Have you noticed any of your favourite products shrinking in size? From bars of chocolate to bars of soap, many manufacturers are responding to rising costs by giving us less. Is this a sneaky tactic or fair game?
Google ‘Curly Wurly’ and you’ll find lots of discussions on its size. Has the Curly Wurly really got smaller over the decades or have I just got bigger?
I’m not too sure! Whatever that answer, one thing is for sure – some products have got smaller.
Shrink to fit
When we tested washing-up liquids in September 2009, for example, we discovered Procter & Gamble had reduced the bottle size of the iconic Fairy Original from 500ml to 450ml – but the price had actually gone up.
And while I probably shouldn’t be surprised, I was slightly miffed when I got home to find my local shop had swapped my usual two-pint bottle of milk for a new one-litre sized bottle… but the price remained exactly the same.
A recent article on the BBC highlights how widespread this is becoming. Imperial Leather soap bars have just been reduced from 125g to 100g and Toblerone has ditched one triangle of chocolate so it can still be sold for a pound in Poundland.
And, as this email from one of our commenters shows, others are getting concerned, too:
‘I was reading a consumer mag in the USA which gave lots of examples of manufacturers reducing the size/volume/weight of their products- without explanation.
They challenged the manufacturers who owned up – but said their costs had increased and consumers would prefer smaller sizes than increased prices. Foodstuffs featured heavily.’
Why aren’t manufacturers honest?
I completely understand that manufacturing costs have gone up, but should manufacturers automatically make things smaller so we don’t have to pay more for the product? More importantly, shouldn’t they be honest and tell us about it?
I understand the argument that smaller-sized junk food is a good thing from a health perspective, but if they’re messing with the size of my chocolate bar then I think manufacturers could at least be transparent about it.
Would I pay the same for less? Well, yes. I have done before, and probably will continue to do so – but that doesn’t mean I won’t grumble about it, or think it’s sneaky.
If I knew beforehand, maybe I would think twice about buying that product, which is probably the whole reason we’re not told. While I’m not concerned about losing 50ml of washing-up liquid (no matter how many extra plates I can wash), I do want the maximum amount of chocolate for my money.
Are you bothered that some items appear to be getting smaller, and do you have other examples of shrinking products? Maybe someone has an old Curly Wurly wrapper and could settle that debate for me once and for all…
What types of products have you seen shrinking?
Food (45%, 588 Votes)
Drinks (21%, 274 Votes)
Cleaning (19%, 252 Votes)
Beauty (9%, 124 Votes)
Other (share in comments) (6%, 82 Votes)
Total Voters: 691