During the Super Bowl, US President Joe Biden released a video criticizing food companies for “shrinkflation.” In the video, he accused these companies of making products smaller while keeping prices the same, referring to it as a “rip-off” and stating that the public is tired of being deceived. He gave examples of products that have been reduced in size without a reduction in price, including Gatorade, Breyers ice cream, Tostitos and Doritos crisps, and Oreo cookies.
The Super Bowl attracts a large audience and is an excellent advertising opportunity for companies. Despite declining a television interview before the game, Biden’s video would have been uncomfortable viewing for some of the biggest food companies like PepsiCo, Mondelēz, and Unilever. Although he did not directly name any products or companies in his criticism, his message was clear.
The US consumer price inflation index surged above 8% in 2022 due to factors such as monetary policy in response to the pandemic, increased global energy prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and significant government spending. In response to rising costs, some companies are believed to be reducing product sizes and altering recipes to contain less expensive ingredients – a practice known as “skimpflation.”
When approached about Biden’s accusations of “shrinkflation,” PepsiCo, Mondelēz