/ Food & Drink, Shopping

The new Cadbury Creme Egg pack size – what a yolk

Shrinking products certainly gets people whisked up. So when it emerged that one of the nation’s favourites, the Cadbury Creme Egg, had shrunk, it was no surprise people scrambled to complain.

You may remember our investigations into shrinking products. We’ve previously discovered products reducing in size, even though the price stayed the same or went up.

In our 2013 investigation, we found that the size of a Walkers Cheese & Onion crisp packet had shrunk 6% from 34.5g to 32.5g, while the price remained the same at 49p. But the worst offender was Thorntons Mini Caramel Shortcakes. These were £1.40 in Waitrose when the pack contained 12 shortcakes and £1.50 when it shrank to 10.

And now it seems the same is happening to my favourite egg, the Cadbury Creme Egg.

I’m not seeing the sunny side

It’s worth remembering that this isn’t the first time we’ve been subject to change from Cadbury. Four years ago the Cadbury Dairy Milk shrank from 140g to 120g, but still cost 99p.

Now Kraft, the American owner of Cadbury, has taken the eggsecutive decision to reduce the size of a Cadbury Creme Egg pack from six to five eggs. I understand they aren’t real eggs, but when was the last time you saw a box of five eggs?

And it seems I wasn’t the only one who got a bit eggsterical about it. Waves of Creme Egg fans cracked and took to social media to raise their concerns, using the Twitter hashtag #cremeegggate. But there’s one saving grace; there’s been a slight reduction in the price of a box from £3.05 to £2.85. Although, that’s still an increase of 7p per egg.

At least they still taste the same, right?

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. It seems as though it’s out with the old and in with the new – there’s been a change in the recipe too. The iconic Dairy Milk shell has been thrown out and replaced with a ‘standard cocoa mix chocolate’ after testing with consumers. A Kraft spokesperson added:

‘The Creme Egg had never been called Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Creme Egg. We have never played on the fact that Dairy Milk was used.’

The good news (well at least for me) is that the new shell apparently gives a sweeter taste, so I’m not going to judge it until I’ve had a taste.

Are you a Creme Egg fan? What do you think about the pack size shrinking? Do you think it’s an underhand way to increase prices? We want simpler pricing so you can easily compare products to see which is the cheapest.

Comments
Member

When Kraft made a hostile takeover bid for Cadbury it had to borrow £7 billion in order to finance it, it seems to have passed this bill onto Cadbury customers by progressively shrinking it’s products (without apparently reducing it’s wholesale price) and appearing to change the recipe to cheaper ingredients, fudge bars, chomps and Freddos appear to have halved in size and doubled in price recently. Also this was not publicised to the customer and inventive packaging was produced to appear to hide the size reduction from their customers (remember none of this happened until Cadbury were bought out) here is a sample of this from a while ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30wsqtiBrVw
Also Cadbury at the same time Kraft appeared to have moved the weight of the product to the back underneath the wrapping flap or fold from where it was at the front. At the time all of this was being exposed Kraft changed it’s confectionary arm name to Mondelez and if questions are asked about it’s size shrinkage it refers them on to Mondelez and say it’s nothing to do with them. Crafty! I’ve asked Kraft a number of questions about this over the last few years and I always receive spin back (and mainly same templated stuff). So there you fo, that’d Kraft for you! I’m surprised Which haven’t held them to account yet!

Member

It’s about time all shops not just supermarkets are made to show price per 100g in law, this will stop these unscrupulous cheating companies from trying to trick the consumer like this.

Member
ExEggEater says:
7 April 2015

It’s not just the fact they shrunk them to one step beyond a mini-egg…they taste like crap now….as does most US type chocolate….Even in Canada its the same story…and beyond a yoke…

Member

Please can Which! campaign for food to be marked everywhere as price per 100g so that we get rid of this current practice of shrinking sizes but not prices (that I believe was started by Kraft with Cadbury Chocolate). Also please can you make clear to readers that the manufacturers trying to wriggle out of it by saying they’ve reduced the Recommended Retail Price, as that is only a suggestion by the manufacturer and does not mean that the prices will be reduced accordingly! I wish Tesco/ Sainsbury and the like would take a stand on this instead of idly standing by and letting the manufacturers dictate to them!

Member

Thanks for your suggestion John, I’ll pass your feedback to the relevant individuals here at Which? for their consideration. 🙂

Member

I personally think we’d have more success if manufacturers were forced to announce new smaller size across the front of each product they’ve shrunk. And retailers were forced to display the old size and average price over the previous 6 months on the same label in the same size font

It would be obvious what they’ve up to then.

Member

william, a bit like the regulations affecting sale goods. Pack unit price was..(£1.00 / 100g)….. Pack unit price is now..(£1.20 / 100g)…. Good idea.

Member

Perhaps the answer is to show the unit price in larger numbers than the selling price. If we start to pay more attention to unit prices then it does not matter what games the companies play.

But first we need unit prices on everything including the multi-buys.