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McDonald's Quietly Changed the Filet-O-Fish and People Are Not Happy About It

Shrinkflation strikes again.

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McDonald's/Allrecipes

'Tis the season—for fast food fish sandwiches that is! Most fast food chains re-release their crispy fish sandwiches during Lent this year, and even though McDonald's is one that's available year-round, the spring is definitely the most popular time for the sandwich. This year, as fans hit the drive-thru to get their annual fix, many posted on social media claiming the size of the sandwich is much smaller this year than years past.

And they're not alone. When our test kitchen set out to create a copycat recipe of the legendary Filet-O-Fish, our recipe developer Renu Dhar visited McDonald's to do some hands-on field research. She immediately noticed that the sandwich was really more of a slider.

On the surface, it appears as though even McDonald's, which has always taken pride in providing hearty meals on a budget-friendly basis, has taken part in “shrinkflation” (the current practice by brands of reducing product sizes to mask rising costs) by reducing the size of this trademark seafood option down to a nearly slider-sized serving. But is this really true?

Why Customers Aren't Happy With the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

McDonald’s customers have not held back on calling out the fast-food restaurant about this change to the decades-old sandwich. One diner claims that the last time they went to McDonald’s, it took three of the fried fish sandwiches to feel anywhere near full.

Customers have also virally taken to TikTok, claiming the Filet-O-Fish looks smaller, blaming shrinkflation for the apparent change. User @neilybob said in an October video that “it was already small, but the Filet-O-Fish has shrunk by I’d say 20%.” Creator Paul De Sousa also held up his sandwich in a video, estimating the Filet-O-Fish had shrunk by roughly 25%. The sandwich, visibly much smaller than people remember in both videos, had viewers sounding off in the comments, mocking the size of the sandwich by referring to it as the “new McMinnow” and a “filet o' goldish,” to which another commenter noted, “Yeah, and the price has gone up by 40%.”

Shrinkflation or not, it’s safe to say that people do not mess around when it comes to their appetite (or their food budget), so it’s going to be difficult for McDonald’s to convince the masses of hangry consumers that they’ve been served the same amount of food that used to satisfy them.

Did the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish Really Shrink?

In an interesting plot twist, a former McDonald’s corporate chef stepped in to investigate the recent claims. Mike Haracz, who shares many videos about the burger chain on TikTok (@chefmikeharacz), revealed that he has been tagged in several videos about the Filet-O-Fish debate, and so he decided to visit his nearby McDonald’s and order the sandwich to investigate.

Upon opening the box, Haracz says that the sandwich looks bigger than those he has seen featured in other videos, but that “it is still certainly tiny.” The chef goes on to say that aside from the filet looking thinner, the Filet-O-Fish seems to be the same to him. He does, however, have strong opinions about the current cost of the sandwich. Before even opening the box, he mentions that the sandwich costs $5.42, which he considers low value compared to what you get for your money at other sandwich and burger chains, like Subway.

Viewers claimed that their sandwiches were definitely smaller than the one the chef shared in his video, but echoed his criticism of the price tag, commenting that the “price has definitely gotten ridiculous.”

Additionally, one former employee of the chain restaurant, who worked there from 2006-2008, claims that the size of the Filet-O-Fish has not changed since then, mentioning that it depends on how far back you look when comparing the size of the sandwich to previous years.

McDonald’s maintains the Filet-O-Fish, made with a patty of fried pollock, half a slice of American cheese, tartar sauce, and a steamed bun, remains the same and has not been altered in decades. In a statement, a spokesperson for McDonald’s USA told Business Insider, “the size and build of the Filet-O-Fish, including a half slice of American cheese, has not changed in decades.” Interestingly enough, this denial of the impact shrinkflation has had on the trademark sandwich comes days after McDonald’s CEO announced that bigger burgers may be on the menu in the near future. So can we say for certain that the sandwich is smaller? No, but it definitely is at least more expensive.

Read the original article on All Recipes.