SHRINKFLATION means reducing the quantity or quality of a product, while maintaining the price. Effectively, it's a way of making a product cost more without raising the price.

The term SHRINKFLATION was probably first used by British economist Pippa Malmgren in 2009. It refers to the practice of disguising increases in the prices paid by consumers through decreasing the quality or quantity of the product they receive.

SHRINKFLATION is a form of hidden inflation. Instead of increasing the price of a product in a way that would be obvious to customers, producers reduce the size or quality of the product while maintaining (or sometimes slightly increasing) the price. In this way, the value per unit has decreased for the buyer, but in a way that is usually less noticeable than a straightforward price rise.

SHRINKFLATION is widely used by producers of toiletries, cleaning and laundry products, as well as in the food and beverage industry. It helps producers deal with their own rising costs while avoiding the negative effects of obvious price increases for customers.

Notorious examples on SHRINKFLATION include the reduction in size of Toblerone bars in 2010, Coca-Cola's reduction in size of its large bottles of cola in 2014, manufacturers of potato chips reducing the weight of their packs and/or the number of packs in a multi pack, and detergent manufacturers decreasing the amount of washing powder in cartons.

It should be noted that in the case of some snack foods, product sizes have reduced in response to pressure from governments and campaign groups, concerned about obesity and dental health. In a few cases, these reductions in size have been matched by reductions in price. (See the BBC News website for examples.)


When I write SHRINKFLATION, I mean this: meaning of SHRINKFLATION Toblerone reduced the ingredients in a bar by increasing the space between triangles.

Summary of Key Points

"Reducing Product Size, Quantity or Quality, while Maintaining Price" is the most common definition for SHRINKFLATION on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Reducing Product Size, Quantity or Quality, while Maintaining Price
Guessability:guessability level 3
3: Guessable
Typical Users:typical user


Examples of SHRINKFLATION in Sentences

Here are examples of SHRINKFLATION being used in conversations:
  • Toni: I'm sure this multi pack of cereal used to have eight packs, now its only got six.
  • Ali: My hand must be getting fatter, I can't even squeeze it into the Pringles tube now.
  • Sam: It's SHRINKFLATION. They've cut the size of the tube and the chips.

An Academic Look at SHRINKFLATION

SHRINKFLATION is a neologism (i.e., a newly coined word or term which has emerged into everyday usage). Some neologisms are formally accepted into mainstream language (at which point, they cease to be neologisms), and some wither until they can longer be considered everyday terms. A neologism can be:
  • A completely new word (e.g., oversharers).
  • A new combination of existing words (e.g., digital detox).
  • A new meaning for an existing word (e.g., sick).

Example of SHRINKFLATION Used in a Text


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