Miami Herald

Biden’s ‘shrinkflat­ion’ is real. Try a local empanada

- BY FABIOLA SANTIAGO fsantiago@miamiheral­ Fabiola Santiago: 305-376-3469, @fabiolasan­tiago

For me, biting into a $4 mushroom empanada at my favorite neighborho­od haunt — and finding empty dough where there was once substance — was the last straw.

For President Joe Biden, his food inflation outrage meter was triggered by getting less value on his dollar from shrinking containers of ice cream, his treat of choice.

I immediatel­y knew what Biden was talking about. My shrunken empanada, a once-in-a-while guilty pleasure, also came with a price tag amounting to more than a 33% increase, initially blamed on 15% inflation because of skyrocketi­ng gasoline prices.

Those no longer exist, inflation is a low 3.1 %, but food inflation persists, taking corporate greed to a new level of disgrace.

Imagine then, in the midst of Super Bowl super-hype, my delight when I saw on X, the former Twitter, Biden railing about food “shrinkflat­ion” in a widely shared video.

So that’s what you call the disappeari­ng food and ingredient­s in my still high-priced grocery cart and restaurant bills all these months of decreasing inflation rates!


Although Biden surrounded himself with bags of chips and soft drinks I don’t consume to make his point — taking on snack-makers on the prime-time stage of preSuper Bowl political brawls over the Taylor Swift and Travic Kelce music-football romance — the president validated what I’ve been experienci­ng all over South Florida.

Thinner — and still pricey — bags of salads, crackers, seafood, and other products from two giants with their own brands, Publix and Whole Foods. And, particular­ly, in Miami-Dade bakeries and restaurant­s, once hearty treats like pastelitos and empanadas that just seemed... well, lessthan what they used to be.

At one popular bakery, the guava and cream cheese in a pastelito was barely there.

“I’ve had enough of what they call shrinkflat­ion. It’s a rip-off,” Biden said in the video. “Some companies are trying to pull a fast one by shrinking the products little by little and hoping you won’t notice. Give me a break!”

The president seemed to be almost as mad at corporate greed as he was at the special counsel’s dirty job of painting the 81-year-old as an “elderly man with a poor memory” when he already had valid reasons not to prosecute him for having classified documents from the Obama era.

“The American public is tired of being played for suckers,” Biden said. “I’m calling on companies to put a stop to this. Let’s make sure businesses do the right thing now.”


The manufactur­ers featured in Biden’s video didn’t like it one bit, resorting to blaming Biden for inflation, now tamed by his policies, caused by disruption­s of the Ukraine-Russia war.

Predictabl­y, the nation’s right dismissed Biden and miscast people’s reaction to his video.

New Nation magazine called Biden’s shrinkflat­ion charges “nonsense.” Fox News pushed back calling his video “bizarre and ironic” and speculatin­g that he was doing this to deflect from the growing concern that he’s too old to run again.

Proof, according to Fox, is that the president would have given a pre-Super Bowl interview instead of releasing the timely video. Sure. I call using the Super Bowl stage for the people’s benefit clever.

We, the consumers, feel seen.

I wasn’t crazy when I noticed thinner red pepper strips in my $17 vegetarian sandwich and a rough piece of outer skin onion I had to discard.

These may be small stuff to the wealthy, but stack them and they speak of declining quality of life.

Biden’s outrage resonated with millions of Americans who don’t have to believe him to know that his complaints are on-point. We can see with our own eyes every time we go grocery shopping that products are reduced in size as we pay more for them.

Glad there’s a senior citizen in the White House calling out the minuscule with big wallet repercussi­ons.

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