Americans counter consumer product 'shrinkflation' with new spending habits, survey says
As inflation continues to rise, more consumers have begun to notice that the product size of their purchases is shrinking. This phenomenon, dubbed "shrinkflation" is worrying Americans and even driving them to change their purchasing habits.
A new survey from Morning Consult showed that 54% of Americans have seen, read or heard something about shrinkflation, and 64% are worried about it. In fact, only 25% said they haven’t noticed shrinkflation in any grocery categories.
Snacks are the biggest example of shrinkflation as 55% of Americans noticed these foods are decreasing in size or quantities as prices remain the same or even increase. Other items Americans have grown concerned about include pantry items, frozen foods, meat and bread and other pastries.
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Americans rebel against shrinkflation
Although prices are rising and portion sizes are going down, Americans are fighting back against shrinkflation by changing their spending habits. About 48% of Americans said they bought a different brand when confronted with shrinkflation, and 49% said they chose a generic product instead, according to Morning Consult’s survey.
Americans in lower and middle-income ranges were more likely to choose this option, at 52% and 48%, respectively. Comparatively, just 41% of high-income households said they opted for generic products. After noticing shrinkflation, about 30% of Americans said they stopped purchasing from specific brands.
In the fight against shrinkflation, Americans took several actions, including:
- Purchased a different brand
- Bought a generic product
- Bought products in bulk
- Stopped purchasing from specific brands
- Researched alternatives
- Returned a product
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Inflation surges, could be slowing
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation, increased by 8.5% annually in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This was down slightly from 9.1% in June, but remains near its 40-year high.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell addressed the current inflation challenges at the latest Jackson Hole conference last week, saying the central bank's actions to bring down the rate of inflation could create a heavy burden for American families.
"Inflation is running well above 2%, and high inflation has continued to spread through the economy," Powell said at the conference. "While the lower inflation readings for July are welcome, a single month's improvement falls far short of what the committee will need to see before we are confident that inflation is moving down."
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