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Tweet of the Week #136: From Chips to Tuna, ‘Shrinkflation’ Hits Japan

Is food getting smaller in Japan?

By 2 min read

Japanese consumers regularly lament on Twitter over “shrinkflated” products—goods that are getting smaller but not cheaper. Shrinkflation was coined by British economist Pippa Malmgren and is a disguised inflation practice. It’s also all too common in Japan.

Bags of potato chips, chocolate bars, tuna cans, bento and more, are discreetly getting smaller while their prices stay the same. Wages also haven’t changed much in Japan since the 2000s. This stealthy price tactic (ステルス値上ねあげ) can affect a families’ food budget. Many well-known brands such as Calbee, Meiji, Country Ma’am, and Kewpie have shrunk their products as demonstrated below by user @ppsh41_1945.

Next time you hit the store, double-check the package quantity. You might be surprised by what you find. Shrinkflation, a Japanese website tracking this trend, keeps a list of products that have shrunk in recent years.

The incredible shrinking food



“Fumio Kishida [the former Minister for Foreign Affairs] says things like ‘the fruits of growth realized by Abenomics,’ but let’s take a look at some of the foods that have become smaller under the Abe administration here.

It is Abenomics that has caused prices to soar while wages have not increased much, and products have become smaller like this, hurting people’s lives.”

The conjunction それでは

Sorede ha koushitara douka?

Conjunctions are very useful words or expressions used to connect two sentences and the Japanese language has many of them. Today, let’s have a look at それでは, also known as では and the casual じゃ. This conjunction is used following three patterns.

You share your opinions on what precedes.

  • 事実じじつだと言ってますが、それでは本当ほんとうなんでしょうか?: “They say it’s the truth, but is it really?”
  • それではこうしたらどうか?: “In that situation, what should we do?”

You mark the start or the end of a particular situation or topic.

  • それではこれで失礼しつれいします: “[Then] I’ll leave you to it.”
  • それではもういいからってうといい:  “Well, that’s set, let’s go and eat.”

Finally, それでは is used as a farewell greetings.

  • またえるといいね。それでは: “I hope we can meet again, see you then.”


Japanese Romaji English
アベノミクス abenomikusu Abenomics, economic and monetary policies of Shinzo Abe
実現じつげんする jitsugen suru Make happen, put in practice
成長せいちょう果実かじつ seichou no kajitsu The fruits of growth
安倍政権あべせいけん abe seikenka Under the Abe administration
食品しょくひん shokuhin Foods, food products
数々かずかず kazukazu Variety
賃金ちんぎん chingin Wages
物価ぶっか bukka Price
高騰こうとうする koutou suru Increase
国民生活こくみんせいかつ kokumin seikatsu People’s lives
打撃だげきあたえる dageki o ataeru Deliver a blow [to something, someone], strike

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