By  Sandford Tuey – Canada

Let’s say you go to the local store, purchase some of your favourite sweet treats, and hand over your hard-earned cash.  When you open the packet you notice that the chocolate bar has been reduced in size or the bag of chips is smaller or is the same size but there are less chips inside, why?  Once you check the weight and realize the truth.  You have become a victim of shrinkflation: a phenomenon where popular treats reduce in size or quantity while remaining at the same price, but you’re paying the same amount for less.

This has been occurring too often in recent times. Back in November 2016, the redesign of the iconic Toblerone bar caused outrage, as the gaps between chunks grew, leaving it unrecognizable – more a scattering of hillocks than a lofty mountain range. Consumers complained about the change, it quickly emerged that many other products also become suspiciously smaller and an increase of shrinkflation is rampant in North America.  In the last week, the word shrinkflation has spiked in use because of the many products consumers buy that are not the same anymore, as it was revealed that bags of Maltesers and M&Ms were all shrinking for the second time in a year.

This is not fair for consumers who want to know why.

  1. The price of ingredients rise and therefore the producers of your favorite products reduce the size of their goods to reflect this increased cost without increasing the retail sale price.
  2. Some unethical companies choose to reduce the size of their items just to increase profit margins as corporations have to inform their shareholders they are making dividend payment ever quarter. Basically you are sending more of your money to their shareholders but get less of your favourite products.
  3. The Canadian or American currency is being devalued against other world currencies, which cause the companies who produce your favourite treats to pay higher prices for ingredients, transportation, management, etc.. It is common knowledge that North American money is on the front line of the present Currency War.  The US dollar is being artificially propped up as of 2016, but should it lose more of its worldwide value, this reduction will directly negatively affect our Canadian dollar drastically.

Canada exports 75% to 80% of our products and service into the United States of America and should President Trump initiate his proclaimed import tariff (35%), our products will be too high and priced out of the US market.  This would be devastating to the Canadian government’s revenue as less tax would be collected, but even more so for companies, their Canadian employees and other industries associated with the moving of our goods down south.

The unemployment estimates are staggering with figures around 30% to 40%, increasing the unemployed level never seen before.  This means we would skip a Recession and plunge directly into a major Depression.  The great depression had unemployment rate of 15% to 25%.  It is obvious how bad things would get in Canada.  That is why Canada must diversify our export base and increase imports into nations like China, India, and other countries we do not sell into as much as we could.

As soon as the USA decides if they will slap the 35% import tariff against Canadian products or grant us a reprieve or a decreased tariff, everyone will have this unemployment sword having over Canadians and our fragile economy.  Get ready to tighten your belts.