ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

Less contents for more money: Calling 'BS' on shrinkflation and sneaky packaging

Coca-Cola’s new smaller cans are now appearing in stores. The 440ml bottle is now 400ml and the 330ml can 300ml.

The recommended retail selling price remains the same for the sugary drinks but the low sugar and zero sugar variants will drop in price by R1.

Read: Manufacturers need to spell it out if they shrink their products

Coca-Cola, the company prepared a Q&A for the retailers which consumer watchdog Wendy Knowler has seen.

On the one hand, Coca Cola claims that the downsizing has been done in order to meet consumer demand for preferred “smaller, more convenient” packs.

On the other, they say "Instead of raising the list price of our cans, we decided to reduce the package sizes so that we can provide the delicious and quality beverages our customers expect at a fair price.”

Knowler says this is mixed messaging.

Also read: SA fizzy drinks undergo "shrinkflation" to control sugar intake

She has questioned how correct the beverage company is about consumer sentiments towards shrinkflation.

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

The recommended retail selling price is the same.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

This is not a Coca-Cola issue, this is a global food manufacturer issue. It's also happening to soaps, toothpaste and pet food.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

I have a problem when it [shrinkflation] is done sneakily and positioned as something different from what it actually is.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Knowler has encouraged consumers to voice their concerns to companies about shrinkflation and various packaging concerns.

That's a bunch of BS. Smaller and more convenient for the same price? Come on man! We're not dom.

CapeTalk listener via WhatsApp

It means your going to want to drink more cooldrink because you're not getting enough, and it means there's an increase in plastic and tins .. it means there's more waste. It's a fruitless and wasteful endeavour which isn't good for the environment.

CapeTalk listener via WhatsApp

A packet of chips is getting bigger. It looks more or less the same but the contents is less.

Andre, CapeTalk listener

Knowler discussed shrinkflation and packing woes across various industries and listeners called in with their comments. (skip to 04:40 to listen to the discussion on shrinkflation).

Listen to ConsumerTalk on The Pippa Hudons Show for more:

Every Wednesday, on The Pippa Hudson Show, Wendy Knowler provides useful insights and tips on how to make the most of your buying power.

For more stories visit the ConsumerTalk feature page.

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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