🍎 Your food is shrinking

Published On: September 23rd, 2022

Hey guys. Kerry here! I’m doing something newish with a weekly newsletter, called, well, ‘Cash and Kerry’. Standby for plain language financial explainers with a little wit and a lot of wisdom. Let’s go!

Today’s newsletter is 630 words, 3 minutes.

1 big thing: Your food is shrinking!

❓ WTF? (What The Food?): ‘Shrinkflation’ may be the reason your favorite products are getting smaller.

❗️ Why it matters: Shrinkflation is a somewhat sneaky and mostly hidden form of inflation. Instead of increasing the price of a product (which is mostly infuriating), companies reduce the size of the product while keeping the same sticker price (which is also infuriating).

  • The small reduction in quantity usually goes unnoticed, but consumers are getting quick to the trick and are posting examples of shrinkflation on social.
  • You’re paying the same price for a box of cereal but you’re getting less cereal.

✅ A sizable solution: Inflation plus shrinkflation makes it hard to see what’s going on with your grocery bill, especially when competing brands offer different sized packages with varying prices.

  • Use unit pricing: The unit price tells you the price per measurement. So you can easily compare different brands and package sizes to get the best price per unit.

➡️ Bottom Line: There’s no one size fits all with food. We all have different sized households and dietary needs, but knowing your price per unit can help.

2. 📈 Charted: Skyrocketing food prices

🍎 Inflation is eating our grocery budgets as food prices rise at the fastest pace since 1981.

  • We’re paying MUCH more for the basics: meat (+6.5%), dairy (+7.0%), fresh fruit (+13.2%), eggs (+10.9%), bread (+15.4%).

✅ Reality Check: Economist Armine Yalnizyan writes (Twitter thread),

“Price inflation in foods is escalating not plateauing or falling. More people are going to eat less well, and just plain go hungry.”

3. 🍔 Eating is an expensive habit

🎙 I’ve been doing considerable media on how to afford food when it’s getting unaffordable. No one can avoid inflation, but we all have to eat! I do my best to help.

  • How to combat food inflation (Forbes)
  • 4 ways to save money on groceries during inflation (CTV News)
  • Inflation, rising interest rates compound anxiety (Vancouver Sun)
  • How to cope with soaring costs at the pump (Globe and Mail, subscription)

4. 🌎 Around the world

🇺🇸 Flour inflation in US is worst ever (Bloomberg)

🇬🇧 UK food prices highest since global financial crash (The Guardian)

🇪🇺 Euro zone inflation hits another record of 9.1% (CNBC)

5. 🗑 Reducing food waste

We can’t control or predict the market, but we CAN control what happens to food at home. Our refrigerators are filled with good intentions, and no one buying groceries thinks, “I’m going to throw out all this food next week.”

The issue: The average household throws out over $1,000 of food every year, and the tragic part is 60% of that food is edible.

✅ One doable solution: My interview with Angela Cooper, PhD, an Associate at BEworks, lays out a food saving and cost cutting program. Watch the interview and get the steps.

As always,

❤️ Love love love,

Kerry

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