/ Shopping

Tesco.com’s smaller packs left me feeling short-changed

If you shop for food online, you’ve probably had to deal with ‘substitutions’. But what happens if the substitutions are just smaller versions of the products you asked for, while the prices stay the same?

I like to do the bulk of my food shopping online, and most of the time it’s straightforward and hassle-free. But I was recently unimpressed when, as part of Which? research into online shopping, Tesco sent me smaller versions of several products I’d ordered.

I received a 900ml tub of Carte D’Or Light Vanilla ice cream instead of the one-litre tub I ordered; a 330ml pack of Magnum ice creams instead of 360ml; and a 592ml bottle of Ariel Excel Gel with Febreze in place of the 667ml bottle.

I wouldn’t have had a problem with receiving smaller packs if the prices had been reduced – but that wasn’t the case. As we’ve found in the past, when the pack sizes of grocery items are reduced, the prices often stay the same.

I could even have forgiven Tesco if it had informed me that I was getting smaller packs for the same price. But neither the receipt nor the delivery man made any mention of these changes.

Easy to miss errors like this

When we asked Tesco why this had happened, it told us:

‘Our suppliers are required to inform us of changes to their products, so that we can update our customers. We are sorry that this hasn’t happened in a small number of cases, and are reminding all our suppliers of their obligations.’

My research may well have unearthed an isolated incident, but unless you check your groceries against your receipt immediately – which is almost impossible to do, as in my experience drivers are keen to drop shopping off as quickly as possible – there’s no way to spot this kind of error until it’s too late.

It can also be difficult to keep track of shrinking products, as many don’t display clear unit pricing. With no standard way to compare products by weight, it can be easy to miss when your favourite ice cream suddenly gets a bit lighter in your shopping bag.

Do you always carefully check your receipt when you do food shopping online? And have you spotted size discrepancies in the products you’ve ordered?

Comments
Guest
Kath says:
18 April 2012

I think you are a little unfair on Tesco. I bought a pack of Carte D’Or icecream in Waitrose last week – no choice of size, so just picked it up and brought it home. Reading your article today, I have just checked, and yes it is 900ml, and checking old boxes (saved fo re-use) they are all 1lr. There was no notice to tell me of the change. Of course had I noticed I would still have bought it, as this is the brand I like.

Profile photo of ArgonautoftheSeas
Guest

Antonio’s and Waitrose’ own have both reduced to 900 ml a long
time ago.

In case of ice cream, worth going for the dearer premium
brands.

Guest
Lyn says:
18 April 2012

You say above that “It can also be difficult to keep track of shrinking products, as many don’t display clear unit pricing. With no standard way to compare products by weight, it can be easy to miss when your favourite ice cream suddenly gets a bit lighter in your shopping bag.”

Sometimes the reduction in size is very apparent but it is still charged at the higher price. Today I thought I would stock up on Tesco Finest Madagascan Vanilla ice cream which I have been buying for a number of years as it is delicious and was considerably cheaper than similar premium branded ice cream. It use to be sold in 1 litre tubs and was usually on offer of 2 for £5.00 It has now shrunk to * 500ml* tubs, but still on ‘special offer’ of 2 tubs for £5.00 or individually at £3.99. This was such a considerable drop in size for the same price I was flabbergasted and didn’t buy any especially as it is now only a few pennies cheaper that the branded ice cream. Did they think shoppers wouldn’t notice? All this after reading that Tesco are trying to win back shoppers – I would suggest stop trying to rip the customer off would be a good start. (would agree that the premium brands of ice cream are the ones to have). I also bought some Innocent smoothies which also seem to have shrunk in size but cost the same .

Profile photo of ArgonautoftheSeas
Guest

For the second time in as many weeks, have been stocking up
on both Innocent apple and (smooth) orange juices on a BOGOF
offer at Sainsburys.

