Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


the practice of selling smaller quantities of products for the same price, in order to make people believe they are getting the same amount

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun shrinkflation is a blend or portmanteau word formed from the verb ‘shrink’ and the noun ‘inflation’. It was first used early in this century.


News that an iconic UK chocolate brand has once again reduced the contents of its popular Christmas selection box in order to keep the price the same chimed with a recent personal experience. The other day I came across a type of chocolate-covered biscuit that I frequently ate as a child. The individually-wrapped bar looked the same, but oh, the disappointment on unwrapping it. What used to be a chunky biscuit covered in a layer of chocolate that was thicker round the edges was a slender shadow of its former self, covered in a thin layer of chocolate that was the same thickness throughout. Like the buyers of the chocolate selection box, I was a victim of shrinkflation, the practice of presenting a product in the same form as previously but reducing either the size or the quantity provided for a given price. I don’t know when the change had taken place – perhaps gradually over the many years since I had eaten one – but I won’t be fooled into trying one again.  Shrinkflation is an entry in Macmillan Dictionary based on one that was submitted to the Open Dictionary back in 2015 by a user in Turkey. Entries that are promoted from the Open Dictionary are credited with the name and country of the contributor as well as the date on which they were submitted.


“Candy bars are not the only sort of food where shrinkflation is showing up.”
(enTenTen15 corpus)

Shrinkflation has become an established trend in Britain as firms eke out greater profits at the expense of consumers or try to keep on top of rising costs.”
(the guardian.com)

Related words

inflation, retailing, packaging, value for money

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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