Meet the Man on a Mission to Expose Deceptive Price Increases

Maya Devi

Meet the man whose mission is to reveal deceptive price increases.

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Edgar Dworsky, a 71-year-old semi-retired attorney, began his career as a market researcher before briefly working as an on-air consumer reporter for local television alongside a young Bill O'Reilly, a former Fox News host.

At the height of his career, Dworsky was employed in the Massachusetts attorney general's office. He later went on to find his own consumer advocacy business and became, arguably, the world's leading authority on ‘shrinkflation’.

According to Dworsky, shrinkflation is challenging to detect. However, if he's fortunate, he can locate instances in stores when fresh stock is delivered, putting fresher and older packages on the same shelf next to one another.

A few weeks ago, Edgar Dworsky received a promising tip by email. The message was ‘Diluted cough syrup,’ with a picture of two packages of syrup. But the pictures had an odd difference: The new one looked to be half as potent as the old one.

Dworsky also scans packaging for phrases like ‘New and Improved.’ But above all, he looks at the weight.

He advised looking at the regular purchases and noting the net weight. He added that the investigation into the cough syrup case would be more difficult due to the possibility of what he refers to as ‘skimpflation.’ He would have to check to see if the ingredients had actually been diluted, altering the formulation so that consumers were paying the same amount for fewer doses of cough syrup.

He visited five different drugstore chains in just under two hours to catch them in the act. He hoped to find both new and used products at the same pharmacies.

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