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

Published 02/11/2024, 12:13 PM
Updated 02/11/2024, 11:50 PM
© 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."

© 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

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.

Latest comments

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.
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'...
excellent Marxist taking point Joe.
enjoying your rightwing fantasy bubble..?
You think only Marxists care about deception marketing?
Biden just found out that the inflation reduction act was really skrinkflation or bidenomics.
Shinkflation was happening way before Bidenomics.  You just didn't know about it until Biden told you about it.
The worst shrinkflation we have seen recently has been of Biden's brain.
fat and disgusting Americans should probably lay off the snacks anyway.
Socialism spitting on the only hands that feed it. Classic.
socialism the cat call of the ignorant far right...
trolling again
socialism might want to read a dictionary before you make idiot ic statements.
What do we want? equal snacks. when do we want it? Now.
why do rich people get bigger snacks than poor people? we need more snack equality! Now!
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..
I call on the FED to stop shrinking the value of the US$ each year, with a shrinkage target of 2%. It would be nice to see price increases at 0%.
"value of the US$ ... shrinkage target of 2%"  =/=. "price increases at 0%"
Get em joe. I hate little snacks
At least he can focus on what is really important. He should be more concerned about shrinking the Debt not candy or ice cream.
Congress has power of the purse.
Vending Machines? Biden is on a tight leach. No more important stuff anymore. Like taking the car keys from your kid AFTER he wrecked the car. Biden belongs at the "Last Stop" Memory Care facility here in Little Rock. Rumor is Big Don has added a few hundred more MAGAPhobes on his LIST. Anyway, SCOTUS is about to give Big Don his Presidential Immunity. All J6 Patriots convictions will be overturned and lawsuits abound. Love to,All, Charles.
Xiden has no clue
Then it's good that Xiden ain't potus.
And every CEO of every food company will listen to Biden, of course. Because he inspires respect in everyone. 🙄
Who should listen to that man? No one!
Such a pathetic president with pathetic economic policies.
Trump would have been worse.
  Yup.  And US economy under Bidenomics has been doing better than peer economies.
we want to raise your taxes and costs to operate but don't want you to pass on the costs. clueless administration
It's Republicans who want to spend w/ tax, who want to de-regulate today and have taxpayer-funded bailouts tomorrow.
Companies should spend less on marketing/lobbying and use that $ on more and better product per package.
Jannety on another fact free hallucination. Corporate tax rate has stayed the same under Biden. Man, these magabilloes are some supremely ignorant dyumb fluxers.
Lol, 3rd world country move
I guess criticizing deceptive packaging practices do happen sometimes in 3rd world countries.
Companies been doing this for years! OJ in 50oz, ice cream 14oz, cereal 11oz. etc... Capitalism at its finest!
Exactly. Private businesses exist only to pay taxes to the Liberals, who need the money to buy votes. And around-and-around we go.
  Trump took $ from tariffs to pay farmers for votes.
How is the word "shrink" being used? Like "Biden shrinks from appearing on TV so the voters can't see how incapacitated he is?" Or "The Dems chances in the next election are shrinking?"
"Shrink" is being used as in amount product per package shrinking.  It's very clear how word is used..
Just like the 70s Inflation has only just begun. This will be a long period of stagflation that will most likely end in a debt jubilee and a new currency.
Yes. But first they have to outlaw both Gold and Crypto.
Stagflation? Inflation is receding and GDP is positive. You don't know what you are talking about. Gee, these magabillies are some dyumb motha frackers.
 0% inflation would be nice. Really nice if the FED would stop setting a target of stealing my wealth by 2% every year.
This isn’t new, and is one way markets deal with government induced inflation. It’s political theatre to appeal to the economically ignorant.
The "government" in "government induced inflation" is the Kremlin.
Thank goodness the primary issue facing the US is being addressed.
Non-primary issues should be addressed, too.
Biden thinks tackling this problem is a National Securiyu issue. Really!? Food in Vending Machines? Sounds like his Handlers are keeping him far away from his Constiturional Duties. What a waste of DNA. Love to All, Charles.
Where is national security mentioned?
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