Fears that ‘shrinkflation’ has left shoppers paying more for less are unfounded…at least for some chocolate and biscuits, and investigation has shown.
A report last year from the the Office of National Statistics (‘ONS’) concluded more than 2,500 reduced in size and increased in price in the last five years.
However the new survey from the BBC has found that savvy consumers could get better value for money if they know where to look.
The best ‘shrinkflation’ beating deal discovered was a three pack of Jaffa Cakes, which have not only increased in weight by nealy 6 per cent since 2014, but also decreased in price from £2.35 to £1.55.
Likewise a bar of Toblerone, which despite having decreased from 200g to 150 (25 per cent) in the past four years, has seen a price drop of nearly 40 per cent. A bar now costs £1.50 instead of £2.49.
Of the 19 types of chocolate and biscuits surveyed from Asda, Ocado/Waitrose, Sainsburys and Tesco, nine (47 per cent) have seen price drops since 2014.
For example a three pack of Yorkie raisin and biscuit has seen a price drop of 20 per cent, but a weight decrease of just 13 per cent.
“While price cuts for products are not always in proportion to size reductions – it is not the case that customers are being short-changed all the time,” the BBC investigators concluded. However shoppers were warned that the cost of some treats had risen considerably, while at same time shrinking in weight.
Worst was found to be a a four stick Kit-Kat which has risen from 40p to 60 (50 per cent) since 2014, while becoming seven per cent smaller.
A Twin Twix bar has also increased in price by 36 per cent, while a bag of Snickers bites will set you back 49 per cent more today than in 2014, an extra 49p.
Mark Jones, a food and drink solicitor at Gordons law firm said consumers were still be hitting by ‘shrinkflation’ for many products.
“The products which did not increase in price were broadly ‘bulk buy’/large pack products where economies of scale mean margins are less stringent,” he said.
“Overall, and by some distance, a smaller pack size means a higher price.”
Manufacturers have increasingly blamed the rising cost of raw materials for the price hikes, and the weak pound, which makes imports more expensive.
Other companies said they had made changes to reduce calories and bring products in line with health policies.
However the European import price of sugar has been falling since the middle of 2014, and reached a record low in March 2017.
Raphael Moreau, food and nutrition analyst at retail experts Euromonitor International, said: “Despite its stabilisation since second half of 2017, the pound remains at a low historic rate against the euro. Chocolate confectionery and biscuits have been particularly strongly affected.
“Decisions to shrink pack sizes are more often prompted by retailers seeking to boost margins than by branded food manufacturers, which are more likely to see their brand image damaged as a result of negative publicity on traditional and social media.”
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/01/beat-shrinkflation-biscuits-chocolate-cheaper-four-years-ago/