Companies are shrinking their products so that consumers pick up the tab on rising manufacturing and labor costs

Adding to the post-Covid hellscape of rising rents and the demise of federal unemployment benefits, consumers are also footing the bill for increased manufacturing and labor costs—and most don’t even know it. The covert practice of keeping product prices the same while reducing product sizes is known as “shrinkflation,” and it’s on the rise, the Washington Post reports. Companies are shrinking the size of everything from paper towels and ice cream to cat food—sometimes by as much as 30 percent—and unwitting consumers are picking up the tab for corporations like Walmart that are unwilling to absorb the rising costs of materials, manufacturing, labor, and distribution. At the same time, grocery bills are expected to be on the rise for the rest of the year. Costco, which so far has swallowed the rising cost of inventory, will soon increase the price of everyday staples like water and the company’s beloved rotisserie chickens. In a recent earnings call, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said, “Inflation pressures abound.”