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President Joe Biden Blames Businesses for ‘Shrinkflation’ – But Republicans Aren’t Buying It

Source: Flickr/U.S. Secretary of Defense

For the second consecutive year, President Joe Biden declined to do an interview that would’ve aired during Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 – something that became a bit of a tradition during Barack Obama’s two terms. Instead, Biden took to social media to share a 48-second clip about ‘shrinkflation’ – and most Republicans found it ironic. Here’s what you need to know!

Biden Releases Super Bowl Ad On Social Media

In the video, Biden is seated on a red sofa with various snacks (Doritos, Gatorade, ice cream, Oreo cookies, and more) displayed on an end table to his right. “It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and if you’re anything like me, you like to be surrounded by a snack or two while watching the big game,” the video began.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

He goes on to call out snack companies for reducing serving sizes (smaller packaging, less contents) while maintaining the same price. “Sports drinks bottles are smaller, bag of chips has fewer chips, but they’re still charging us just as much,” he continued.

Biden Has Had Enough Of ‘Shrinkflation

Biden, a notable ice cream lover, attempted to relate to the average American by calling out ice cream companies. He argued that the cartons ‘have actually shrunk in size, but not in price’ – adding that he has ‘had enough of what they call ‘shrinkflation.’ In Biden’s words, it’s a rip-off.

Source: Flickr/LBJ Library

“Some companies are trying to pull a fast one by shrinking the products little by little and hoping you won’t notice – give me a break,” the current President said. Many people were quick to point out that, while companies are shrinking products to save money, it’s actually because of Biden.

What Is ‘Shrinkflation?’ Is It Illegal?

As Biden described in the video, shrinkflation is when a company reduces the size (or quality) of a product without changing the price. It’s a form of increasing the price, without directly increasing the price. Companies do this in small increments – hoping customers don’t notice.

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While it’s certainly not the best way to treat customers, businesses don’t always have a choice – especially when inflation rates continue to increase. When it costs more to make a product or operate a service, prices have to change somehow – and this is how companies are choosing to do it today.

Biden Calls On Snack Companies To End The Nonsense

Biden ended the video by urging snack companies (and all companies, for that matter) to stop the nonsense and put an end to shrinkflation. “The American public is tired of being played for suckers. I’m calling on companies to put a stop to this. Let’s make sure businesses do the right thing – NOW,” he said.

Source: Flickr/White House

It wasn’t the only social media action we got from President Biden ahead of the big game. He also released a TikTok video of him answering simple questions about the Super Bowl. He said he enjoys the game more than the commercials or halftime show, but declined to say who he thought would win.

Fox News Disagrees – Blames Shrinkflation On Biden

In an article published by FOX News, David Marcus argued that companies have no other option but to shrink products – and it’s all because of Biden’s inability to fix the inflation rate in this country. And his latest social media video was nothing more than him starting to run out of people to blame – as opposed to taking responsibility himself.

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“No serious person believes that suddenly when Biden took office, greedy CEOs twisted their handlebar mustaches and cackled that it was time to start price gouging,” Marcus wrote – adding that Biden did the same thing when he blamed Vladimir Putin and the Russian war in Ukraine for inflation several years ago.

Inflation Is Causing Prices To Skyrocket Across The US

One of the biggest issues facing Americans right now is inflation – and they’re letting it be known. One report by CNN showed that more than 55% of Americans blame Biden for the worsened economic state of this country – and only 26% say his policies have improved it.

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Whether Americans are for or against his policies, one thing is clear – prices are skyrocketing in the US, and it’s largely due to the rises in production costs and wages. In order to keep up, companies are being forced to either ‘shrinkflate’ or cut prices directly – either way, Americans aren’t happy.

1. Fast Food Prices Rising

If you don’t believe in inflation, take one look at the fast food industry today. Many people have taken to social media to criticize these companies, such as McDonald’s, for meals that cost upwards of $20 – for one person. We’re talking about meals that used to be half that price!

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In 2023, limited-service restaurants increased prices by an average of 6.2% – which is much higher than the inflation rate increase of around 3.4%. And with some states, like California, recently passing a new $20 per hour minimum wage, restaurants like Chipotle are telling customers to expect significant price increases in the near future.

2. Travel Price Index Has Risen Since 2019

Those much-needed vacations are almost becoming a nuisance with how expensive traveling is today. While the travel price index did’t really change much between 2022 and 2023, it’s still a long way away from returning to the 2019 normal – which is what we all want it at.

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For reference, the travel price index increased by 1.3% over the past year, but is still up 19% compared to 2019. Transportation actually improved by 5% over the past year, but is still 12% up from 2019. Lodging (16%), recreation (14.5%), and food and beverage (25%) are also up since 2019.

3. Even Theater Ticket Prices Are Up

People don’t feel comfortable going on vacation, but they can’t even enjoy a staycation since many of their favorite activities are too expensive – including movie theaters. Ticket prices have increased 20% since 2019 and, well, food and drinks were always expensive – so that’s just getting worse.

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Joe Biden is right – something does need to happen, and it needs to happen now. The problem is he’s the one who can do something about it, but he’s not. If he doesn’t do something soon, voters might be more compelled to vote for Trump this November – someone who knows how to reduce inflation.

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Ryan Handson

Written by Ryan Handson

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