Sunday, 5 December, 2021
E-paper

Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper is on display on a supermarket shelf in Arlington, Virginia recently. More air in that bag of chips? Fewer flakes in your cereal box? You're not imagining it: "Shrinkflation," a tactic used by industry to hide price increases, is back in vogue. Facing the post-pandemic inflationary surge, partly fueled by bottlenecks in global supply and trouble finding workers, companies are under more pressure to deal with rising costs. Consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky, who has followed the phenomenon he calls downsizing for quarter of a century, says he has identified dozens of products in recent months that have seen sneaky price increases. He found goods ranging from Charmin toilet paper rolls to Cheerios cereal, to Royal Canin canned cat food, where the size or weight has shrunk, but the price remains the same.