Inflation is causing the price of several products to skyrocket, including toilet paper, but the essential household item is also seeing a packaging slimdown.
This downsizing or “shrinkflation,” as Edgar Dworsky, a consumer advocate and editor of the website ConsumerWorld.org calls it, might be a common phenomenon among goods as companies look for ways to deal with rising costs.
“Downsizing happens during times of high inflation because companies that make everyday products are also paying more for raw materials, production, and delivery costs,” Dworsky told CNN.
Dworsky cited the examples of Procter & Gamble’s Charmin’s ultra soft toilet paper 18-count mega package going from 264 double-ply sheets per roll to 244 two-ply sheets, and its super mega rolls, which were previously 396 sheets per roll, now down to 366 sheets per roll.
“That amounts to losing the equivalent of about a roll and a half in the new 18-count package,” he told CNN.
When a product gets smaller, Dworsky told the New York Post, essentially, a consumer is paying a price increase.
“Raising prices is a euphemism for shrinking the product,” Dworsky told the news outlet. “If a company can shrink the package and charge the same price, that in essence is a price increase to the consumer who has to buy the product more often.”
Back in January, Procter & Gamble did announce that it was raising prices at an average of about 8% for some of its products. P&G makes recognizable brands such as Gillette, Charmin, Bounty, Pampers, and Crest.
The company told CNN in an email that “There is a cost element to innovation – adjusting the count per pack or the package size is one way of reinvesting in this innovation while maintaining a competitive price point.”
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