‘Shrinkflation’ Has Come for Your Doritos

With inflation rates at a 40-year high, there are few places where Americans aren’t feeling the financial squeeze. In some cases, they’re paying for the hidden cost of inflation without realizing it. As Food & Wine reports, the price of Doritos hasn’t gone up, but customers may notice there are fewer chips in every bag than there used to be.

Frito-Lay confirmed it reduced the weight of a regular bag of Doritos from 9.75 ounces to 9.25 ounces, which comes out to roughly five fewer chips. The change is a classic case of “shrinkflation,” which occurs when food manufacturers make up for the rising costs of ingredients by selling smaller portions for the same amount of money.

This practice is especially insidious when it comes for our chips. It’s hard for Ben & Jerry’s to hide the fact that their ice cream tubs have gotten smaller, or for Gatorade to deny they changed the shape of their bottles (though they may claim their reasons for doing so are a design choice rather than a cost-cutting measure). But due to the nature of chip bags, Frito-Lay can easily subtract chips from the same package. The bags are half-filled with air to begin with to prevent the chips from being crushed into crumbs in transit.

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act passed in 1966 requires food manufacturers to print the net weight of their product on the package, but unless you had the previous weight of a bag of Doritos memorized, you likely won’t notice any change. Beyond a nagging sense of dissatisfaction, you may not even be aware of the difference after tearing open the bag.

Doritos has gone through many changes over the decades, some of which have been better-received than others. Here are 13 discontinued Doritos flavors from years past.

[h/t Food & Wine]