That shrinking feeling – how our favourite foods are getting smaller

Cast your minds back to last year and you may remember #TobleroneGate.

The chocolate brand, owned by Mondelez International, announced it was reducing one of its bars from 170g to 150g. Another was resized from 400g to 360g. Cue uproar on social media.

Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news for lovers of all food sweet and savoury, but there’s a lot more where that came from. In fact, the Office for National Statistics estimate more than 2,500 products have been subject to ‘shrinkflation’ over the past five years.

Shrinkflation, the process of items shrinking in size or quantity while their prices remain the same or increase, has happened to some of the most famous household brands in Britain and we at Scottish Friendly have done some research into some of the biggest offenders.

Scottish Friendly | Shrinkflation

We’ve put together an interactive piece which allows you to take a look at how the various items on our Shrink List have changed over the years.
A Mars a day has become more expensive since its 1990 price of 26p. It costs 60p now on average – that’s more than double the price – and that’s with a reduced weight of 51g (down from 65g).

Meanwhile, Quality Street certainly can’t be called Quantity Street; they’ve reduced their 2012 pack sizes from 820g to 780g now!

The manufacturers of these products point to rising costs of raw materials and the impact of Brexit as reasons for these increases.

However, as the news item above highlights, the ONS disputes this, noting that prices of sugar and cocoa have fallen in the past year. They added: “Our analysis doesn’t show a noticeable change following the referendum that would point to a Brexit effect.”

What does this mean for the consumer? Well, a sharp eye will be needed in the supermarket to ensure we’re not paying over the odds for our favourite food and drinks so we can all put money away for our future.

Channel 4 recently (21.2.18) aired a Supershoppers Savers Special which highlighted some top tips for saving money including buying similar products but from lesser known brands and shopping in different aisles.  For instance, by shopping in the World Food aisle, you could buy a 5kg bag of Tilda Rice for £2.60 a kilo but buying a smaller bag from the rice aisle, the price was £4.18.  Rice lovers, be aware!

As always, keeping an eye on the pennies means the pounds can take care of themselves.

Compare food prices using our interactive tool

The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly. No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.