Shrink It

Shrink It

July 2022   minute read

By: Kim Stewart

Cover Image: Just because: Flowers for sale at a Shell Select petrol station in Berlin. European sizes coming to a cold vault near you? 
The first time I noticed shrinkflation was in May when I bought my go-to super fruit greens bottled juice and realized that the usual 15.2-fluid-ounce bottle was noticeably skinner at 11 ounces—but the price was only marginally smaller. I started paying attention. One-pound boxes of pasta now have 14 ounces. Ketchup bottles are smaller. There are fewer napkins in a pack, and so it goes. Size does matter to Americans, as I was reminded anew during my June trip to Berlin, Germany, for NACS Convenience Summit Europe. I’d forgotten how small consumer-packaged goods are in Europe compared with the U.S. 

With inflation at 8.6% in the U.S. and supply chains still kinked, suppliers and retailers are grappling with what to do about it. For many of you, this may be the first time you’ve operated in an economy with significant inflation, so there is no muscle memory to fall back on. In this month’s cover story, “What’s Your Inflation Strategy?”, we tap into the wider convenience industry to see what moves retailers like Coen Markets, FavTrip and Parkland USA are making right now to get ahead of the challenge, along with advice from category management pros Impact 21 for our annual category management issue. 

Making sure you have in stock what your customers want is certainly one part of the category management playbook. In “Brands Consumers Love,” we share the category-leading brands in the convenience channel for 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, based on total U.S. convenience data from NielsenIQ. Most of the brands are well-known, but there are some newer entrants that are helping to build excitement in some standby categories. 

In the alcohol space, mixed packs are encouraging consumers to try different beers and hard seltzers, as we share in “Variety Is the Spice of Life.” Kum & Go, for instance, is leaning into 12-packs of three or four different flavors or styles of hard seltzers. There’s plenty advice here for category managers when it comes to what to stock and how to merchandise it. 

Looking for ideas to spruce up the tobacco back bar? “Today’s Back Bar Is Not Just for Tobacco” has you covered. Think furniture-quality displays, digital signage and LED lighting. A good decluttering goes a long way, too, to elevate the look of this key POS area.

Finally, don’t miss our Big Question interview with Markus Laenzlinger, CEO of Swiss company migrolino AG, and recipient of the 2022 NACS European Convenience Industry Leader of the Year Award. His first profession? Chef.

Happy summer, my friends! 

Kim Stewart

Kim Stewart

Kim Stewart is NACS editorial director and editor-in-chief of NACS Magazine. She can be reached at kstewart@

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