Shrinkflation product reduction continues with Nutella’s reduced jar sizes

Shrinkflation product reduction continues with Nutella’s reduced jar sizes

The concept of ‘shrinkflation’ where products are reduced in pack size with no corresponding reduction in retail price is one that’s been with us for many years, much to the general dismay of consumers.

So perhaps amid Brexit turmoil and the significant pressures of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s perhaps no great surprise that we’ve seen another prominent case arise in the past week, as the Ferrero-produced Nutella series confirmed it was reducing its 400g jars to 350g, which it asserted was down to rising production costs.

Indeed, this has been a particularly challenging period for the entire food and drink sector, with product manufacturers under strain to meet with increased demand from shoppers eager to stockpile supplies amid the ongoing pandemic.

This was reflected in the latest UK retail figures that showed despite British high streets (non food retailers) enduring their worst performance for 25 years, sales of food ranges were in fact up 5.4% on 2019’s figure, according to the British Retail Consortium, with a number of analysts noting a rising trend of greater snacks consumption amid lockdown conditions.

Quite how this will play out in the coming months and years ahead is hard to guess at this stage, but one thing is for sure, consumers aren’t slow at coming forward when they notice changes to their favourite product items. So any reduction in size of packs, or physical quantities of ranges is almost always swiftly registered as an online complaint. Such is the power of social media – it really does prompt companies to engage directly with an immediacy that in many instances wouldn’t have been possible in a pre-internet era.

Over the years, there have been a number of incidents of shrinkflation in action as far as confectionery is concerned, from Toblerone’s stretched out peaks, through to Mars reducing Jaffa cakes’ weight, it’s an issue that looks likely to remain with us as manufacturers seek further efficiencies.

Clearly, nobody likes price rises of products, and making ranges smaller for the same price has definitely caught the attention of consumer watchdogs, so it will indeed be interesting to note whether other major manufacturers of confectionery attempt similar moves during 2021’s challenging trading conditions.

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