Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Shrinkflation Tactics

Democratic Representatives Chris Deluzio and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez have introduced the Shrinkflation Prevention Act to the House of Representatives. 

‘Shrinkflation’ refers to the tactic employed by corporations where they reduce the quantity or size of their products while maintaining the same price point. This tactic, which is so sneaky it often goes unnoticed by consumers, can manifest in various forms, such as more air in chip bags, fewer sheets on paper towel rolls, or indented bottoms in peanut butter jars. 

The impact of shrinkflation can be significant, eroding the purchasing power of working families, especially when compounded across multiple items in a single shopping trip.

According to reports, approximately 10% of inflation in household paper products and snack foods can be attributed to shrinkflation. Concerningly, this practice has persisted even as corporate profits have surged, increasing by a staggering 74% from 2020 to 2022, outpacing inflation five-fold.

If passed, the new legislation would direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish regulations recognizing shrinkflation as an unfair or deceptive act or practice, effectively prohibiting manufacturers from engaging in such tactics. Furthermore, the bill would empower the FTC and state attorneys general to pursue civil actions against corporations found to be engaging in shrinkflation.

Representative Deluzio expressed his determination to fight back against this practice, saying, “Shrinkflation is a ripoff — yet another way that big corporations are sticking it to folks. People in Western Pennsylvania are feeling the pinch from corporations charging more for less to pad their profits at our expense. It’s time to fight back.”

Representative Gluesenkamp Perez echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the impact on working families. 

“Corporations have used rising prices as cover to give you less for what you’re paying and boost their bottom line — while the amount of packaging and cost to get products on shelves largely remains the same. It can be hard to notice when items get a bit smaller, and shrinkflation can add up throughout your shopping cart. I’m introducing this legislation to fight back.”

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