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Financial News: Cookie Monster's Lament About Shrinkflation Attracts The N

Cookie Monster's Lament About Shrinkflation Attracts The Nation

03/05/2024 - 11:02:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - High prices and cost of living did not fail to touch even the beloved Cookie Monster, who complained about the shrinking size of the cookies he wolfs down with joy.

"Me hate shrinkflation! Me cookies are getting smaller," Sesame Street's blue-colored character with googly eyes and moppy hair said on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday. "Guess me going to have to eat double da cookies!"

The tweet got hundreds of responses on X and over 2 million views. Thus Cookie Monster attracted attention, including that of the White House, to a subject that have been in discussion for several months now.

The White House's response to Cookie Monster on X said, "C is for consumers getting ripped off."

"President Biden is calling on companies to put a stop to shrinkflation," the White House added.

So what is shrinkflation and why is it bothersome to many?

Shrinkflation is the practice by companies to cut costs by reducing the size of their product while leaving the price unchanged. This boosts their profit margin. That is a shrewd way to hide inflation that results from the rise in the price per unit of weight or volume.

However, concerns arise when companies continue with the measure even after inflation slows and input prices have come down. Then the measure takes another form that is commonly called "greedflation".

The economic phenomenon even prompted President Joe Biden to call the practice a "rip off." A week ago, he urged snack companies to stop it ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.

"Sports drink bottles are smaller, a bag of chips has fewer chips, but they're still charging you just as much," Biden said on X.

"The American public is tired of being played for suckers," he added.

Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey, who has been championing a fight against shrinkflation, released a report in December that said household paper products, like toilet paper and paper towels, were 34.9 percent more expensive per unit than they were in January 2019. "Of that total cost increase, 10.3 percent is due to producers shrinking the size of rolls and packages," the report said.

Nabisco's Wheat Thins family size pack had its size reduced by 12 percent to 14 oz in October 2023 from 16 oz in January 2019, the report said. The price remained unchanged.

There was also a 6 percent decrease in the size of Double Stuff Oreos and 12 percent shrinkage in volume in Gatorade drink during the same period, the report said.

Other examples in the report included Kleenex reducing the number of tissues in a box from 65 to 60 and Walmart cutting the number of two-ply paper towels in a pack from 168 to 120.

In February, Casey, a democratic senator, introduced a bill to fight shrinkflation of grocery goods.

Shrinkflation has been in focus in an election year, with the Democrats making efforts to fight the phenomenon while the Republicans are blaming Bidenomics for creating it.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com

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