ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

Manufacturers need to spell it out if they shrink their products - Wendy Knowler

More and more consumers are starting to notice that many food items are getting smaller, although they are paying the same or more.

Everything from dental floss and toilet paper to cool-drinks and chocolate treats is subject to so-called 'shrinkflation'.

Shrinkflation is the process of items shrinking in size or quantity while their prices remain the same or increase.

Read: SA fizzy drinks undergo "shrinkflation" to control sugar intake

Consumer watchdog Wendy Knowler says manufacturers should be transparent about the changes in product sizes.

Manufacturers need to be very careful bout how they communicate when they change the pack size and not assume that consumers won't notice.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Some companies such as Coca Cola and Bar One have used health concerns and portion control to justify the changes.

Cape Town resident Sue Parker-Smith says she noticed shrinkflation had affected Bob Martin dog food at her local retailer.

I'm just vaguely irritated. I feel duped. I feel like they are pulling the wool over our eyes and they think we won't notice.

Sue Parker-Smith, CapeTalk caller

However, Bob Martin claims that this isn’t an example of shrinkflation at all, but a complete revamp of a product.

Knowler shares the feedback she received from Bob Martin and fielded questions and comments from listeners.

The problem with shrinkflation is that once a market leader does it, all the rest will follow because they know that by and large consumers will not look at the unit price.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Take a listen to the conversation during the Consumer Talk feature:

Got a consumer case you need help resolving?

Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.


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