Subtle change in everyday product sparks anger as prices surge

An Australian woman's complaint about shrinking laundry detergent capsules has piqued the interest of fellow shoppers equally frustrated by the "shrinkflation" trend affecting everyday products.

Shrinkflation, a term coined in 2009, is a tactic when manufacturers reduce the size or quantity of a product while maintaining its price.

"I am noticing shrinkflation everywhere! Just refilled my washing capsules and noticed the new ones were about 25 per cent smaller and less filled. Very frustrating when the price goes up but the product gets smaller," the woman vented in a Facebook post, alongside photos of OMO laundry detergent capsules.

Facebook post about shrinking OMO laundry detergent capsules
The disgruntled shopper says OMO capsules have shrunk by 25 per cent. Source: Facebook

Fellow shoppers were quick to chime in.

"Oh wow that's a pretty big shrink," one women commented.

"Could they be more concentrated?" another woman asked.

The author, who received suggestions to do a weight comparison of old and new capsules, replied that there was nothing on the packaging that suggests it was a new formula.

She also announced a discovery on the thread. "I've now weighed them and they've gone from 28g each to 21g each," she wrote, confirming that the capsules had shrunk by 25 per cent.

Shrinking products

"Sandwich bags are smaller. Was struggling to fit a sandwich in the other day, checked the dimensions and yes, the bag has been trimmed," one woman related in a Facebook comment.

"Drynites did the same thing this week. Came out labelled "new" on the shelf. They are actually exactly the same but you get one less in the packet now," another person wrote.

"I bought some Pringles a few days ago and I was shocked," commented another.

Shoppers fed up

Shoppers expressed anger and despair about the growing cost of household products that are shrinking in size.

"I'm so over everything going up in price but yet going smaller. As a single parent it’s hitting my pockets and I am feeling it a lot now," one woman moaned.

"It is our own fault this is happening. If we refused to buy products that are shrinking then they would stop it... They know they can do it and we will accept it," said another.

Woman hands pushing a shopping trolley in a supermarket
Australian consumers on Facebook say they've noticed an increasing amount of products shrinking in size while not changing in price. Source: Getty

'Happening everywhere'

Other Facebook users however showed little surprise over the phenomenon.

"It's been happening for years. It's called theft," once person wrote.

“It’s happening everywhere. I’ve just come back from England and it’s been happening there for months. I noticed the shrinkage with my yoghurts back in March. It's disgusting and prices will continue to go up," another commented.

One Facebook user who said she works in replenishment at a supermarket claimed she had been noticing this trend for a while now. "All cereals just went up in price but down in size," she said.

Big brands in the spotlight

Many other popular brands have already been reducing the size of their products sold at Australian supermarkets, according to data from consumer advocacy group Choice.

Brands already affected by shrinkflation include family favourites such as Mars chocolate bars, Oreo cookies, Bega peanut butter, Burger Rings and Arnott's Tina Wafers.

Yahoo News Australia has reached out to Unilever, which owns the OMO laundry detergent brand, but is yet to receive a response.

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