Contrary to what has been said elsewhere as to it being partly
constituted from concentrate, it says on the label:

“Our oranges are picked and squeezed in 24 hours.
Our juice is never concentrated and never sweetened.
Not now, not ever.”

Same assertion also as to apple juice minus the 24 hours
bit.

Used to come in one litre carafe but now with a 10%
reduction in volume that has been for quite some time, and not to
750ml someone else alluded to previously.

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Guest

Argonaut, the Innocent juices are also currently on special offer at Tesco (at least when I went a few days ago) and I think are cheaper there and can be bought singly. The 750ml sizes that someone else mentioned relate to the smoothies, not the juices. The 1 litre cartons of smoothies used to be good value whenever they were on special offer (not at full price) but now they are 750 ml cartons and have yet to see a reasonable price tag on them. Also, I think it is devious the way they reduced the size of the cartons. They reduced the volume by reducing mainly the width and depth, while the height was only reduced slightly – presumably because a difference in height is more noticeable.

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Guest

So innocent is guilty (of doing the same as many other companies). 🙂

Guest
Pangit says:
20 April 2012

Innocent was If my memory is correct taken over by coca cola.
Remenber coca cola was selling tap water in bottles as mineral water – which of course tap water is as it contains minerals e.g limescale, flouride.
Don’t buy coca cola products, just buy coca cola shares they are one of the best marketing companies in the world and give very good dividends. Theres money to be made in muck.

Guest
Stephen Deen says:
19 April 2012

My life long loyalty to Tesco is looking threadbare.
Shrinking pack size is just one problem, but I’m unaware if all the supermarkets are up to the same trick. On the till receipts, Tesco ask “How did we do?” I’ve emailed them at least 3 times, with minor complaints, without response. If they cared, they’d reply.
The pack size trick, and I think it is a trick, can only be carried out once. If food inflation carries on, Tesco can either continue reducing the pack size or charge more. Obviously pack size reduction can only go so far, so what is the point of the exercise?
My belief is they think we’re mugs, although my experience of other supermarkets is limited. It’s obviously time I found out what’s going on in other stores, and stopped being lazy!!

Guest
Lyn says:
19 April 2012

And Tesco’s response to the shrinking ice cream tubs….

“Firstly please let me apologise for the delay in my response.

A litre tub has been discontinued at the end of February 2012. The newly introduced 500ml pack is currently sold at £2.00, which is indeed an introduction price. This is not compared to a previous multi buy offer price, as this price was for 2 tubs and not the single unit price.

I hope this helps to show that the 1 litre price was on intermitted price reductions that our buyers managed to negotiate with our supplier, but those weren’t meant to be permanent.”

Unfortunately, the price she states of £2.00 for 500ml is wrong, it is currently £3.99, which was also the single unit price also of the 1ltr tub which I still have in my freezer.

Guest
Lyn says:
22 April 2012

I replied to Tesco’s email above to point out that the information in their response was incorrect and that the price for their ice cream both in store and online was actually £3.99 per 500ml and that the volume had decreased from 1litre to 500ml despite the price remaining the same. I also mentioned to them that I had forward this on to the Which bulletin board where other consumers had also noticed that other products appeared to be decreasing in size and had the following response.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
On 21 April 2012 13:42, wrote:
You mention you have also forwarded your query to Which Consumer Service. When a customer does this we’re unable to make direct comments to you until we are informed that all investigations have been concluded. No customer details are released until that time.
As soon as we receive confirmation that the matter has been finalised, we will contact you.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Looks like they don’t like being asked such pertinent questions or having their rather manipulative pricing questioned.

My suspicion with regard to all these shrinking products is that lots of companies, not just Tesco’s, are trying to maintain margins and profits which is understandable, so rather than increase the price which would hit the headlines, they have tried to disguise the reduction in size which probably 99% of people won’t notice and if they do the worst they will do is grumble but will still carry on using the same supermarket, buying the same products (in a smaller size).

I wonder if the ‘average’ weekly shopping basket which the government use to measure inflation takes into account that you are actually getting less product for your money despite having the same number of items in your basket?

Guest
All4One_One4All says:
4 May 2012

WHAT A WOOLLY AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE RESPONSE.

I look forward to Lyn giving us all an update as to what Tesco eventually come up with – it’ll probably need three corporate lawyers, 9 senior managers, and 27 directors to all agree an answer that by then is nothing to do with the either the problem or the question.

Don’t forget to keep us notified. I’m in need of something to cheer me up.

Guest
Jeff Kaye says:
19 April 2012

It’s interesting that Carte D’Or is an example, as in my local Tescos they have contrasting weights printed on the pack. One states 500g = 900ml, while another states 1L= 500g. Surely they both can’t be correct?

Guest
Kath says:
19 April 2012

Jeff my newest pack of Carte D’Or says 450g = 900ml.

Guest
Ciggy says:
20 May 2012

I’ve noticed the same difference, but on different flavours of Carte d’Or – the difference would be selling it by weight not volume and the different flavours have different densities.

I’m sure another shrinker was Schloer: I seem to remember they used to be 1 litre bottles, (a few years ago now) disappeared from sale for a short while and came back at 750 ml for the same price (shopping at Sainsbury’s).

Guest
Anng says:
19 April 2012

I think you may find many packets across all groceries have shrunk in the last few months. I bought a box of Morrisons 150 x 2 ply tissues recently, and found the box and tissues were about 1.5 inches shorter than the previous box in my cupboard. Likewise, packets of biscuits which used to be 200g are now 175g. I wonder if the Government Department which produces the Inflation Figures is taking this into account ?

Guest
Russ says:
19 April 2012

Blimey! what a mine field!! Shopping could be taking a lot longer in future, by the time I have checked weights, capacity etc. The supermarkets are really showing what they think of their customers. They have had it too good for too long. Time to vote with your feet! A trickle of punters through the ckeckouts, and they might wake up.

Guest
Lofty says:
19 April 2012

I’m guessing no Anng.

Profile photo of ArgonautoftheSeas
Guest

One states 500g = 900ml, while another states 1L= 500g. Surely
they both can’t be correct?
JK

More diluted, more watery stuff in one.

Guest
Marge says:
19 April 2012

Who are we kidding here? Don’t try and tell me that a business as large as Tesco can’t keep tabs on the size of the products that they are ordering from suppliers and the price they are selling them at.
All suppliers and supermarkets are continually shrinking the size of their products and offering less weight for the same price, and every shopper knows it.
Supermarkets and suppliers will use any scam they can get away with, they are not interested in their customers opinions, asking for feedback is just a PR ploy so that they can appear to be listening to consumers. Actually, they know that they have us over a barrel as we all need the stuff they sell and they are in the business to make profits.
It should be mandatory in law for changes in pack sizes to be notified to the consumer by a label at least one third of the size of the full label for a period of six months, so that we are aware of the change and have a choice of buying alternative products.
The answer is for consumers either to shop elsewhere or to buy different products, if enough people did that, you can bet there would be changes.
Sorry to rant, it winds me up, its just like the banks only in a different area of business.

Guest
Lofty says:
19 April 2012

Well said Marge,the culture of avarice and deceit!

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Guest

Marge

Agree… already shop where the best deals are, unfortunately
shops being businesses take not the slightest bit of notice
as to customer opinion or feedback until critical mass is reached
adversely affecting their profit margins, also Trading Standards
are slow to intervene in cases of clear breaches/transgressions
as doing absolutely nothing in two separate cases I’d reported.

Vote with our feet/wallets but the average Joe Bloggs/Jane is much too
inert or complacent to change their shopping habits.

Hopefully naming and shaming here shall do some good.

Guest
Chris says:
19 April 2012

This sort of scam has been going on for quite a while. Frozen peas used to be 1000gm packs now they’re 900gm. The price being generally the same. Iceland do it, Morrisons do it etc. In fact “Birds do it, Bees do it, every Supermarket do-es it, lets put the price up”.

In a rising costs situation supermarkets have choices such as, cut their margin, put the price up, sell less at the same price. The first is a no no, the second – if you’re saying you’re cheaper than the competition is again a no no, so the only option left is the third.

Tesco’s attitude to customer service as exemplified by their staff is generally “its an honour for you to grace our store and if you have a problem & complain we’ll do everything to mitigate our loss”. That’s why they’re losing customers.

Guest
Steve B says:
19 April 2012

Its a bit of a cheek of Tesco to blame their suppliers.. The onus MUST be on Tesco to check what is being deliverd by their suppliers and update their website accordingly. I don’t suppose the label on their shelf is wrong so why not get their website up to date? Surely this is in breach of the sale of good act to offer 1L at a charge and then supply 900ml in it place. I know someone involved in the supply chain to Tesco and they inform me that Tesco have a ruthless approach to suppliers and hauliers alike so its time practice what you preach and get it right or compensate!

Guest
Joanna says:
19 April 2012

I’ve supplied Tesco in the past, and their fines are hefty for non-compliance with their many regulations. I’m sure that issues do slip through: as I’ve experienced it, essentially they put the onus on suppliers to get everything right to avoid checking costs in-house. But it’s also a very convenient excuse.

Guest
Pangit says:
19 April 2012

Now Tesco has lost business in the UK – the latest UK profit figures are down.
What are they going to do, spend 1 billion £ repainting all their stores to get customers back.
Just how stupid can they get, do they think people go into the store because it looks newly painted,
no we go to shop for the best value for money. Roll on LIDL, ALDI etc.

Tesco used to be, pile it high and sell it cheap 50years ago – Thats why they did so well then.
Tesco should spend 1 Billion £ and go back to it’s root success – pile it high and sell it cheap.

Guest
yawner says:
19 April 2012

What’s pathetic is that a business like Tesco can have such a huge investment in a loyalty scheme while the merchandising side of the business is deceitfully displaying products (e.g. side by side with different units making it difficult to price compare).

Every time I visit Tesco and experience this and other transparently sneaky merchandising, I have the impression that Tesco management must have disdain and low regard for their customers.

No doubt their ‘Everyday Value’ campaign was designed to address this feedback, but it was a campaign not a real change in the way they do business and only servers to underscore the lack of authenticity.

Tesco have many talented managers and loads of consultants and agencies, some of whom must be giving good advice… its a shame that management hasn’t been able to take it.

Guest
I Rate says:
27 April 2012

Agreed Yawner about tescos making it difficult to relate prices to products. What’s more tescos have another trick up their sleeve in this particular area: the disappearing price label of ordinary products that would compete with something they are trying to shift via an offer. As I am aware this is their practice I now ask about the missing price, so I can compare products and almost invariably the one which turns out to be cheaper is the one without price label. What a sneaky way to make the customer think they are getting a bargain, when in fact tescos are pedalling what they want to get rid of, at the consumers’ expense!

Guest
Tony says:
19 April 2012

I am a new convert to on-line shopping and was very put off by the approach ASDA take. On our first order we decided to order mostly special deals such as 2 for the price of one. However, when delivery arrived some of the special deals had finished and instead of being notified of this prior to delivery arriving the missing special deals had been replaced by the same number (ie 2 instead of 1)but at the regular price. So instead of an item on special being priced singly at 2 pounds for example and ordering two and only paying for one – the price doubled. I feel that all special promotions on-line should have an ending date clearly marked so that customers know if they can safely order an item. It seems misrepresentation at the least not to inform customers. This is more important as in-store this problem would not arise at the checkout, whereas on-line most orders will not be shipped until 48 hours has passed after placing the order, and by that time a special promotion may have ended..

