Are you struggling to explain why your family seems to eat through more bags of chips, candy bars and juice cartons than they did a few years ago? Science has an answer, but it might upset you.
Researchers at the UK's Office for National Statistics have crunched the numbers on the sizes and prices of groceries, including necessities like toilet paper and snack foods like chips and candies. They found that while the sizes of these items are shrinking, the prices aren't dropping.
Experts call this trend "shrinkflation," and it affects us just as badly as our neighbors across the pond. According to the ONS, 2,500 items have shrunk over the last 5 years, while only 600 have gotten bigger, so every family is bound to have one item in their cart that keeps getting smaller.
While companies blame these changes on rising prices for ingredients like sugar and cocoa, ingredient costs have actually gone down recently, according to the ONS, while families are still feeling the pinch.
In fact, according to consumer research company Which?, everyday items like coffee, orange juice and toilet paper have shrunk the most:
It's not surprising that prices for expensive fair trade coffee are on the rise, with this one's package shrinking by 12% while prices actually went up per 100g. Lots of other companies are following suit.
Value brand Andrex caused a stir in the UK when they cut down the number of sheets on each roll from 240 to 221 with no price drop, meaning every package is 8% lighter. Check your Charmin - it's probably shrinking too.
Learn how much Doritos, Tropicana and other products have shrunk on the next page!