What is Shrinkflation? Why Products Get Smaller But Prices Don’t Lesson

Students learn about shrinkflation and its impact on personal finance with guidance from the Cookie Monster. This lesson provides an easy-to-understand guide on how shrinkflation affects everyday products like cookies, paper towels, and cereal, offering strategies for maintaining your budget without sacrificing your favorite snacks.

Understand the phenomenon of getting less for the same price, an issue that has captured the attention of figures such as the President and the Senate, thanks to advocacy from cultural icons like Cookie Monster. Explore effective consumer awareness techniques to spot product downsizing, demand price transparency, and get the best value for your money.


Use this video lesson on the topic of shrinkflation. Learn basic related concepts of

  • Consumer Awareness
  • Price Value
  • Smart Shopping
  • Product Quantity
  • Ethical Consumption
  • Spending and Saving
  • Buying Goods and Services
  • Financial Decision Making
  • Financial Responsibility


7-12th grades. High School. Adult Education.


30-45 Minutes. It may be necessary to adjust the lesson plan and allocate more or less time to certain topics, depending on the needs and interests of the students. More in-depth lesson plan below will be longer.


Hand out the worksheet below (see the GET LESSON button near the bottom of the page).

Show students the video and have and have them complete the worksheet.  Review the questions on the worksheet.  For a more in-depth lesson, complete the lesson plan below.

What is Shrinkflation? Why Products Get Smaller But Prices Don’t

After watching the video, ask students to summarize the main points made in the video.


Lesson Plan: What is Shrinkflation?



  • Students will be able to explain the concept of shrinkflation and its impact on consumers.
  • Students will learn to identify shrinkflation in real-world shopping scenarios.
  • Students will discuss the ethical implications of shrinkflation and consider consumer responses.


  • Video: “What is Shrinkflation?”
  • Worksheet with discussion questions
  • Access to the internet for research

Introduction (10 minutes):

  1. Show the video “What is Shrinkflation?”
  2. Open a discussion about initial thoughts on the concept.

Discussion Questions (15 minutes):

  1. What is shrinkflation, and how does it affect consumers?
  2. Why do you think Cookie Monster’s complaint about shrinkflation got so much attention?
  3. In what ways does shrinkflation reflect on the value and fairness of products?
  4. How do “Sesame Street” characters help in understanding real-world issues?
  5. Why is it important to be aware of product sizes and quantities when shopping?

Activities (20 minutes):

  1. Group Activity: Find real-life examples of shrinkflation. Groups will present their findings to the class.
  2. Individual Activity: Write a letter to a company from the perspective of Cookie Monster, expressing concerns about shrinkflation.

Quiz (10 minutes):

  1. Take a short quiz based on the video and discussion to assess understanding of shrinkflation.

Conclusion (5 minutes):

  1. Summarize key points learned about shrinkflation.
  2. Discuss how students can apply this knowledge in their daily lives.


  • Students will track a few grocery items over a month to see if they can spot shrinkflation.
  • Write a reflection on the experience of tracking prices and sizes.

Further Resources:

  • Articles on recent cases of shrinkflation.
  • Research paper on the economics behind shrinkflation.

Lesson Resources

Get Lesson


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