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As Indians' income shrinks, so do the products they buy

With 'magic price points' locked in, producers resort to reducing 'grammage'

Indian consumers and corporations are finding ways to keep expenses from ballooning now that inflation has gripped the nation.   © Getty Images

BENGALURU -- Sunita Vaishnav drew solace in her belief that a bag of aloo bhujia -- a humble snack-turned-indulgence now that Indians are pinching pennies -- had escaped the brunt of inflation. Her relief, however, turned out to be mistaken. While her 10-rupee (13-cent) pack of deep-fried shredded potatoes wasn't becoming dearer, a shopkeeper explained, it was growing lighter.

A cook at four households in a tony south Bangalore neighborhood, Vaishnav didn't have an inkling that Haldiram's, India's largest traditional snack maker, was putting fewer potato strings in each bag.

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