Shoppers 'paying more more for shrinking supermarket goods'

Updated on 20 April 2016 | 10 Comments

It's not just your imagination - these products are getting smaller

Shoppers are being left out of pocket as many popular products shrink in size but the price we pay at the tills remains the same - or even increases.

That's according to an investigation by Which?, who analysed prices on comparison site MySupermarket just before and after various packs shrank.

Its findings made grim reading for shoppers. For example, toilet rolls in a standard Andrex four-pack have reduced from 240 to 221 sheets per roll (down by 8%) yet the price has remained around the £2 mark.

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Here are some of the other shrinking brands, according to Which?'s research:

McVitie’s Digestives Dark Chocolate biscuits
Decreased from 332g to 300g (10% reduction)

​Photo credit: Which?

Tesco sold these for £1.59 before the size shrank, but increased it to £1.69 afterwards.

Tropicana Creations Pure Premium Orange & Raspberry juice
Decreased from one litre to 850ml (15% reduction)

​Photo credit: Which?

The juice remained at the same price (£2.48) in Asda after it shrank in size.

Dettol Power and Pure Bathroom Wipes
Decreased from 36 to 32 wipes (11% reduction)

​Photo credit: Which? 

The wipes were on sale at Tesco and Ocado for £2 before the reduction; they remained at £2 in Tesco and actually increased slightly to £2.03 in Ocado after the shrink, according to Which?.

Percol Fairtrade Guatemala coffee
Decreased from 227g to 200g (12% reduction)

​Photo credit: Which?

 It was £3.90 in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose before it shrank, and £3.65 and £3.75 respectively after that- both more per 100g.


These aren’t the only products caught in the continuing ‘Shrinkflation’ debacle. Which? has recently revealed a host of other branded products from companies which it claims have been employing similar tactics.

Cadbury’s Fingers will contain two chocolate fewer fingers per box, joining Crème Eggs, PG Tips teabags and John West tuna in the list of goods that are getting smaller with ever-increasing prices. 

The standard pack of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles has also shrunk, reducing the number from 44 to 39 pastilles, along with popular chocolates such as Roses, Heroes and Quality Street.

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Are the brands or supermarkets to blame?

When Which? took its research to the brands, most of them said it was up to the supermarkets to set the price, but they wouldn’t disclose if they charged the supermarkets a lower wholesale price.

Richard Headland, Which? editor said:

“Shrinking products can be a sneaky way of increasing prices. We want manufacturers and supermarkets to be upfront about shrinking products so consumers aren’t misled.”


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