Shrinkflation

Emma Hogan 24 January 2019

Shrinkflation.  You might not have heard of the term but you’ve definitely seen it affect your day to day shopping.

Remember a couple of years ago the uproar over shrinking chocolate (all sorts from Maltesers to Creme Eggs!)? It wasn’t just the fact that they were getting smaller that annoyed people, but also that the price was staying the same, essentially meaning we were getting less for our money.  Meet shrinkflation.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently released data showing that 206 of our everyday products suffered from shrinkflation in the period between September 2017 and June 2018 – mainly in the food and drinks categories.  Other sneaky size changes were also found in everyday essentials such as toilet / kitchen rolls, nappies and washing up liquid.

Have any of the changes below affected you? (We were particularly sore about the fish fingers.):

Fish Fingers

  • Scale of change: Number per pack reduced by 2.
  • Impact: Assuming 3 fish fingers per meal that means we lose nearly a whole portion per pack – we either have a single fish finger left or have one larger meal per pack.
  • Our level of acceptance: -2.  Shocking, our fish finger rationing will never be the same again.

 

Jaffa Cakes

  • Scale of change: Number per pack reduced by 2.
  • Impact: Assuming 2 Jaffa cakes per snack that’s a net loss of 1 snack portion per pack!
  • Our level of acceptance: 1.  Slightly more acceptable than the fish finger scenario – at least they’re not leaving us with a single additional Jaffa cake.

 

M&Ms

  • Scale of change: 15% fewer M&Ms per pack.
  • Impact: Kinder to our waistlines whilst retaining that crunchy chocolate-y hit
  • Our level of acceptance: 5.  Admittedly less may be better for us in this case  but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

 

PG Tips

  • Scale of change: 18g weight lost per 80 teabag pack.
  • Impact: 0.2g fewer tea leaves per bag means we’ve lost the equivalent of around 6 cups of tea per box of 80.
  • Our level of acceptance: 4.  Not impressed at this sneakiness – does this mean our brew will be weaker?

 

The Blame Game

It’s easy to try to blame Brexit for at least some of our shrinkflation woes but the ONS failed to find any link between Brexit, the fall in in the pound and shrinkflation.

So what could it be? Are manufacturers under pressure to make sure that their products fit within new healthier eating guidelines / legislation? Or is it simply a move to increase their profit margins? We’ll leave that one with you to ponder…

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