Lord Wrymouth Profile picture
May 12 27 tweets 12 min read
Shrinkflation in pictures, a 🧵after discovering that @IKEACanada new line of tealights are shorter, smaller, and lighter than the previous generation, a fact not reflected on the packaging or website.

The cost, however, remains unchanged.


IKEA appears to have replaced the previous Sinnlig line of scented tealight candles with six new colours and flavours:

Jämlik - Vanilla ice cream
Lugnare - Jasmine
Enstaka - Smoky firewood theme
Hedersam - Freshly cut grass
Adlad - Mint
Störtskön - Mixed Berry

Compared to the previous Sinnlig packaging, we're able to tell that the new generation is:

Made in Vietnam instead of Poland
Advertises a reduced burn time of 3.5 hours, down from 4.

Both claim to be 1.5 inches/38mm/3.8cm in diameter.
It's worth noting that I started buying Sinnlig scented tealights somewhere around 2019 not only because the price and burn time was good, but because they were made in the United States.

During 2021, some flavours started to be made from Poland. Now, all are from Poland. /4
I noticed the new generation of IKEA tealights felt lighter and shorter in my hands at the store, but bought them anyways. Were my suspicions correct?

They were.

From L to R: Sinnlig, Hedersam, Hedersam, Sinnlig.

When measuring, the previous Sinnlig registered a solid 15 mm in height, a 39 mm diameter, and a 13 gram weight using IKEA's own Genomsnitt kitchen scale. /6
By comparison, the new Hedersam tealight measured 14 mm in height, 37 mm in diameter, and 11 grams in weight.

Note that above the diameter measurement, a spent Hedersam tealight sits inside a spent Sinnlig tealight container, confirming the diameter reduction. /7
Although this is "minor" 1 mm height and 2 mm diameter difference appears to be no big deal, it amounts to a:

6.9% height reduction
5.3% diameter reduction
16.6% weight reduction

But most importantly is the cylinder's volume difference:

15 mm height & 39 mm diameter = 17.92 ml volume
14 mm height & 37 mm diameter - 15.05 ml volume

A volume reduction of 17.4%

Maybe we can convince @elonmusk to buy IKEA and save tealights.

IKEA tealight candles are packed into bundles of 30, so:

A package of Sinnligs would hold 537.6 ml /18.92 fl oz. of wax
A package of Hedersams would hold 451.5 ml / 15.89 fl oz of wax.

The previous Sinnlig candles were listed on the IKEA website as being made of "paraffin wax, plant-based wax," which probably means paraffin-palm, while the new generation is notedly composed of a paraffin-soy blend, an arguable upgrade for candle connoisseurs.

An average fluid volume per pound of paraffin/soy wax is 16.765 fl oz.

This means that per 100 packages of IKEA tealights, the new generation saves the company approximately 18 pounds of wax via shrinkflation.

Based on a retail-wholesale price of $2.60 CAD per pound if you buy 2,240 pounds of IGI 6000 paraffin-soy wax, IKEA is saving about 47 cents CAD per package in material costs.

All from shrinkflation.

Notably, a few weeks ago I picked up two packages of IKEA Tindra circa 2007 tealights from the thrift store, which I have on hand and have also used for a comparison.

The Tindras were packaged in a bundle of 36 and sold for $3.99 USD according to a 2010 IKEA catalog still published online.

The measurements came in at 16 mm high, the same 39 mm diameter, and 15 grams in weight.

Shrinkflation is, unfortunately, not a recent trend.

Weights and measures are nice, and while there's no doubt the new generation of Vietnamese-made IKEA candles are smaller than their Polish/Made In USA predecessors, how do they perform?

Starting at 10:45 a.m.

Lit at the same time with a properly trimmed wick and a properly formed wax pool, the first to drop out was the 2007 Tindra, which like Hedersam, advertises a 3.5 hour burn.

Tindra lasted until 2:15 p.m., almost exactly 3.5 hours.

Although the winner of the first round was, perhaps unsurprisingly, Sinnlig, it's worth noting that the smaller Hedersam managed to exceed its 3.5 advertised burn time significantly.

Hedersam tapped out around 3:20 p.m.

Notably, this Sinnlig hit it out of the park, surviving until approximately 4:15 p.m., a common trend in my experience with these candles.

In Round 2, we started at around 7:30 p.m. and were off to the races once more.

Tindra was again the first to drop out, but this time below the 3.5 hour mark.

It appears Sinnlig was an engineering improvement over Tindra, despite the shrinkflation.

And the winner of the final round was...

Hedersam, by seconds, clocking in once again at substantially greater than its advertised 3.5 hour burn time, both burned out slightly after 12:30 a.m.

So, let's say I want to boycott IKEA for shrinkflating their new generation of tealights compared to the Sinnlig generation.

Well, they're still the best value in Canada at $4.99 CAD for 30.

The closest competitor I could find was Walmart, which sells 30 for $5.97.

So, is IKEA just corporately greedy and bad dude capitalists? Maybe not.

According to their FY 2021 financial statements, IKEA increased global sales to €24.282 billion from €22.387 in FY 2020, but only posted €1.433 billion in profits compared to €1.731 in 2021.

The document showed the company spent €21.137 billion on cost of goods in FY2021, up from €18.860 in FY2020 because of an "unfavourable combination of scarcity and high demand."


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More from @LWrymouth

May 2
#reddit is not your friend. A 4/20 study by London School of Business economists discovered #wallstreetbets $GME retail traders lost $5.27 billion trading options during the 2021 stock market bull run. 🧵@stillgray @acrossthespread /1

LSB analyzed a combination of small-contract trades and SLAN-coded trades to isolate the activity of amateur retail speculation between November of 2019 and present. /2
The team found ordinary people lost:

$1.14 billion on directly failed options trades

$4.13 billion in aggregate trading costs, including a bid-ask spread that at times almost 30%.

By comparison, the performance of the overall options market was a positive $5.48 billion. /3
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