President Joe Biden doesn’t want you to have to spend so much money on groceries.
In a message released on social media before the Super Bowl Sunday, Biden called on major food manufacturers to curb the ongoing trend of shrinkflation.
“Some companies are trying to pull a fast one by shrinking the products little by little and hoping you won’t notice,” Biden said. “Give me a break. The American public is tired of being played for suckers.”
Shrinkflation occurs when manufacturers reduce the size of their packaging but keep the price the same. It’s a way to charge consumers the same for less merchandise.
Consumers really started to notice shrinkflation in 2022 when inflation was its peak, according to a poll from Morning Consult. It hit the snack category especially hard, making it that much more noticeable for an event like the Super Bowl. A bag of Doritos shrank from 9.75 ounces to 9.25 ounces, and a “family size” box of General Mills cereals like Cocoa Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch is now 18.1 ounces instead of 19.3 ounces.
Biden, who sat flanked by brands like Oreos, Doritos, Wheat Thins, and Breyers ice cream, was unequivocal in what he thought about the practice.
“It’s a rip-off,” Biden said.
This isn’t the first time Biden has addressed shrinkflation. Nor is it the first time he’s sought to cast companies as the culprits. At a campaign event a few weeks ago, Biden took aim at grocery chains and major food brands accusing them of keeping prices high intentionally.
“For all we’ve done to bring prices down, there are still too many corporations in America ripping people off: price gouging, junk fees, greedflation, shrinkflation,” Biden said in January at South Carolina’s First in the Nation Dinner.
He reiterated that message during his pre–Super Bowl message as well. “I’m calling on companies to put a stop to this,” Biden said. “Let’s make sure businesses do the right thing—now.”
There is some evidence that much of the price hikes for food and other consumer goods could have been avoided. Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey released a report on shrinkflation in December that attributed 41% of inflation’s cost increases to “corporate profit making.” Corporations, especially those that make household staples like snacks and home goods, have also been accused of raising prices for consumers at a rate that far exceeds any cost increases they themselves may…