Does Aldi Engage in Shrinkflation?

Have you ever had the feeling that a consumer product, like food, was sold in a smaller package than it used to be? Maybe it just appears smaller when you pick it up.

Or maybe you know. Maybe you’ve got an older version of that product that was a certain number of ounces, and now what you see in stores is just slightly fewer ounces. You might even be able to prove it because you still have the older, larger package.

Your instincts are probably right.

Economists have a name for it. It’s called shrinkflation, and it’s when a company shrinks the size of a package without lowering the price. In many cases, you’ll pay the same sticker price — $2.99, for example — but you’re actually paying more per ounce because the product is smaller.

Grocers do it for one simple reason: because they’re more likely to get away with it. Most consumers are sensitive to price — they know when their eggs or cereal have gotten more expensive. But how many people closely monitor product packaging size? Some do, no doubt, but many consumers don’t stop to examine the number of ounces every time. I certainly don’t, not with all the things already going on in my head when I go shopping. It’s hard enough just making sure I don’t forget something on my list.

The evidence backs that up. In a study involving ice cream in 2014, researchers found that consumers were four times more sensitive to price as they were to package size.

Yet grocers feel the pressure of inflation. Costs go up every year (some years more than others) and grocers can’t always afford to hold the line on price. Eventually, they’re losing too much money. That limits their options. A store can raise prices (shoppers get mad), source a lower quality product (shoppers get really mad), or shrink the box (a few shoppers might get mad).

That’s why it makes far more sense for stores to reduce the package size rather than increase the price.

This kind of product shrinking, especially with food, is everywhere. You’ll see it in nearly every supermarket, both with name brand products and with generic and private label ones. Companies can be sneaky, too, such as making boxes taller and thinner to mask the size change.

Does Aldi Do It, Too?


The Aldi Tikkas

Three jars of Aldi tikka masala, circa 2019. Same price, different sizes.

Here’s something I’ve noticed about Aldi, though: the German grocer likes to use suppliers who track their product sizes to name brands. More often than not, when we see an Aldi product with a seemingly odd size, we see a name brand product with the same seemingly odd size.

Take cereal, for example.

Millville Cocoa Peanut Butter Puffs

Name-brand cereal on the left, Aldi cereal on the right.

Reese’s Puffs Cereal, made by General Mills, is 13 ounces. Not exactly a round or even number. And guess what? So is the Millville imitation.

I could point to other examples, too, like the 10.5-ounce Chef’s Cupboard Chicken Noodle Condensed Soup, or the 2.85-ounce Simms Beef Jerky. As I said before, in most cases, Aldi suppliers are lining up their package sizes to match the name brands.

If there is a silver lining, it’s this: Aldi prices are still the lowest in the grocery space. Yes, Aldi does shrink products, but because everyone else does, too, Aldi prices continue to reign supreme.

So while you might want to complain about Aldi shrinking its products — and I do, sometimes — know that this phenomenon is not exclusive to Aldi, and you’ll still have a hard time getting a better deal anywhere else.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at


  1. Is that on Aldi though, or the manufacturer?

    • Both. Aldi is very specific on its contracts, so it knows exactly what it’s getting and for how much. Suppliers are obviously engaging in shrinkflation, but Aldi is willingly participating in that process … as are nearly all other grocers.

    • I have noticed with the 10litre spring water from Aldi 😡😡😡😡

  2. I have been aware of product shrinkage ever since that started quite some time ago. I always notice. I’m aware that some markets, not all, have water injected into their beef products, not just pork. I think you may not really know that most customers DO notice these things, There is just nothing they can do about it. We are helpless.

    • I respectfully disagree…there IS something customers can do about it; don’t buy the product, buy (try) a competitor’s product that is a lower cost per unit, and look for different sizes of the same product that are a lower cost per unit. Cereal is a prime example and Aldi is usually the winner in cost and sometimes in taste!

      • The challenge right now is that competitors are raising their prices, too. Aldi has done better than a lot of stores in holding down on price, but it’s an across-the-board issue right now.

    • Coffee was the first thing that popped out at me. We aren’t really helpless, just hooked on convenience. I try not to buy processed food. shop the perimeter – that’s my motto.

  3. The most recent product I noticed this with was orange juice – not at Aldi specifically, but you can bet I’ll be checking next time I’m there. Anyway, I’ve noticed that the 64-oz container of juice (for more than one brand) has shrunk down to 52oz. 😒

    • Been like that for many years. It was also 59 ounces and now 52. There are still some 59 oz.
      12 oz beverages are next. Notice those novel skinnier looking cans? Still 12 oz but in other countries they’re 11.2 oz. Noticed that 10 years ago. I imagine it’ll only be a matter of time, or will they just add more water?

  4. I hope it’s okay to post a link to this list of products that have shrunk:
    If not, please remove it.

  5. The one that really bothers me is that toilet tissue rolls are getting narrower, for so many reasons.

  6. I agree on the toilet paper. So annoying. Do they think we are stupid and don’t notice? I totally disagree that people notice the price going up more than they notice the size shrinking. I don’t look at the price, I buy what I like and need to buy. But I absolutely notice when the package is shrinking, because it makes me have to alter my recipes, for example. Makes me furious that they think we are stupid.

  7. A number of years ago, I noticed yogurt cups getting smaller. I was using them as part of a points diet system and that totally screwed me up. Same with cans of cat food. A 3 oz can is now 2.75 oz. How to explain that to the cats? Tuna is no longer 6 oz, but 5.5 oz.
    And here’s my Aldi specific gripe… the Mini Naan are getting more and more mini.

  8. I absolutely notice the shrinkage of size especially with certain ice creams. I buy Breyer’s lo carb ice cream which is not sold at all grocery stores. True I can’t over eat it due to the effect of the sugar alcohol. It has gotten more expensive to be sure and It is less than a gallon. It is the only lo carb ice cream that is 5 net carbs per serving. Sorry but Aldi lo carb ice cream is still higher in carbs than I prefer.

  9. You all do a fantastic job of a reviewing product’s!

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