We sat at our favorite pizza place and ordered the same pizzas as always. Hubby drank a coke with it, the children an apple juice and I a spa red, because even though I understood that the catering industry had to raise prices – eight euros for a glass of wine was really too much for me.
The pizzas came. I took a look at it. Got confused. Was this a mindfuck? Did I squint? I wasn’t drunk, it wasn’t that. “Do you notice anything about those pizzas, guys?” I asked. Puk (11) and Olle (8) gobbled down the pizzas. “Huh?” they exclaimed, grinding their jaws.
“Would they really make structural savings on this?” I asked hubby, “by chopping off a few centimeters of that pizza?” Hubby didn’t know very well either. The pizzas were tasty as always, but it bothered me that they had been reduced just so much that you began to question your own powers of observation.
I asked if there were people who recognized this mindfuck, I wanted confirmation that it wasn’t my eyes. “The tompouces have recently become much narrower”, “the swimming pool is so cold that my son comes out of the water with blue lips”, “a bunch of tulips has gone from 10 to 7 tulips”.
Impressed by the stories, I did ‘research’ on social media and soon ended up in the #shrinkflation trap, as the phenomenon turned out to be called. Shrink inflation: less in the same package, shorter/narrower bottles, heavier packages, smaller toilet rolls: the whole bag of tricks passed by. Breathlessly I watched videos of people comparing or opening packaging to show how little it actually contained.
Because nice, 25 milliliters less shampoo in your bottle, or one wash less in your packaging, but you can also overdo it, I concluded after a morning of fieldwork. This Gekke Henkie had his eyes opened and therefore only wanted one thing: to go up a notch in terms of cutbacks. I preferred to spend my hard-earned money elsewhere, especially now that groceries had become considerably more expensive again.
And so I searched for even more low-ingredient recipes, dug up from memory cheap student bites – which the kids find very tasty, by the way. More Dutch pot, freeze more, order even less and eat out. I also changed supermarkets after twenty years of loyal service.
No, a slice of everything could easily be shaved off, no problem. We weren’t the Potato Eaters yet. If only, ironically enough, because potatoes were no longer affordable.
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