Mountain Musings




There’s a new word that has recently crept into the English lexicon, a word that aptly describes what product manufacturers are cleverly doing to rip folks like you and me off, and that word is “Shrinkflation.”


What kind of “flation” is that? you ask. I’m here to tell you that it is about every sort of product, from potato chips to laundry detergent and toilet paper, shrinking in quantity, even though the container they come in is the same size as the last one you bought, and the price is still the same. In other words, manufacturers are downsizing a product to save on costs, rather than risking shopper backlash by upping the price.


Here’s an example: The other day I came home from a local grocery store with a bag of potato chips, and I won’t mention the name of the manufacturer because it might embarrass them, but when I layed (excuse me, I not that good at spelling) the bag down on the table and opened it up, what do you know, it was only about half-full of those wavy potato chips that you and I have enjoyed since childhood. Oh, sure, if you read the small print on the bag, it says it contains 7.8 ounces of chips, even though it’s the same 16-ounce size bag that they used to come in. A fine example of shrinkflation from a money-grubbing manufacturer who’s trying to pull the wool over our eyes.


Money, get away, you get a good job with more pay and you’re okay. Money, it’s a gas, grab that cash with both hands and make a stash. New car, caviar, four-star, daydream, think I’ll buy a football team. Money, get back. I’m alright, Jack, keep your hands off of my stack… (“Money” – Pink Floyd – 1973) Same thing with those mega-rolls of toilet paper, where the individual sheets that connect to make each roll, which were once 4.5 inches square, are now a half-inch shorter, or thinner, or both. They used to advertise, “Don’t squeeze the…” (the name of the product has been omitted). How can a person “enjoy the go” when they’re puttin’ the squeeze on you?


Then there’s those round chocolate cookies with the white, creamy filling that used to extend to the edge of the cookie, but is now out of sight, kinda’ like some of the hamburger patties that no longer reach the outer edge of the bun. What’s next, pizza, donuts?… Mmmmm, donuts! (Homer Simpson – “Homer Sells His Soul for A Donut,” Season 5, episode 5 of The Simpsons)


Money, it’s a crime, share it fairly, but don’t take a slice of my pie. Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today. But, if you ask for a rise, it’s no surprise that they’re giving none away, away, away, away…


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott