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Smaller food packaging is disguised price increases...

in Shop but don't drop
56 replies 5.3K views
Anyone noticed any sharp reductions in the size of food packaging - but the price stays the same?

I'm writing an article about how food manufacturers disguise price increases by sharply reducing portions and packets.
Apparently this is common when the economy takes a downturn.

I know I've come across this myself but I forgot to write down the exact names of the foods. Any examples? Or does anyone know anyone who might know?


  • katiecoodlekatiecoodle Forumite
    352 Posts
    Perhaps this isn't exactly what you're looking for but I noticed recently (when on slimming world & having to look up calories & syns etc) that multipack items are often smaller than individual ones - eg Curly Wurlys & quavers sold individually are a larger product than the ones in the multipacks...
  • zanneonezanneone Forumite
    124 Posts
    Yes this is correct.

    We called at our local Sainsbury's and bought the usual bit's n bobs. Then we went to get Dad some bottles of 'Wells Bombabier' :beer: the shelf label said £0.85p BARAGAIN. But the shelf was empty.

    So we asked the staff member on Wines & Sprits if there was anymore. Unfortunately none left. They had been reduced because the company had delivered them smaller bottles at the same price. He reaconed that other companies would follow suit due to the price crunch! :confused:

    So watch your shopping baskets...!
  • Forumite
    342 Posts
    Portion/package sizes are two different things and there may be other reasons for changes other than the economy (though i don't entirely disagree with your thesis).

    Packaging is shrinking to be less wasteful, the rest of europe has far stricter rules governing waste and people are starting to be charged for waste disposal. As a result, many companies are now reducing the size/make-up of their packets and boxes.

    Portion sizes shrinking may well be due to the economy, but there is also the question of calorific values as well as fat and salt content. A lot of products seem to shrink to reduce their health footprint - for example bags of crisps seem to have all shrunk in the last few years (long before the crash); I suspect this is an attempt by the manufacturers to fool the consumer into thinking their food is healthier when really its just smaller. Smaller equates to less fat/salt, so they can then put things like "Now 20% healthier" on a packet that has actually just shrunk by 20%.

  • seatzieseatzie Forumite
    762 Posts
    Tesco are or were doing cordial in smaller bottles, apparently more concentrated the idea being less packaging, use less of the juice to make up your cordial etc, same price though
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  • shopndropshopndrop Forumite
    3.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    A couple of weeks ago punnets of strawberries were 400g in Asda, the following week they were 300g for the same price. Needless to say I didn't buy them.
  • Onken mousse was 41p for 150g is now 49p for 115g
  • horizonhorizon Forumite
    200 Posts
    In all supermarkets the pack size of chicken Breasts has shrunk year on year.
    When these first became prevelent on the shelves, they were usually 650gram packs.
    They have gradually shrunk by 25grams every 6 months or so, and currently sell in 500gram packs.

    The price has generally remained around the £6 per pack, but are usually available on a BOGOF or at half price in one supermarket or another.
    I never buy them unless they are "on offer"
  • kazmeisterkazmeister Forumite
    3.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    seatzie wrote: »
    Tesco are or were doing cordial in smaller bottles, apparently more concentrated the idea being less packaging, use less of the juice to make up your cordial etc, same price though

    Whilst I agree with using less packaging - you try and get your kids to reduce the amount they use in their glass by half. You wont - and for that reason I wont buy it.

    I too have noticed that several things are now in smaller packaging (less weight not just package size) but price remains the same. Sorry cant think of any specific examples at the moment.

    The other thing I have noticed is that often something will go on a bogof or a multibuy but the price marked for one has gone up, so that when the bargain finishes you dont notice the price increase.
    Lost my wings, need to learn to fly againMortgage we're getting there with the end in sight, otherwise free of the debt at last!
  • heart_freeheart_free Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Last weekend bought thick cut unsmoked back-bacon from Asda. Used to get 6 rashers. Now get 4 :mad:
    - Terry Pratchett
  • Little bit off topic. But I decided this week to re shop on line under new email address, as changed internet supplier. Anyhoo, as the supermarket (Mr T ), thought I was a new customer, I happen to notice that as I was going through my list, by browsing then buying, that I did not appear to have the option of Value stuff, unless I typed in say Value tinned Toms. Which I found interesting
    Grocery challenge june £300/ £211-50.
    Grocery challenge july £300/£134-85.
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