During the Super Bowl, US President Joe Biden released a video criticizing food companies for “shrinkflation”. In the video, he accused companies of making products smaller while keeping prices the same, calling it a “rip-off” and stating that the public is tired of being deceived. He highlighted several examples of products that have been reduced in size without a reduction in price, including Gatorade, Breyers ice-cream, Tostitos and Doritos crisps, and Oreo cookies.
The Super Bowl is a highly anticipated event in the US and attracts a large audience, making it a prime advertising opportunity for companies. Despite declining a television interview typically conducted with the president before the game, Biden’s video would have made uncomfortable viewing for some of the biggest food companies, including PepsiCo, Mondelēz, and Unilever. Although Biden did not directly name any products or companies, his criticism was clear.
Inflation has been a major concern in 2022 with the US consumer price inflation index surging above 8%. Some economists attribute this rise to factors such as monetary policy in response to the pandemic, increased global energy prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine