shrink·​fla·​tion ˌshriŋk-ˈflā-shən How to pronounce shrinkflation (audio)
: the practice of reducing a product's amount or volume per unit while continuing to offer it at the same price
Shrinkflation occurs when companies keep their prices the same, but give you less of their products.Brian O'Connell
It's the inflation you're not supposed to see. From toilet paper to yogurt and coffee to corn chips, manufacturers are quietly shrinking package sizes without lowering prices. It's dubbed "shrinkflation," and it's accelerating worldwide.The Associated Press
None of us has been immune to the toll of inflation and shrinkflation, feeling it every time we go to the grocery store or pretty much with anything we buy.Steve Watts and Sara Greene

Examples of shrinkflation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Chocolate, crisps, biscuits and snack bars are the most likely candidates for shrinkflation, the study found. Katie Linsell,, 6 June 2023 Astute grocery shoppers will know that shrinkflation isn’t new. Leslie Patton and bloomberg, Fortune, 12 May 2022 Some consumers are noticing and documenting their shrinking groceries on the shrinkflation subreddit. Clarisa Diaz, Quartz, 10 Mar. 2022 Dworsky tracks shrinkflation with the help of eagle-eye readers and posts photos of smaller packages and net weights next to previous versions of products. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 23 July 2021 These retailers are forced to think of clever ways to handle the situation while mastering the art of shrinkflation (making price increases look like a bargain, or holding a price while giving less for more). Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 What is 'shrinkflation'? Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 5 Dec. 2022 Gumball makers may have pulled of the most brazen act of shrinkflation. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 16 Jan. 2022 These are classic examples of bundling in the era of shrinkflation, or going to the driving range to find that the medium size bucket used to have 80 golf balls, now has 70 at the same price. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 10 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shrinkflation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

2013, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shrinkflation was in 2013

Dictionary Entries Near shrinkflation

Cite this Entry

“Shrinkflation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!