Shrinkflation: The products you buy are slowly shrinking - but not getting cheaper

Toblerone bars have shrunk by 10% because of rising ingredient costs

The Office for National Statistics has been collating the sizes and portions of the products sold to the nation, and has declared "shrinkflation" a very real phenomenon that's seen 2,529 things sold in the United Kingdom shrink in size when compared with the more generous package contents of the glorious, benchmark year of 2012, when everyone wanted to be in the United Kingdom and the Tolberones hadn't been eroded away by time.

Most of the changes are in the "Sugar, Jam, Syrups, Chocolate and Confectionery" category, which only makes up a small part of the inflation basket of goods.

Brits with a sweet tooth might find the news a bit hard to swallow.

Most are food and drink products.

In the past, chocolate manufacturers have blamed shrinking products on the rising cost of raw materials.

Dettol Power and Pure Bathroom Wipes: decreased from 36 to 32 wipes, an 11% reduction. The European import price of sugar has been falling since the middle of 2014, and reached a record low in March 2017, it said.


Chocolate bars, toilet rolls, coffee and fruit juice are all among the 2,529 products now being sold in smaller packet sizes, with 614 products getting larger between 2012 and 2017.

Other items, including McVitie's dark chocolate Digestives reduced in size but did not see a corresponding price drop, according to reports.

Toblerones shrank 10 per cent in weight past year when the gap between the peaks was increased - a move attributed to rising ingredient costs. This increased the price of imported ingredients for food manufacturers and they looked for ways to recover their extra costs.

It said: "There has not been a change in trend since the European Union referendum - our data shows that shrinkflation has been used in practice consistently across the past five years".

Those that have increased in size have included crisps and hand-rolled tobacco.

Like Mars, its manufacturer, Mondelez, said it changed the shape "to keep the product affordable" and said it was experiencing higher costs for ingredients. These decisions are taken by manufacturers in consultation with United Kingdom retailers and with valued consumers in mind. "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".

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