Indulging in one final guilty pleasure before beginning the trials of New-Year’s-Resolutions-eating, I opened the small brown bag containing a squishy salted golden brown Wetzel’s Pretzel covered with crystalline flicks of salt which I compounded with Jalapeño Cheese Sauce.
I am gifted at parceling exact amounts of both pretzel and gooey cheese per bite so that my experience is good-to-the-last-bite-proper-pairing-per-mouthful.
Halfway through the generous-sized buttery, twisted and tantalizing treat, I scraped the bottom of the plastic cup swiping the small pretzel section around the bottom only to discover the container completely void of the good stuff—rubber ducky yellow cheese sauce spiked with bits of tangy jalapeño bits.
On closer examination, I determined the container's contents seemed to have shrunk.
This means not nearly enough cheese for the interlocking doughy loops of my delicacy.
I discarded the un-cheesed half-eaten pretzel in a nearby trash receptacle and stomped off.
My end-of-2022-shopping-sprees revealed other smaller, lesser, unsatisfactory findings which spurred more research.
The Dollar Stores are no longer. Name should be changed to The Dollar and a Quarter Store. Or 125 Cent Store.
My favorite kitchen store’s large Pop-up Sponges which in the past claimed “immersed in water expand to full size” now enlarge to a significantly smaller presence. The price remains the same.
And my favorite potato chips which I consume regularly with my Beyond Burger at the Market on Fifth? Now laughable in size. (The size of the Beyond Burger has not been reduced thankfully) Upon taking a second look in the bag recently, I found it half full of small to tiny pieces—not broken or crushed—but perfectly formed mini salt and vinegar potato chips..
Depreciation. Downsizing. The trend has gotten my attention and came into full focus when I realized it’s not a figment of my imagination, but a genuine occurrence referred to as shrinkflation.
Shrinkflation seems a bit sneaky as companies reduce the size or quantity of their products—cereal, shampoo, fertilizer, toilet paper, candy bars—while charging the same price or even more.
Beware of shrinkflation, which NPR calls “inflation’s devious cousin.”
Me? I’m adopting some of its concepts and shrinkflating my existence with purpose.
Eat less. Drink less. Spend less. Clear clutter. Reduce my footprint. Pay attention. Early to bed. Early to rise. Reduce obligations. Focus on meaningful movements and actions. Live smaller.
In other words, shrink the amount of excess, hassle, and stress.
Right-size my life in this new year.
How 'bout you? Noticed any signs of shrinkflation in your world?
One last thing...National Pretzel Day is April 26. You're welcome!