Smaller and smaller products while the bill stays the same? “Shrinkflation” is here, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.
Shrinkflation—reducing the size or quantity of a product while keeping its price the same—has been observed as the economy struggles to recover post-pandemic.
But according to DTI Assistant Secretary Amanda Nograles, shrinkflation is actually a form of price increase, especially since the customer is usually un aware that the size or quantity has been reduced.
“We are monitoring this shrinkflation practice,” she said in a radio interview.
“Consumers must know that while the price remains stable, the quantity or size has been reduced or the formula has been changed. That should be clearly stated so the consumer is informed,” Nograles said.
Nograles urged consumers to send complaints if they notice that the weight or size of products has changed without any notice placed in the packaging.
She said manufacturers and producers must inform the DTI for any changes in their products whether in weight or in pricing, especially basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) monitored under the Price Act.
BNPCs that are included in the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) Bulletin are required to file a petition before the DTI if they are seeking price adjustments.
“We will not tolerate this, even for non-BNPCs. Should there be cases of deception or misrepresentation, that will be subject to penalty under the Consumer Act,” Nograles said.
Shrinkflation has become rampant in other countries as well as – with experts saying it is not just a trend but a permanent hit on everyone’s pockets.
Consumers do not always see the changes immediately as these are sometimes incremental.
In a BBC report, Phil Lempert, food industry analyst and editor of SupermarketGuru, said consumers adapt to the changes given that they do not have a choice.
He also observed that brand loyalty has plummeted amid shrinkflation, with people often transitioning to cheaper brands for non-essentials.