Social media users slam latest items to undergo food shrinkage
Shrinkflation nation: Shoppers’ fury as products go DOWN in size but UP in price during cost-of-living crisis
- Shrinkflation has become more noticeable as family favorites hit by the practice
- Social media users have slammed popular brands for downsizing products
- Here is how this strategy is affecting the foods you buy and your pocket…
As Brits continue to count every penny during the cost-of-living crisis, savvy shoppers are becoming ever more aware of the phenomenon of ‘shrinkflation’.
Many family favorites including Ritz biscuits, butter and shortbread fingers have all become victim to this sneaky practice.
Now social media have slammed popular brands for downsizing products while maintaining or increasing its price to stealthily boost profit margins or maintain them in the face of rising input costs.
Brits are already battling rising gas, electric, fuel costs and the overall uncertainty of the economy – with the Bank of England raising interest rates by a quarter of a point to 4.5% on Thursday.
And in a huge blow to many households, it forecast inflation would stay higher for longer than previously expected and the economy would perform more strongly.
Angry shoppers are fuming on Twitter, and have called on manufacturers and companies to be honest with consumers about their deceptive packaging.
And families and household have been left wondering which product will be affected next.
So here’s how shrinkflation is affecting you and your favourite products recently…
Here are four product that have increased in price in Tesco, but decreased in size over the past few years. It is not just foods that have been affected by shrinkflation, but health and beauty products too
Recent examples include Jacobs Mini Cheddars BBQ increasing by 25 pence in price, and decreasing by two grams in weight.
Other shoppers have noticed that their favourite savoury biscuits have shrunk by 73 grams – that’s nearly 30 per cent – while remaining the same in cost.
And the same goes for Nestle cereals, specifically the gluten free honey hoops, that have now shrunk in size and have had nuts added to them.
Tesco shoppers also shared on Twitter that they have noticed a few of their items have shrunk, and also grown in price.
These include Paterson’s shortbread fingers that used to be £1 for an 380g packet. They are now £1.25 for a pack that has decreased to 300g.
And loyal customers of that big four supermarket have also realised that Tesco’s six lemon case slices have decreased in weight, from 174g to 160g. However, the price has increased from 95 pence to £1.05.
Sweet treats, in particular Reese’s peanut butter cups, are another item that Brits have noticed have shrunk ‘again’. One irritated customer wrote on Twitter that they have noticed they are being charged more but the product is smaller, adding that they ‘can’t keep up with the cost of groceries.’
People have complained on Twitter that they have started to notice their favourite products in supermarkets have shrunk in size but increased in price, as they are calling on manufacturers to be honest with consumers about their deceptive packaging
Meanwhile, both Asda and Sainsbury’s shoppers have found that the price of butter is growing exponentially – while the weight remains the same or is decreasing.
One angry shopper wrote on Twitter that they noticed their local Asda store in Llansamlet, Wales has falsely advertised the weight and cost of their butter.
They wrote: ‘Llansamlet store sell Lurpak 250g for £1.90- but the butter itself is only 200g. Needed 1kg, so ended up 200g down for a specific recipe. Went back and checked in store and all the labels state 250g, yet all the butters are 200g. False advertisement?’
While a Sainsbury’s customer was left dumbfounded at the increased cost per kilo of butter, writing on Twitter: ‘nearly bought the anchor 200g, then I noticed the £9 a kilo , I’d prefer it stayed the same weight, be like a fredo soon how butter is measured.’
This comes after a shopper noticed that a 600g tub of Lurpak worth £5.35 was locked up in security netting in an Aldi store in Kidbrooke, south-east London.
Since last year, shrinkflation has meant that a 500g tub of Lurpak butter has increased by around 37 per cent in price in Aldi stores – from an initial £3.65.
And it is not just supermarket items that have fallen foul of this kind of practice. Big brands like Pret have been accused by social media users of increasing the price of their monthly subscription – which used to be £20 and is now £30 – but still offering the same services.
Back in late 2020, the popular franchise launched a subscription service. For a monthly fee of £20 you could – pretty much – get all the coffees or hot drinks on their menu. Last year it went up to £25, and in April 2023, is increased to £30.
Meanwhile, health and beauty products have also been affected by shrinkflation.
Pack sizes are often cut by brands because of short-term pressures such as a rise in the cost of ingredients, but they are rarely increased in size once that pressure diminishes
One person angrily wrote on social media that Randox have cut the gel inside their products by a ‘massive 10%’, while still selling it for the same price – retailing at £2.35 for 225ml in Superdrug.
Meanwhile, the 250ml version of the same product is selling for only a pound in Wilko.
One social media user slammed the change on Twitter as ‘abhorrent’.
Boxes of Kleenex soothing lotion facial have drastically reduced in size recently – going from 85 to 60 tissues in a pack – while still retaining the thick layers.
Contact lens wearers have also noticed that their solution has been affected by shrinkflation, as they have called on popular brand Bausch and Lomb to look into why the product is the ‘same price but not the same size.’
The current rate of inflation in the UK for March 2023 was at 10.057%.
Although overall inflation is expected to fall in 2023, the government has said food price inflation is expected to remain high in the short term.
But inflation on household items soared to 9.2% between January and February.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to spot shrinkflation unless you have an older version of the product on the same shelf as the new one.
In order to avoid shrinkflation, shoppers have been advised to purchase from competing brands as they may not have downsized as yet – so you may get more value for the price you pay
However, this strategy employed by companies runs the risk of turning customers away from a product or brand if they notice they are getting less for the same price.
There are numerous reasons as to why manufacturers and retailers often engage in shrinkflation.
One of the key reasons is that when major inputs, such as raw materials or labor, shoot up in valuation, the cost to manufacture final goods rises. This subsequently weighs on profit margins; the percentage of revenue remaining after all costs.
Companies may also resort to shrinkflation to maintain market shares, but lifting prices may see loyal customers jump ship to another brand.
However, by introducing small reductions in the size of their goods, on the other hand, should enable them to boost profitability while keeping their prices competitive.
Pack sizes are often cut by brands because of short-term pressures such as a rise in the cost of ingredients, but they are rarely increased in size once that pressure diminishes.
Therefore, in order to avoid shrinkflation, shoppers have been advised to purchase from competing brands as they may not have downsized as yet – so you may get more value for the price you pay.
Also learning the net weights of products and what you’re paying for them can help you notice any changes and which products are going to be the better value.
Speaking about shrinkflation, Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), told MailOnline: ‘Given the challenges facing households from the cost of living squeeze, retailers are solely focused to find ways to limit rising prices for customers against the rising cost of production, while maintaining the excellent quality of products.
‘Prices and sizes of all products are clearly labelled so that customers can make informed decisions about their purchases.’
Sainsbury’s have told MailOnline that because they are a part of the BRC, it has ‘responded on behalf of its members, of which Sainsbury’s is one.’
Tesco also told MailOnline that a BRC response is best suited, as is a ‘wider industry’ concern.
MailOnline have also contacted Asda for a comment.
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