Admittedly they do notify on-line customers of this in the on-line small print, but nonetheless it would not hurt for ASDA to be up-front with their customers. Even more so in these difficult financial times as it could easily push the delivery price too high if people are on low incomes. Especially if, like me, they are pensioners.

Guest
Alastair says:
20 April 2012

Interesting reading the comment regarding Asda above. We’ve been using Tesco on-line for a few years now and generally find it good. Drivers are courteous, they always do bring substitutions to your attention. I guess pack sizes are a different thing – if they don’t know that a pack size has been reduced from 1kg to 900g they wouldn’t necessarily know, but as has been said previously, that’s either a management or system failure or a deliberate attempt at deception. In either way it’s reasonable to contact trading standards.

As far as offers go though, the Tesco website does warn you if you have selected an offer that expires before delivery.

One area where we have had problems recently has been with the more complex multibuy offers and substitutions in that – for example the meal deals where a particular bottle of wine, a main course, a side dish and dessert for £10 – but the offer fails where an individual item is substituted. In the past I’ve ended up sending things back if I’ve caught it, but as this has thrown out reasonably sorted meal plans out this wasn’t ideal, and I spoke to the telephone helpline (which is sometimes busy but you do at least get to talk to a real person who has details of your order) – they suggested better to accept it and then call the hotline, so I tried that, and I have to say I was impressed. Compared with most hotlines you have the pleasant experience that the person that you talk with actually has the authority to fix the issue – and we have had a balancing credit to the credit card sorted very quickly.

We have had occasional laughs about completely inappropriate substitutions; but then I’m sure there are times when I’ve returned from the supermarket with something that I can’t remember why I bought!

Guest
jim s says:
20 April 2012

Picking up from Anng’s point, if the changes to packaging sizes are not inflationary then it seems there must be a cosy relationship between the supermarkets and the government. The supermarkets make more money and the government doesn’t have to worry about the impact on inflation. Perhaps Which? should be raising this with the Office for National Statistics.

Guest
Joanne Hodgson says:
20 April 2012

50 years ago I can remember running to the Coop for shopping with a list (posh kids had a small notebook) and the assistants writing the price on the list and adding it up for me to take home so mum could see I had the correct change in my purse and they would tell me to tell my mother that the price of baked beans would be going up in 2 weeks by one (old) penny so she needed to stock up. In those days it seemed the shops were on the customer side but did the rot start when Wagon Wheels became the size of micro scooter wheels. Our local bakery, has put the price up of all its products and reduced the size. A bite sized cheese scone is now 96p.

Guest
Adrian says:
22 April 2012

I don’t do my grocery shopping online, but this story does just confirm my suspicion that Tesco appear to have a deliberate policy of confusing shoppers by inconsistent, misleading or simply false product pricing.

Last year I noticed an offer on Tesco ice cream which noted “2 for 1 on 1l or 900ml packs”. Yes, it was labelled, which was good, but was it just a way of easing in a price rise due to pack shrinkage?

The size of Tesco brand savoury slices was reduced some months ago. The shelf label showed the old size and, now incorrect unit price – and did so for at least two months after the pack size changed.

To say that they haven’t been informed by their suppliers is, to put in politely, disingenuous. They make the same ‘mistake’ with their own products and are very slow at correcting the ‘error’.

Guest
Paul says:
23 April 2012

What I’d be very interested to know if anyone has an before and after shrinking pack and compare the barcodes, they _ought_ to be different. If they aren’t then it looks like the supplier is trying to pull a ‘fast-one’. If they _are_ different then the supermarket must be complicit because they would have had to set this up in their system and therefore should have known that the pack size had changed.

