The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Shrinkflation
—Rip-offs at the Grocery Store or, “Honey, They Shrunk the Food”

Apr 25, 2022

In this day and age, anyone who has to feed their families or anyone who is on a fixed income is on the constant lookout for deals that will help them navigate the world of higher food prices—up nearly 9% in the past year. So, you go to the grocery store, get the store ads, and go through them to find out what is on sale; what is two for one; what is buy one, get second one for 50% off.

But there’s a catch. An insult heaped upon the injury of outrageous food price increases. And that is something that has been nicknamed, Shrinkflation: the downsizing of a product and keeping its sticker price the same. So, if you think you are getting a deal on that cereal, or juice, think again. Beverages, that used to come in 8 packs, now are 6 to a pack. Juice, that was in a 59 ounce bottle, is now 52 ounces. A “pint” of ice cream is now 14 ounces. Even toilet paper, like Cottonelle, has gone from 340 sheets/per roll to 312! Same price, less product.

In a society where profits come first—it’s business as usual that Wall Street speculates on food commodities, causing price increases. The most profitable grocery store chain in the country, Kroger’s, returned 2.2 billion dollars to wealthy shareholders in 2021. Manufacturers and grocery store chain CEOs hope we won’t notice the sneaky, yet legal way they are trying to pass price increases onto us.

But we do. Rising prices call for higher wages and pensions to be able to absorb all the price increases that are coming our way now. So, whether it’s bread, or cereal or milk that goes up, our wages and pensions should go up too.

And when major companies say they don’t have a choice but to raise prices because they won’t be able to stay in business, workers say, you’re right. You can’t continue to stay in the “business” of making profits on the backs of our families. Take it from your major stockholders and your billionaire owners.