Loyalty crumbles as brands move from Shrinkflation to Skimpflation

By Zion Rufus

Just when we thought price inflation, scarcity, and Shrinkflation (the reduction in size/content of packaged productions) were the worst things that could have happened as a result of 2022’s inflationary pressures, customers have now been hit with Skimpflation.

Where Shrinkflation involves the reduction in the size and/or content of packaged goods, Skimpflation is a situation where brands reduce the quality of the goods.

Consumers have complained that not only have there been noticeable changes in the sizes of packaged consumer goods, there have also been changes in the qualities in terms of taste, look, materials used, and concentration.

I have noticed significant changes in the concentration of some carbonated soft drinks,” Abolore, a marketing strategist, submitted in an interview with MARKETING EDGE.

“This isn’t even about the sugar content. These drinks now taste like you are just drinking colored water. Especially Coke and Pepsi. Most CSD brands have increased their prices, which is understandable given the current economic situation, but watering down the content is totally unacceptable,” he added.

Consumer, Taiwo Ijegba, on his part noted that his favorite red wine brand Baron “now sells water instead of wine”. 

He said: “For years, Baron has been one of my best red wine brands. Besides the fact that it is affordable, It grew on me over time. So even though the price has changed, I didn’t mind, it was still my choice. But I have noticed that the last two bottles I purchased, I could barely even comprehend what I was drinking. The taste was too diluted. It was a great disappointment.”

Skimpflation, the new globally accepted marketing term, was coined by NPR’s Planet Money, an Interactive media platform which explains the economy with playful storytelling. Identifying it as a form of inflation, the company stated that Skimpflation, “as with normal inflation, it means we’re getting less for our money.”

According to Planet Money, Skimpflation involves expending less time, money, or material on something in an attempt to economize.

“I have seen this happen with even fruit juices like 5Alive Pulpy and some others. Biscuits too. I ate FibreActive and it didn’t taste the same. All the crunchiness and thickness that made us all love it back in school is all light now. It’s like eating any other biscuit,” Munir Mohammed shared with MARKETING EDGE. 

Kesta, an upcoming music artist shared: “I can’t put my disappointment with Seagram’s Imperial Blue whiskey to words. It was painful. I can’t believe them watering down an alcohol brand like that. Of all things, alcohol?My friends had to buy another brand for our party. For Cola brands, it is now endemic. We have to live with it because those one, for months now, I don’t know if it is the sugar that has reduced or the main ingredients are of poor quality. The taste is just different now.”

“All the “flations” are created by multiple factors and economic trends bigger than any one leader,” said Senior Contributor, Forbes, Scott Edinger.

“But Skimpflation is one trend that you can address in your company. While the market factors that drive Skimpflation are undeniable, your response to those factors will determine your trajectory well into the future.”



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