Guest
ktc says:
25 April 2012

I regularly do on-line shopping with Tesco. The shrinking pack size at the same price is quite common. The items are usually labelled correctly, you just have to remember what the size was before. The two examples in my recent shop:

1)Tesco Baby Ultrasoft Wipes now come in packs of 64 instead of 80 (I’ve looked at bar codes – they are different. The packaging is exactly the same apart from number change)
2)Oaktree Estate 5 Sausage Roll 300g (as on my receipt)
Oaktree Estate 4 Sausage Roll 240g (what I actually got) (this is mis-selling?)

Guest
ktc says:
25 April 2012

To be fair, Tesco online do refund money no quibble when you do complain about items delivered

Profile photo of chrisie
Guest

Morrison have a clever one.They put Ltr bottle of Whiskey on offer and fill the shelves with 70cl when the small quantity Ltrs go.You dont know untill you get home.

Profile photo of chrisie
Guest

Aldi display a pack of assorted seeds as 150 gram.On the pack is printed 120grams.Maybe a case for trading standards?

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Guest

Maybe just have a polite word with a member of staff.

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Guest

Not strictly an online issue, but I have a Clubcard coupon from Tesco’s that gives me 75p off any skinless & bonelss red or pink salmon if I purchase a 180g tin; the coupon is recent and valid intil 25 May 2012. But, yes, you have guessed right – all the tin sizes have been reduced to 170g and the coupon is not accepted at the till!

Guest
Ann says:
26 April 2012

I usually shop at Tesco and have noticed that the bars of Nature Valley Cereal Bars sold 6 in a pack are noticeably smaller than they were, but are sold at the same price.
Tesco Super Concentrated Liquid Detergents, approved by the Good Housekeeping Institute, are now sold in smaller bottles, but at the original price.
Copella fruit juices are now sold in smaller bottles, but at the same price. The label on the bottles advises us of the “new size 750 ml”, they are not specific in saying “smaller size for the same price”.

Guest
All4One_One4All says:
3 May 2012

Tesco has assumed the Which? represetative that contacted them had no knowledge of the retail industry, and they look to be correct in their assumption. Here is what I would have done:

GS1 issue barcodes to manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors. GS1 has strict rules on barcoding. A barcode change is required on: (a) Any change to declared net content, (b) Changes to wording of the existing product name, product brand or product description, and (c) Any dimensional change to packaging of more than 20% in any axis.

Do the reduced size packs have the same barcode as the previous larger packs?
– If they do, the manufacturer/supplier has been extremely naughty. This is very unlikely. If they can’t be legally fined, the law needs to be changed.
– If the barcodes are different, then Tesco must get its EPOS data for the new reduced size item either from a data provider, or by creating it itself. Regardless, Tesco, the data provider, or both are at fault. This is far more likely.
– It only takes one person to complain, and the fault should be fixed. This should take minutes, but I’d give supermarkets an hour (just in case the person doing all the changes is overworked due to masses of changes), and then they’d be in the proverbial.

Supermarkets pretend to customers that they are at the mercy of the suppliers/manufacturers. In fact the opposite applies. Manufacturesr/suppliers supply the supermarkets with the exact specification they demand. So when supermarkets ask for say fresh fruit salad, they specify the content, how ripe it should be, shelf life, what the banana pickers should have had for breakfast (joking, but I guess you understand just a little bit more now just how powerful these supermarkets are).

In many cases, manufacturers/suppliers must rent shelf space for their products. Shelves in different locations have different prices.

Question: You say you were unaware of the pack size change, but the Barcode has changed. Where did Tesco get its EPOS data from for the new barcodes?

Question: Why don’t Tesco include barcode information on their website?

Question: Why don’t Tesco put barcodes on their till receipts?

Question: Why are barcodes on the shelf labels so small that they are almost unreadable?

Question: Are Tesco going to make shelf label barcodes numbers at least 12 point? Or are they going to supply free magnifying glasses? Or are they going to do nothing or make them even smaller?

So when they told the Which? representative that they were unaware of pack size changes, I think they were pulling his or her leg.

