Fewer Chocolate Kisses For Hershey
Little known in Europe, Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses are a recognized example of shrinkflation in the United States. The brand has adopted the same method as Kiri cheeses. It only affects the quantity, without altering the price of the product.
Melissa Poole, vice president of investor relations at Hershey, will even say:
Hershey is reducing the size of its packaging while maintaining a similar price to retain customers who only have $3 to spend on a bag of chocolate Kisses, instead of $5 or $6.
Gatorade Opts For The Change Of Packaging
Next, the Gatorade example is slightly different. Here, the American energy drink was accused of shrinkflation when it changed its packaging. Unfortunately, American consumers have found that their favorite drink has lost ⅛ of its volume. Of course, the selling price had not decreased, on the contrary: it was even higher!
Its owner PepsiCo then defended itself from any practice of shrinkflation. He even assured that Gatorade had planned this packaging change for years.
Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bar Is Also A Victim Of Shrinkflation
March 2022: in the midst of the war in Ukraine, Cadbury uses shrinkflation for its Dairy Milk.
The bar then saw its quantity drop by 10%, for an unchanged selling price. This is a typical case of a conflict with global consequences. Prices for energy, ingredients, and production line costs have all increased lately. In any case, these are the arguments used by a spokesperson for the brand to justify this practice.
We understand that consumers must also bear the cost increase (…) but, in this difficult environment, we had to slightly reduce the average weight of our Cadbury Dairy Milk bars.
Too Much Inflation, And Not Enough Nescafé Azeri
Nescafé is also not escaping shrinkflation to maintain correct profits. Azeri instant coffee has undergone the same modifications as Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. We are talking about a 10% drop in its quantity here, for a price that has not budged one iota.
Beth Schubert, co-founder of Own the Grill, is one of the consumer victims of this change in policy produced by Nescafé. She claims that Nescafé admits having used shrinkflation. The spike in coffee bean prices over the past year is believed to be behind the move.
Nevertheless, the Italian brand invokes a technical argument to defend itself from such a practice. The 454g package would have been only marketed in the United States to hire ghost writers, while the packaging indicating 410g would be intended for the Canadian market.
Domino’s Assumes Its Savings In Chicken
Finally, Domino’s stands out from the lot of brands making use of shrinkflation. For good reason, the fast food franchise assumes this choice.
On this subject, the American entrepreneur Charmaine Chan assures us that this is not an isolated case. Faced with the increase in chicken prices, the pizzas of the American restaurateur now contain fewer wings. Specifically, we are talking here about a 20% decrease in the chicken intake of a pizza at Domino’s.
Barilla Denies Any Practice Of Shrinkflation
In Italy, it is Barilla who finds himself in trouble, following accusations of shrinkflation. Indeed, some consumers have noticed that rigatoni sold at different times did not display the same weight. 454g against 410g, this corresponds to a 9.7% drop in the amount of pasta for Barilla.
Consumers are very attentive to these cost-cutting practices. Brands must therefore be able to explain themselves very clearly and quickly when accusations of shrinkflation rain down.
Unlike the 1970s, the central bank has no room for maneuver and 2023 will be the occasion for naïve Europeans to notice this.
Act 2: Manifestations
Faced with skyrocketing bills and shrinking purchasing power, Europeans will make their anger heard. Moreover, these manifestations of exasperation are already clearly visible in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Further on, violent protests have also erupted in Lahore because of the explosion in electricity prices, or in Argentina because of galloping inflation. In fact, the whole world is protesting against the generalized impoverishment caused by this forced transition.
In continental Europe and the United States, discontent is still discreet. But on social networks, there are many calls for help (see for example the now famous case of the Italian company ICAB as published on social networks below). From 2022, however, demonstrations of an unprecedented scale will be held in the richest countries. They will lead to riots in 2023. Even the police of very wise Switzerland are preparing for it.
Because if the crisis started with gas, it will soon be accentuated by an explosion in diesel prices. Its price has in fact been artificially contained by subsidies and bonuses (France, Belgium, etc.) and by the use of strategic reserves in the United States. These are dwindling dangerously.
The reserves of sour crude oil, which is easier to refine, are those that have been depleted, as shown in the graph by Javier Blas published on his Medical Ghostwriter. By October 2022 these strategic reserves will be dry.
A global shift from gas to oil (diesel) is taking place. The KWh produced from a diesel generator is in fact 3 times cheaper at the end of August 2022 than the KWh of electricity from the conventional network. Saudi Arabia already consumes more of its oil for its own use (yellow curve on the graph below). Oil will therefore become scarce, and Europe has shot itself in the foot by cutting off Russian oil. Venezuela has also decided to stop oil exports to Europe. Consequence: prices (especially diesel) which will reach levels this winter that have never been seen before.