Posted: Thu 21st Mar 2024

“Shrinkflation” hits Easter with smaller eggs and higher prices, Which? finds

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Some popular Easter eggs from brands including Maltesers, Lindt and Cadbury cost at least 50% more than a year ago, while others have shrunk in size, new Which? research has found.

The Which? supermarket food and drink inflation tracker has revealed that overall the price of chocolate has risen by 12.6% in a year – far more than the overall price of supermarket food and drink, which is up 5.6%. This comes after a huge rise in global cocoa prices due to dry weather in West Africa, with prices roughly doubling in a year.

The consumer champion found that, in the worst example of Easter egg inflation, a Maltesers Truffles Luxury Easter Egg 286g went from an average £8 to an average £13 at Waitrose in the one month to the end of February 2024, compared to the same time a year earlier (an increase of 62.5%).

At Asda, a Lindt 5 Gold Bunny Milk Chocolate 50g increased from £2 on average to £3.11 on average (up 55.6%).

At Tesco, a Ferrero Rocher Golden Easter Egg 250g rose in price from £10 on average in the one month to the end of Feb 2023 to £15 on average in the same period in 2024 (an increase of 50%).

Which? also found that at Ocado, a Cadbury Mini Eggs Large Pouch 1kg cost £8.86 on average in the one month to the end of February 2023, but in the same period in 2024 this product cost an average of £12.95 (an increase of 46.2%).

At Sainsbury’s, a Kinder Easter with Surprise 36g rose in price from £1.50 on average to £2 (an increase of 33.3%).

For all of its Easter egg pricing analysis Which? included regular discounts but not loyalty prices or multibuys.

As well as price increases across the board, Which? also found some examples of Easter products that had shrunk in size since last year while the price stayed the same or increased, otherwise known as ‘shrinkflation’.

For example, a Mars milk chocolate large Easter egg was 252g in 2023 but was 201g in 2024 at Morrisons and Tesco.

Similarly, a Terry’s chocolate orange Easter egg and mini eggs changed from 230g in 2023 to 200g in 2024 at Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

A Smarties chocolate orange egg changed from 226g to 188g at Asda and Tesco.

Another example was the Twix milk chocolate Easter egg, which changed from 246g to 200g at Tesco.

While shoppers may think that shrinking products is a sneaky tactic on the part of manufacturers, there are no rules against it as long as the packaging is labelled with the correct size, weight and ingredients. However Which? believes businesses should be upfront when making these changes, so their customers can make informed choices.

Ele Clark, Which? Retail Editor, said:

“Easter eggs are a non-negotiable highlight of Spring for many of us, but Which? has found that paying for your chocolate haul will be more of a stretch this year. Some eggs are over 50% pricier than in 2023 – while others have shrunk in size but not price.

“To ensure you get the best value for money on your Easter chocolate, shop around and compare the price per gram across different pack sizes, retailers and brands.”

In response to the findings, Waitrose and Mars Wrigley UK have issued statements emphasizing their efforts to balance quality and value amid rising costs.

Nestlé also acknowledged the necessity of adjusting product weights to maintain quality amidst increasing production costs.

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