less quantity or worse quality but at the same price

Price increase, shortage, inflation… During the last weeks there is no talk of anything else in the national and economic media. Rising energy prices have pushed inflation up, reaching last October in 5.5%, the highest threshold in three decades.

A figure that makes many tremble because it could take us to a new economic crisis if all this translates into a rise in prices consumption unaffordable for citizens. In fact, there are many who already notice this price increase in their day to day in their shopping cart and others.

Because to companies They have no choice but to transfer the highest energy expenditure they have to their products, making them more expensive for consumers. Without a doubt, a context that does not favor the post-pandemic recovery at all. In addition, with the paralysis of merchandise that is causing a shortage of material in the factories, ergo, of products.

That is to say, a very dangerous combination that the citizen will have to assume for the next few months. Although there are companies that still boast of not affecting all this situation in their prices. But is this possible? Or is there a trick behind it?

Shrinkflation and Skimpflation enter the scene

We are going to learn two new economic concepts of Anglo-Saxon origin to understand what is happening in addition to the rise in prices that we have all been noticing.

Because not only in this we are going to be affected the consumers; also in other aspects that revert to the shopping experience.

On one side is the Shrinkflation that we can translate as ‘hidden inflation’, because although the prices of the products do not rise, its size is reduced. That is to say, we pay the same for less product quantity. Something closely related to what is happening now, since there are also fewer supplies.

This concept was coined in the United States at the time when George W. Bush was president, since in the 70s this phenomenon happened in this country before unleashing rampant inflation. And now it happens again.

And, derived from Shrinkflation Skimpflaction is born, a concept coined on a recent episode of NPR’s Planet Money podcast. In this case, what is cut are the services associated with the products due to lack of manpower and material shortage.

For instance, we are talking about longer waiting times in deliveries of products at home. Or in the hotels a reduction in cleaning services or the disappearance of the breakfasts included in the price.

That is, in addition to less quantity of product, we have less quality. All in one. Therefore, the alternative to raising our prices can be even worse, since we can feel ‘cheated’ when receiving or buying a product that does not fulfill what was promised or what we expected.

And we have to take this into account, because we want to or not, it is going to happen to us in the coming months.


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