But is it cricket?…

We are all used to seeing things going up in price, it’s an all too familiar, almost daily, occurrence.

Fuel costs, transport costs, increased wage bill, the price of coffee bean futures on Tuvalu, the reasons are endless. It’s part of everday life, we accept it. We don’t like it, but we have to accept it.

What we don’t always see are the sneaky ways of increasing prices. Some manufacturers, afraid of a possible consumer backlash, are wary of increasing their prices in their efforts to safeguard their profit margins. What they are doing instead is making the product smaller, but still charging the same price.

The tactic began in the USA some years back and is now used in the UK by some manufactureres.

A pack of Pampers Baby Dry Economy Pack Maxi Plus now contains 4 less nappies than before, but the price is the same. Means about a 7% price hike.

Is it fair, or is it cheating?

Pots of Onken Mousse have recently shrunk from 150g to 115g, yet the price has remained at 49p. Means a 30% price hike.

The manufacturer has apparently claimed that it changed the size after research revealed that customers preferred a smaller serving. Maybe they do, but one would very much doubt that the survey asked the customer if they would to prefer to pay the same amount for a considerably smaller, but more conveniently sized, pot.

Earlier this year, Kraft’s standard pack of eight Dairylea slices became lighter. The box remained the same size, but the slices were a lot thinner. There is no way you could say you are not trying to hoodwink the public when the box stays the same but the contents shrink.

There are less cans in a pack of Strongbow cider, less Rolos in a tube (and they’re always getting smaller, more like Polos covered in a bit of chocolate now!!), Cadbury’s Family Share Dairy Milk chocolate bar has shrunk in size…they’re all at it.

Last year, Birds Eye produced a double whammy. They not only cut the size of packs of peas but also put the price up!. The firm blamed a poor UK harvest for the need to raise prices. Twice in one fell swoop!!!!

It looks very much as though you need to be more on your toes when shopping these days. ‘Special Offer’ or ‘Reduced in Price’ are common signs in shops, but when are we going to see a ‘Reduced in Size’ placard? Don’t hold your breath.

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