Man talking(l+r), Man showing different coca cola cans(c)


‘We just can’t buy anything anymore’: Customer says ‘trickflation’ is the new way people are being ripped off. What is it?

'The grocery industry apparently thinks the average consumer has the intelligence of a 6-year-old child.'


Rachel Kiley


Posted on Apr 2, 2024   Updated on Apr 2, 2024, 8:54 am CDT

If you haven’t already felt like you’re constantly getting ripped off during every trip to the grocery store, social media users are drawing attention to what they say is a whole new way for manufacturers to screw customers over while raking in even higher profits—a term one Redditor has coined “trickflation.”

A post to the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit last month from u/inasimplerhyme featured two cans of Coca-Cola, each boasting 12 ounces of the drink, but in blatantly different can styles. One is the familiar shape most sodas have come in over the years, while the other is a taller, more slender can.

Underneath, the Redditor wrote that the original can only cost $1.05, while the new one cost $2.37, despite containing the same amount of Coke.

There are definitely some questions raised by the post itself, including where the prices came from and if they apply to cans of Coke sold in a multi-pack or individually. It also claimed that the shorter can has been discontinued, but it appears that is only the case in certain countries for the time being.

At any rate, slim cans in general are not new. Last March, CNN alleged that the reason they are growing in popularity for a combination of reasons: they attract more health-conscious consumers, are seen as “premium and innovative,” and more can fit on store shelves and in transportation trucks.

Still, the possibility that this is or will be used to trick customers into paying a higher price for the same familiar product hasn’t seemed to faze anyone.

TikToker Pete (@earlypete) called attention to the post and the idea of “trickflation” in a video, noting that “the grocery industry apparently thinks the average consumer has the intelligence of a 6-year-old child,” while also calling out other deceptive practices that have frustrated consumers over the years. Namely, he pointed to “shrinkflation,” where the amount of product decreases while the price stays the same, and “skimpflation,” where lower quality ingredients are eventually subbed in (and the price stays the same).

We all know about “Shrinkflation”. Can I coin the term, “Trickflation”?
byu/inasimplerhyme inmildlyinfuriating

All of these practices combined are leaving customers on edge and assuming the worst intent at every turn.

“I literally work at a Coke distribution warehouse and we hate these new cans! But yes… that’s EXACTLY what they’re for,” one commenter claimed.

“I used to go to the grocery store and just put items in my cart and be on my way,” wrote another. “Now I’m carefully examining products and figuring out which size [has] the best $/gram. It’s exhausting.”

“This is actually so you get used to the new diameter of the can, so when they drop to 10 ounces they will look the same height as old can but now only as wide as the new can,” a third suggested.

@earlypete If it didn’t make me so angry, I would honestly be impressed with the creativity the grocery industry comes up with to rip us off ##foodfacts##groceryhaul##exposed ♬ In The Hall Of The Mountain King/Grieg – もつ

Another user kept it even simpler, stating, “We just can’t buy anything anymore.”

In February, Coca-Cola reported earning higher quarterly profits than anticipated, despite selling a lower volume of product overall. How is that so? Well, they raised prices, of course.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Coca-Cola via email and Pete via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Apr 2, 2024, 11:00 am CDT