A past Burger King advertising slogan proclaimed, “It takes two hands to handle a Whopper!” It looks like the fast food chain will have to prove that in court.
Some Burger King customers have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming today’s Whopper – the chain’s signature sandwich – is actually a good bit smaller than the burger depicted in ads and on menu boards.
This week, U.S. District Judge Roy Altman in Miami rejected the company’s motion to dismiss the suit and instead, said the case will be heard.
Specifically, the plaintiffs contend Burger King’s visual depiction of the Whopper makes it appear to be 35% larger than it actually is. They claim that amounts to false advertising.
The suit, which claims Burger King began shrinking the size of the Whopper as early as 2017, seeks to require the company to show the actual size of the burger in promotional images.
Shrinkflation is a growing trend
As we reported a year ago, consumer complaints about “shrinkflation” began to grow as inflation began to build in the economy.
To remain competitive, some manufacturers of food products have maintained the same price but have subtly reduced the amount of the food inside the packaging. Some companies are upfront about the trend. In Quartz’s report on the situation, it found all sorts of nuanced tweaks.
“Inflation is hitting everyone…we took just a little bit out of the [Doritos] bag so we can give you the same price and you can keep enjoying your chips,” confirmed a Frito-Lay representative.
Likewise, representatives at Mondelez — which makes Nabisco Wheat Thins – and Proctor & Gamble – which makes Crest toothpaste – confirmed reductions in their products’ volumes.
“While Crest 3D White does now sell a 5 oz tube, its 4.1 oz tube shrunk to 3.8 oz. Bounty, according to a representative at Proctor & Gamble, got better as it got smaller since the paper towels are more absorbent than they used to be,” Quartz’s Clarisa Diaz wrote.