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Shrinkflation: Why product sizes are decreasing



By Judith Gicobi

As a result of a dramatic increase in the cost of production, Kenyan manufacturers are covertly shrinking their product sizes and packaging without dropping their prices.

According to a Business Daily analysis, the habit, which has been copied from other parts of the world, is swiftly gaining on in practically all product categories, including toilet paper, yoghurt, bread, and sweets.

Last week, experts indicated that shrinkflation is not a brand-new phenomena. As businesses struggle to keep up with escalating costs for supplies, packaging, labor, and transportation, analysts said, the practice spreads during periods of severe inflation.

Ingredients and manufacturing costs have risen in recent weeks, which has two effects: either higher prices or smaller-sized goods.

A Business Daily spot check on Friday revealed that many of the product size adjustments are too modest for a buyer to notice right away.

Manufacturers, for instance, are altering the shape of their confectionery, such as chocolate, so that consumers hardly realize the difference in weight when purchasing it.

The practice thrives in markets where customers are not concerned about their weight, allowing businesses to reduce the size of their products.

As long as manufacturers have approval from the body that oversees standards, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), the procedure not illegal.

The local daily spot check revealed that some of the hardest impacted products are basic consumer goods including bar soaps, bread, confections, and milk products.

Additionally impacted were building materials, especially steel items.

According to KAM, producers try their best to absorb rising production costs before passing them along to customers.

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As food prices rose sharply in July, Kenya’s inflation rate increased for a fifth straight month, staying above the upper limit of the central bank’s target range.

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