With food inflation spiking in the United States since 2021 there have been a number of Americans complaining about forking over exorbitant amounts of money at checkout. One consequence that many retail shoppers have been afflicted with is the phenomenon known as “shrinkflation” which is the process of item manufacturers either scaling down the portion sizes of their offerings and charging the same amount, or even more, in many cases.
But it appears that one shopper has noticed a possible reverse shrinkflation trend when it comes to Kirkland’s popular mixed nuts.
In a recent TikTok video that has garnered nearly 358,000 views, TikToker and self-appointed Costco Investigator Tom (@sidemoneytom) delves into Costco’s decision to switch their nut packaging from tubs to plastic bags. The intriguing change, which also came with a $4 price reduction, sparked Tom’s curiosity. He says, “Got rid of the tub and instead replaced it with these plastic bags, and the price now is around $4 cheaper.”
Back at his home, Tom continues his research with a hands-on experiment. Equipped with a scale and an old nut container, he investigates whether the quantity of the nuts has changed with the new packaging.
“Question is: what’s really going on here? How did they shave $4 off this? Is it still the same as it used to be when it was in the tub container?” Tom asks.
After transferring the nuts from the new bag into the old tub, he concludes, “That tells me this bag right here just became one of the best deals at Costco. I’ll be buying one of these every time I’m there.”
No nut volume had been lost in the experiment.
The TikTok community was quick to weigh in with their theories. One user suggested, “I’d bet they are able to ship more product with the bags versus the tub in the same size box, saving on shipping costs.” Another agreed, pointing out the potential efficiencies in pallet configuration and shipping.
Some users, however, speculated about a change in the nut mix. “They swapped pistachios for Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts, which are cheaper,” wrote one user. Another said, “I did the same, but they have way more almonds, less pecans & macadamia nuts.”
Regardless of the exact reasons behind Costco’s decision, Tom’s video highlights an important aspect of modern consumerism: the need to shop smart, especially in an economy where grocery prices have soared. Bulk deals like these, particularly on protein-rich foods like nuts, are increasingly valuable for families looking to stretch their food budgets further.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Costco via email and Tom via TikTok comment for further information.