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Biden calls on snack companies to stop 'shrinkflation" rip-offs

Published Feb 11, 2024 12:13PM ET Updated Feb 11, 2024 11:50PM ET
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© Reuters. A person shops in a supermarket as inflation affected consumer prices in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday called on snack companies to stop shrinkflation, which is when businesses cut product sizes but keep prices the same, describing the practice as "a rip-off."

"Some companies are trying to pull a fast one by shrinking the products little by little and hoping you won't notice," Biden said in a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.

"Give me a break. The American public is tired of being played for suckers. I'm calling on companies to put a stop to this. Let's make sure businesses do the right thing now," he said.

Biden, who offered no solutions or policies to address the practice, did not name any specific companies but several brands were shown in the video, including Gatorade, Doritos, Breyers and Tostitos.

"We appreciate that the President has to deflect attention away from inflation that has lingered during his administration," said David Chavern, president and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association, in a statement. Chavern added that the group would like to work with Biden on "real solutions that benefit consumers."

PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP), whose brands include Gatorade, Doritos and Tostitos, and Unilever (LON:ULVR), which makes Breyers ice cream, were not immediately available for comment outside normal business hours. Reuters could also not immediately reach Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ), maker of Oreos, and Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), which owns Goldfish crackers.

Senator Bob Casey, who released a report in December that showed the impact of smaller product sizes on everything from toilet paper to Oreos, told Reuters in a statement that he was working to how widespread such practices were and to hold companies accountable.

The report noted that household paper products were 34.9% more expensive per unit than they were in January 2019, with about 10.3% of the increase due to producers shrinking the sizes of rolls and packages.

It said the price of snacks like Oreos and Doritos had gone up 26.4% over the same period, with shrinking portions accounting for 9.8% percent of the increase.

A spokesperson for Casey said four major industry associations responded to his letters but none "took responsibility for price-gouging or answered his questions regarding pricing and transparency."

Although inflation appears to be slowing, the economy remains Americans' overall top concern, cited by 22% of poll respondents, as they have struggled with inflation and other aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released last month.

Since taking office, Biden has made a pitch for lower supermarket prices, pushed drug makers to lower insulin costs, hotel chains to reduce fees and tried to diversify the meat-packing industry after beef prices skyrocketed in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Biden calls on snack companies to stop 'shrinkflation" rip-offs
 

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Comments (28)
Michael Davino
MichaelDavino Feb 12, 2024 2:11AM ET
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With most everything going perfect under his exceptional leadership, the fact that he cares about us enough to complain about snack size shrinkage before his change and 3pm nappy nap only makes me realize even more how blessed the failing empire truly is.
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Feb 12, 2024 1:24AM ET
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brainwashed maga-trolls always find something to bitc# and moan about.. they should applaud at least this, as junk food is their main, if not only, source of 'nutrition'...
tolomey widdle
tolomey widdle Feb 12, 2024 12:41AM ET
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excellent Marxist taking point Joe.
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Feb 12, 2024 12:41AM ET
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enjoying your rightwing fantasy bubble..?
First Last
First Last Feb 12, 2024 12:41AM ET
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You think only Marxists care about deception marketing?
Jim Davies
Jim Davies Feb 12, 2024 12:31AM ET
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Biden just found out that the inflation reduction act was really skrinkflation or bidenomics.
First Last
First Last Feb 12, 2024 12:31AM ET
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Shinkflation was happening way before Bidenomics.  You just didn't know about it until Biden told you about it.
dylan mulvaney
dylan mulvaney Feb 11, 2024 11:28PM ET
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The worst shrinkflation we have seen recently has been of Biden's brain.
Tom Scheuermann
Tom Scheuermann Feb 11, 2024 11:18PM ET
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fat and disgusting Americans should probably lay off the snacks anyway.
Symmetries Research
SymResearch Feb 11, 2024 10:15PM ET
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Socialism spitting on the only hands that feed it. Classic.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Feb 11, 2024 10:15PM ET
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sym, socialism really you just don't appreciate a good snack...
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Feb 11, 2024 10:15PM ET
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socialism the cat call of the ignorant far right...
David JC
ILoveQE Feb 11, 2024 10:15PM ET
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Ac Tektrader trolling again
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Feb 11, 2024 10:15PM ET
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socialism really...you might want to read a dictionary before you make idiot ic statements.
rob finch
rob finch Feb 11, 2024 9:22PM ET
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What do we want? equal snacks. when do we want it? Now.
rob finch
rob finch Feb 11, 2024 9:20PM ET
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why do rich people get bigger snacks than poor people? we need more snack equality! Now!
Greg RG
Greg RG Feb 11, 2024 9:12PM ET
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I think I understand this.  Money printer go whir.  Business unfriendly policies, geopolitical tensions abound, war mongering, terrible policies across the board, but notably with energy....and on and on.  Predictably get price inflation and dollar devaluation. Shocker.  Small bags of potato chips are to blame. The same bags that state the weight or volume of the contents of the discretionary purchases..
 
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