More than 2500 products have fallen victim to shrinkflation

FinanceNews“Shrinkflation” leads to 2,529 products reducing in size Jack Peat

"Shrinkflation is a term used to describe the business practice of changing the physical weight of a product, while keeping its price constant".

Toblerone famously cut the number of chocolate triangles in a bar after the Brexit vote and Mars has cut packs in several high profile products in recent months.

What did the ONS study find?

As many as 2,529 products on sale in United Kingdom shops have reduced in size while prices remained the same between January 2012 and July 2017, it found, compared with 614 products that have increased in size.

The majority of shrinkflation was found in food and drink.

However، the impact on Britain's official inflation measures was only noticeable for sugar، jams، syrups، chocolate and confectionary، contributing 1.22 per cent to the rate of inflation of sweet items since 2012.

What has caused this shrinkflation?

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Examining why manufacturers might want to shrink pack sizes, the ONS said most chocolate makers had blamed the need to resize their products on rising raw material costs.

The BBC reported that prices for cocoa and sugar both fell a year ago, with the European import price of sugar reaching a record low in March 2017.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said it was not just chocolate bars that have been subject to so-called "shrinkflation".

But the ONS has cast doubt on whether raw material costs are really rising.

As for what that means for inflation, it found "no discernable effect" but said that was not very surprising given the size of the basket of goods and services that is tracked to gauge price changes.

'Furthermore, others (including Which?) had been observing these shrinking pack sizes long before the European Union referendum, and several manufacturers have denied that this is a major factor'.

Which beloved products have been hit by shrinkflation?

"Government is asking food companies to reduce sugar in foods, including reducing portions, with soft drink manufacturers set to pay a substantial tax on some of their products in the near future". The package sizes of Doritos crisps, Coco Pops, Peperami and Maltesers have also shrunk since 2016, according to reports. "Over the last few years, journalists have found examples of loo roll, coffee, fruit juice, sausages, beer and chips getting smaller without getting any cheaper".

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