Food Tastes Worse, Thanks to Inflation

By: Anneken Tappe · December 13, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Skimpflation Strikes

If you’ve noticed declining quality in the food you’ve been buying for years, you might not be imagining it.

High prices have driven manufacturers to change their recipes to keep production costs low and maintain their profit margins.

Inflation Is To Blame

The trend of “skimpflation” or “flavorflation” is a strategy companies are employing to shield themselves from the impacts of inflation. But replacing expensive ingredients with cheaper alternatives has noticeable effects: Food is becoming less flavorful, and possibly less healthy.

For example, Fleischmann’s-owner Conagra (CAG) lowered the amount of vegetable oil in its margarine from 64% to 39%, making up the difference with water. The company did not advertise this change, but customers soon took notice — and were understandably not happy about it.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The rising cost of food production puts manufacturers in a tough spot, having to decide if consumers would prefer higher prices or worse flavor. Neither is a good option, and both risk losing loyal customers. Worse still, it may lead to a more troubling third outcome, with consumers turning away and opting for higher-cost alternatives elsewhere.

Read more reporting here .

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