrinkflation include Charmin, Bounty, and Gatorade, the Daily Mail reported earlier this month. And Honey Bunches of Oats dropped its 14.5-ounce to 12 ounces, a reduction of roughly 17%, the U.K. paper said.

Angel Soft toilet paper has also reduced its size from 425 sheets per roll to 320, while Bounty paper towels have cut their rolls from 165 sheets per roll to 147 late last year. Gatorade also cut its bottle size from 32 ounces to 28 ounces.

Some companies claim that while they’ve reduced the amount of product, buyers are still getting the same bang for their buck.

For instance, Folger’s coffee dropped one canister’s size from 51 ounces to 43.5 ounces. But the company said a more efficient bean pressing technology would allow the lowered amount to produce the same number of cups of coffee.

“We have employed a new, roasting technology that makes the most out of every bean — resulting in lighter-weight coffee grounds that deliver the same taste you love across the same number of brewed cups,” the company wrote on Twitter. “Through the use of this new roasting process, we’re able to get more coffee flavor from each bean while providing the same amount of coffee servings.”

“The total weight of our coffee products will be reduced, but the amount of coffee you receive, by way of total servings, will remain the exact same. Hope this clears up any confusion,” the company continued.

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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