Our food really is shrinking

18 March 2015

shopping Sometimes you'll hear older people whining about things not being as big as they used to be. "Why, when I werra lad, a Wagon Wheel was the size of a small planet and would feed you for 38 years!" You might think 'oh shut up - your hands and bellies are just bigger than they were when you were little', but turns out, they might have a point.

See, loads of products have shrunk in size and, surprise surprise, the price hasn't gone down with them.

Which!!! have been staring at shelves and found that items like Aunt Bessie’s Homestyle Chips have dropped from 750g to 700g, but stayed at £1.65 in price. If you buy Tetley's Blend of Both bags, you're five brews short yet charged 20p more. If you buy Philadelphia Light Soft Cheese, you'll get 10% less, but in many shops, you'll find the price went up.

Like Hovis Best of Both bread? Well, that isn't 800g like it used to be, shrinking by 6%, but still costing the same price.

As for washing your clothes, Surf with Essential Oils powder used to be 2kg, but this year, for the same money, you'll pay 1.61kg. Domestos Spray Bleach Multipurpose and Cif Actifizz Multi-Purpose Lemon Spray both offer less product for the same money.

Dreadful behaviour all round, and not at all surprising.

Which!!! honcho Richard Lloyd said: "Shrinking products can be a sneaky way of putting up costs for consumers because pack sizes shrink but the prices don’t. It’s now time for action on dodgy pricing practices that stops people from easily comparing products to find the cheapest."

Of course, some of the companies making the products have dropped their RRP, but the supermarkets themselves haven't passed on the savings to the customers. All in all, this is adding up and giving consumers less bang for their buck.


  • JonB
    This is quite obvious and has been happening for a while - e.g. Walkers Sensations crisps and Mars confectionery bars have been shrinking for years. "stops people from easily comparing products to find the cheapest" This practice isn't going to stop people comparing products, and, to be fair, supermarkets put a price per unit weight on shelves to help with that.
  • Warwick H.
    Virtually everything has shrunk, mars bars,twix, and every other chocolate bar, I noticed yesterday that pepperami is now about 20% smaller, cereals, packs of processed meat like ham, 3 slices instead of 4, every manufacturer is at this legal scam. Oh and two less slices of cheese, I know as I now count everything.Tins of sweets, Roses for instance, there are now 12 less than a year ago.

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