Guest
Lofty says:
20 May 2012

Further obfuscation,Tesco were selling pizza cheese last week.Large pack priced £7 per kilo.Identical product in smaller pack promoted as two for £3.50 came in and labelled as £1. per 100 gram.!

Guest
David says:
10 August 2012

Shopping at TESCO? Check that smaller packets have a lower unit price than larger packets, it is very often the case.

Also check unit price of sale items against normal sales, as again the unit price of the normal sales is often lower.

Guest
Simba says:
22 October 2012

Yes tesco I purchased a tesco finest chicken and beech smoked bacon pasta bake today and as always weight of 800grams however you’ve put the price up by £1 but the most insulting trick in the book was you mislead me to believe that I was getting more for my money by making the packaging flatter and wider making me think I was getting a bigger meal. Wasn’t I silly thinking I was getting more for my money from tesco. Silly me I suppose if you become greedy every little helps eh.

Profile photo of dlorde
Guest

I buy walnut pieces to add to muesli. It turns out that the walnuts in the cooking section are around half the price of those in the healthy eating snacks section. However, the kicker is that 2x100gm packets are 12p cheaper than 1x200g packet (£2.38 vs £2.50). Common sense would suggest the same amount in one large pack should be cheaper (and greener in packaging) than in smaller bags. It is not a special offer, or multi-buy discount, etc., this pricing discrepancy has been in place for at least a year.

I posted a comment about this on the Tesco comments web site, and got a phone call back this morning from a customer services agent. The guy was very defensive about the pricing, talking about branch pricing, temporary pricing, and offers. I told him this was not branch pricing, not an offer, was confirmed by an independent price comparison site, and had been priced that way for at least 1 year. He got quite steamed up, saying he didn’t want a confrontation, before suggesting that it was their suppliers that determine the cost of each packaging size, and if they weren’t selling many of the larger packs, they’d make Tesco pay more for them(!). He then apologised for any confusion, saying their aim was customer satisfaction and lowest prices for the consumer. I told him that those aims would be best achieved by pricing large packs lower than equivalent in small packs. He repeated the claim that the suppliers dictated their pricing, and started talking about strange pricing on offers again. I thanked him and rang off.

Guest
Carl Hill says:
3 April 2015

Hi,

Over the last year I have been monitoring various products and this scam is covering the bulk of our shopping. Coffee that was 200grms is now 190grm, ice cream is 900ml not 1 litre, spreads are 400grm not 500grm,soft cheese 280grm not 300grm etc etc etc. Can someone please explain to me how they calculate inflation, I know it is based on prices but in the case of food we are getting less for our Pound, so how can inflation be coming down.?

Profile photo of wavechange
Guest

I have often quoted instant coffee as a product that is sensibly sold in multiples of 100g, so it is disappointing to read your message, Carl. 🙁

The answer must be to ignore the amount and focus on the unit price. I don’t do this for everything but I have got a good idea of what is a reasonable unit price for the products I buy most frequently.

Guest
Carl Hill says:
3 April 2015

Just to add it is not Tesco or any other supermarket it is the food manufacturer, supermarkets don’t produce their own food.

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Guest

A report in the April 2015 Which? Magazine shows that the manufacturers are playing a sneaky game with price variations. They claim that their recommended reselling prices have changed proportionately to the weight/volume/quantity changes they have introduced [if so, why have they made changes – do they take us for fools?] and that the supermarkets make the ultimate decisions on the retail price; however, they won’t reveal what they are charging the stores at the wholesale level. In almost every instance quoted in the article the manufacturers have claimed that they have made recipe improvements, or introduced better packaging, or in response to unstated economic factors. There is a more up-to-date Conversation on this topic called “Are shrinking products a sneaky way of increasing prices?” [20/03/15].

In terms of the “economic factors” that manufacturers whinge about to justify their product changes, I am wondering when the positive economic factors like falling road fuel costs, cheaper energy, low interest rates, and stagnant wage growth will start to feature in their pricing calculations??