Which? uncovers the food and household products that are shrinkingPrices stay the same while goods get smaller

18 March 2012


When products shrink, why don't prices?

Which? has trawled through a year's worth of supermarket data to uncover the products that are shrinking while prices stay the same.

Which? found a raft of products that have shrunk. 

Jars of Loyd Grossman Balti Curry Sauce have gone from 425g to 350g. 

Tubs of Dairylea Cheese Spread are 40g lighter. And there are two fewer nappies in a pack of Pampers Baby Dry Maxi. 

Clear pricing needed

When Which? checked prices, it  found them for sale at the same price as before the size changed or, at a higher price per 100g at the time of the size change.

In fact, Which? found shrinking products in most aisles of the supermarket – including laundry and dishwasher tablets, chicken, jam, yoghurts and cereals. 

Which? thinks shrinking products can be an underhand way of raising prices. 

Which? is campaigning for clear pricing and is calling on supermarkets to improve the way they display unit prices.

Why are products shrinking?

When Which? asked manufacturers why their goods are shrinking, most said it was to keep prices down in the face of rising costs. 

Others said the product formulation changed at the same time as the size. Manufacturers often said that supermarkets dictate the final price. 

But when Which? asked manufacturers whether they’d dropped the recommended retail price, those that answered said they hadn’t. 

The supermarkets generally said that manufacturers had reduced the sizes, and they based their own prices on wholesale costs. 

Our data came from independent grocery shopping site mysupermarket.co.uk.

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