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Products shrink, prices don’t

Which? has uncovered a raft of shrinking products

Big name products are shrinking by up to a quarter, but the prices aren’t dropping. 

We’ve highlighted in the gallery below some example products, showing that anything from crisps to dishwasher tablet packs are getting smaller.

You can read the full investigation into shrinking products by signing up to Which? Magazine for a trial – three issues for £3.

Why are products shrinking but prices staying the same?

We asked the manufacturers why their products had shrunk. We were generally told it was due to rising costs. 

Many said retailers ultimately set prices. So we asked the manufacturers whether they reduced the wholesale price or set a lower recommended retail price when the product shrank. Most said they didn’t do this or wouldn’t comment. 

Nestlé said it had dropped the cost price but refused to say if it was proportionate to the amount its products shrank. Thorntons said shrinking allowed for better promotions. 

If supermarkets aren’t being charged less, it isn’t surprising that prices don’t drop when products shrink.

We think food pricing should be clearer and special offers should be genuine. Find out more about what Which? is asking supermarkets and government to do – including our call for .

Shrinking products – product prices

We looked at a year’s worth of data from the independent shopping website mysupermarket.co.uk. The prices given are for just before and just after the pack size shrank. 

We haven’t listed prices from all supermarkets for these reasons: if the product didn’t shrink in that supermarket during that time period (this could be because the smaller size was already stocked); the price immediately afterwards wasn’t proportionately more; or the supermarket didn’t stock the product.

More on this…

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