Another well loved family staple has become the latest to fall victim to shrinkflation as Kellogg’s cornflakes whittle down the size of their box while the price remains the same.
The standard box of cereal now stands at 720g, down from 790g, but still costs the same £2.69.
Between 2015 and 2017 more than 206 products have shrunk in size while prices remain the same. according to a study by Office for National Statistics.
These products include much loved sweets such as M&Ms, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Toblerone and Malteasers.
The standard box of Kellog’s cornflakes cereal now stands at 720g, down from 790g, but still costs the same £2.69
Kellogg’s said its packets were getting smaller in an effort to reduce overfilling and the contents becoming crushed and added that their Crunchy Nut box had grown in size from 750g to 840g.
Prices tend to stay the same when products change size, the ONS said, consistent with the idea that some products are undergoing ‘shrinkflation’.
Historically the size of boxes has grown – a packet of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in 1971 was 16oz approximately 453g
While the statistics agency said manufacturers had blamed the drop in size on the rising cost of raw materials, it dismissed the idea of Brexit being a factor behind the shrinkage.
Despite the collapse in the pound following the Brexit vote driving up costs for businesses, the ONS said the shrinkflation trend remained ‘stationary’ in the period following the referendum.
There are several examples of shrinkflation since 2015.
In June 2017, it emerged Andrex trimmed its loo rolls by 21 sheets, down to 200.
Just months earlier Peperami shrunk by 2.5g, weighing 22.5g compared to 25g.
Bags of Doritos were also hit by Shrinkflation in april 2017, with sharing bags dropping from 200g to 180g – despite no change in price.
Mars announced in March 2017 that bags of Maltesers, M&M’s and Minstrels were getting smaller, shrinking the pack sizes by up to 15 per cent.
Some of the products that have shrunk over the last few years for British shoppers
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 206 products shrank in size (blue bars) between September 2015 and June 2017 while far fewer came in bigger packets (red bars)
Maltesers sharing backs went from 121g to 103g. Other products to shrink included Birds Eye fish fingers – with the number of fingers dropping by two in a pack, and Kellogg’s Coco Pops.
Mike Hardie, head of inflation at the ONS, said: ‘Over the last few years, consumers may have noticed that some companies have reduced the size of their products while the price remained the same, which is often attributed to operational and material cost rises.
‘Our updated analysis of this subject indicates which type of products have decreased in size.
Shrinking chocolate bars, cereal boxes and loaves of bread (file image) have contributed to a rise in ‘shrinkflation’ in Britain – but it is not due to Brexit, new figures show today
Examples of ‘shrinkflation’ has hit products including Andrex, Doritos, Peperami, Bird Eye Fish fingers, Coco Pops and Maltesers. This graphic shows the shrinking sizes
‘The majority of size changes occurred in the food and drink sector. Every day staples such as bread and cereal are most likely to have seen reductions in size, while consumers may also find some chocolate products to be smaller now than they once were.’
Products within the food and drink category accounted for 70 per cent of the size reductions recorded by the ONS.
Non-food categories that saw the most changes in size – both reductions and increases – were appliances and products for personal care (such as toilet rolls, nappies and tissues) and non-durable household goods, including kitchen roll and washing-up liquid.
While a total of 206 products shrank in size between September 2015 and June 2017, 79 products increased in size.
Bread and cereal products saw the greatest frequency of changes in size in both directions.
Earlier this year Walkers faced a social media backlash after multi-packs of their crisps shrunk by two packets in a year according to an investigation by The Grocer Magazine.
In Asda the Walkers Variety pack, once £2.25 for 12 x 25g packets is now £2 for 10, losing one cheese and onion and one ready salted pack.
Morrison’s larger Walkers Variety pack has also shrunk by two packets now containing 18 rather than 20 x 25g packets but sticking at £3.
The childhood favourite Wotsits are now on average 24p more than last year – £1.56 for a six pack and a bag of Squares is 5p more expensive than last year, according to The Grocer.
Walkers manufacturer PepsiCo did not comment, while KP Snacks – owner of Hula Hoops and Pom-Bear, said: ‘shelf prices are at the sole discretion of our retailers’.
A graphic showing the inflated prices and decreased sizes of crisp brands
AHDB Potatoes said the shrinkage seen in many brands of potato based snack was due to a poor potato harvest causing a potato shortage which has driven the price of the raw material up.
They said: ‘Growers were battling extreme heat and a shortage of water last year, the combined June and July period was one of the driest on record.
‘We ended up with a relatively small harvest, and these are the potatoes being used to make the crisps we love now.
Brands enjoyed by generations of snackers were not the only ones to suffer from the hike in potato prices with many supermarket own brands also putting up their prices
Craig Keeling expresses his annoyance at finding only seven Monster Munch in a packet
Another Twitter user by the name ‘slipnslide’ was angry at the waste of packaging as the bag was not full
Gareth Parkin expressed his confusion over losing 20g of crisps, Walkers responded that they do still sell the larger packs and they have both sizes in their range