“Honey, I shrank the chocolates”…

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….might be from a conversation a chocolatier executive had with their partner.

For it’s true.

Like other consumer goods in the UK, chocolates have been shrinking whilst prices have stayed roughly the same. This has been termed “shrinkflation.”

Why is it happening?

Costs

Take Mars

It has cut the sizes of Maltesers, Minstrels and M&Ms repeatedly. The company blames increased ingredient, packaging and transport costs.
Looking at one of the core ingredients, cocoa, and you will see it’s a volatile market akin to oil, with prices fluctuating wildly.

War on sugar

The other usual ingredient, sugar, is now a toxic word for many.

Lindt and other chocolatiers suffered a slight sales fall in the US last quarter; consumers are becoming more health conscious.

Also, increased scrutiny by public health authorities, particularly as obesity rates threaten health care budgets, is an easy justification for manufacturers to make on size reduction.

It isn’t Brexit

The Office of National Statisitcs (ONS) believes that whilst the vote for Brexit has lowered the pound, making imports more expensive, it hasn’t impacted chocolate sizes. But just a few months after the vote, Mondelez (owners of Cadbury) decided to reduce Toblerone sizes

Of course, chocolatiers could just increase prices but the industry knows there’s a price point they cannot exceed: would you be happy paying £1.50 for a Flake?

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