The products on supermarket shelves are getting smaller, but the prices aren’t. Our research reveals the latest crop of products that aren’t what they used to be.
We asked our readers to tell us the products they had spotted that are smaller than they used to be and were inundated with responses. One product that came up more than once was Andrex toilet roll, so we investigated further, delving into the archives to when we tested toilet roll in 2006 and 2008. We found:
- Standard Andrex toilet roll used to have 240 sheets and now has 221 sheets – 8% less.
- Andrex Puppies On A Roll had 221 sheets per roll but now has 190 – 14% less.
When we checked the price of a standard Andrex four pack around the time it shrank, we found that it stayed at about £2. We also checked even older Andrex toilet roll and found that it used to contain 280 sheets – 59 more per roll.
We reveal what the supermarkets’ customers really think of them – see the best and worst supermarkets.
Other shrinking products we discovered
Our gallery, below, shows some of the other products we discovered have shrunk. Which? members can read more about our research, including the full list of shrinking products, in May’s magazine.
We used data from the independent shopping website mysupermarket to find out more about these shrinking products.
What the manufacturer’s say
Almost all the brands we spoke to said that shops set prices, but many wouldn’t comment on whether they’d charged supermarkets lower wholesale prices.
- Andrex said: ‘We invested significantly in improving our product strength and softness. Reducing the roll by a very small number of sheets (this equates to five to six wiping occasions) has helped make this multi-million pound investment possible.’ It also told us the earlier change took place in 2001. However, Andrex said the RRP had dropped by roughly the same amount and that it had made improvements.
- Percol said that new recyclable packaging is more expensive and the packs were £3.50 in many shops.
- McVities said its new pack size means it can offer a lower price and more promotions, but it didn’t comment on whether it charged supermarkets less.
- Tropicana said: that it strives to produce competitively-priced products.
- Sensodyne said it hadn’t changed the size, but instead no longer made the 100ml tube and had continued selling the 75ml and had cut its RRP.
- Dettol said: ‘The recommended retail price (RRP) is based on the cost of production and ongoing development.’ It didn’t comment on whether it charged supermarkets less for the product.