@ladyelysiumasylum gained over 509,000 views, 53,000 likes, 1,300 saves, 700 shares and 3,900 comments when she uploaded the footage to her account.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a pantry item discovery go viral on the app. Recently a Canadian TikToker living in the United States gained over 1.3 million views when she examined two different Heinz ketchup bottles — one manufactured in the U.S., and one in Canada. Before that, a concerned TikToker gained over 5.5 million views when he spotted a fishy ingredient warning on a bag of Great Value mini marshmallows in Walmart.
“Why is there so little in the bag?”
@ladyelysiumasylum‘s video begins just moments after opening a new bag of Utz Tortiyahs! chips.
Upon realizing the bag was only partially full, she decided to open a second bag — only to discover, once again, the bag was filled with mostly air.
“It says it weighs 11 ounces,” she says. “With my understanding, it needs to equal 11 ounces before being bagged. So I’ve got my handy-dandy scale.”
She then sets the first open chip bag on the scale, which reads 7.94 ounces.
She then weighs the second bag, which comes in at 7.09 ounces.
In response to this weight discrepancy, TikTok user @countygal757 commented, “4oz of compressed air. lol.”
“Gonna start taking a scale to the store,” wrote @mindaofthesea.
“Now with 200% more air!” commented @risky0ne.
According to a report from NPR, the air found within chip bags — called “slack fill” — is actually nitrogen. This nitrogen protects chips not only from being damaged during shipping but also from going stale and losing flavor.
While this particular instance of weight discrepancy could be linked to a packaging error, many commenters are asserting that the slack fill in chips has increased thanks to a phenomenon called shrinkflation.
What is shrinkflation?
According to CNBC, shrinkflation happens when consumer products get smaller in weight, size or quantity while their prices stay the same or even increase.
In 2022, a poll from Morning Consult reported that the top categories in which consumers noticed shrinkflation were snacks, pantry items, frozen foods, meat, bread and pastries.
Shrinkflation on TikTok
In an effort to document their own experiences with shrinkflation, people have been turning to TikTok to record their grocery findings.
In one such video, TikToker @lalalafamilia documented a pack of Wrigley Juicy Fruit gum — the packaging for which included an empty grip tab instead of a tenth piece of gum.
Another TikToker, @granni_dani, filmed two canisters of Folgers coffee. While both canisters appeared equal in size, one contained 48 ounces, while the other contained 40.3 ounces.
According to @granni_dani, she claims to have paid more for the recently purchased 40.3-ounce canister than she did the 48-ounce canister.
“They hope that you won’t notice,” she says at the end of the video.
Utz responds to the viral TikTok
“We apologize for this mistake and we’d like to open a QA case,” the comment read. “Please email email@example.com so we can investigate.”
In The Know by Yahoo reached out to Utz for comment, but has not received a response.
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