Now Twix becomes latest victim of shrinkflation: ‘Fun size’ version of chocolate treat is 15% smaller but will cost the SAME as maker Mars blames ‘rising costs of raw materials’ amid cost of living crisis
- Fun-size Twix multipacks will soon contain 20g bars instead of the current 23g
- However the price for both nine and 16 packs will remain the same, Mars said
- It comes amid outrage over rising prices, with 750g of Lurpak soaring to £7.25
Twix is shrinking its ‘fun size’ bars while keeping them at the same price in a bid to retain profits amid the ongoing supply chain crisis, its parent company Mars revealed today.
It is the latest in a string of products to fall victim to ‘shrinkflation’ – the term used for when food giants quietly reduce the size of hundreds of products while still charging the same prices.
The phenomenon was widely adopted following the 2008 financial crash and is driven by firms anxious not to raise product prices despite the rising cost of raw materials, energy and transport.
It has returned with force this year as firms exiting the Covid pandemic struggle to cope with rising costs, fuelled by the war in Ukraine and its impact on oil prices and grain supply.
In May, the Mail on Sunday revealed how some companies reduced their packet sizes by as much as a quarter. Examples included Philadelphia cream cheese which had gone from 340g to 280g, but still cost £3.
It means families who are already suffering through the worst cost of living crisis since the 1970s, exacerbated by an 11 per cent inflation rate, face even more financial pressure through hidden increases.
It comes amid widespread outrage today in the face of rapidly surging prices for everyday items, including a 750g tub of Lurpak butter, which is selling for £7.25 at Sainsbury’s. It had previously been £5.90.
Supermarkets are also placing security tags on items like blocks of cheese and baby milk formula, suggesting increasingly desperate consumers are turning to shoplifting to provide for their families.
Twix is shrinking its ‘fun size’ bars from 23g to 20g (pictured) while keeping them at the same price in a bid to retain profits amid the ongoing supply chain crisis, its parent company Mars revealed today
The various sizes and prices may confuse shoppers, but consumers get more chocolate for their money if they buy bigger bars, even if it does mean more calories. The 16x20g multipack, for example, now works out at 94p per 100g. But one can buy a 9x40g pack of Twix bars on offer for £2.00, which is the equivalent of paying just 56p per 100g.
Data from retail research experts Assosia has revealed the spike in Heinz prices in June at the big four supermarkets
Supermarkets are also placing security tags on items like blocks of cheese and baby milk formula, suggesting increasingly desperate consumers are turning to shoplifting to provide for their families
Mars today blamed the rising costs of ‘raw materials and operations’ for reducing the size of its multipack Twix bars.
Currently, multipacks of Twix’s fun size bars contain either nine or 16 bars, which weigh 23g each.
However in the new multipacks, set to be rolled out over the next 10 days, each bar will weigh 20g.
Prices vary but Sainsbury’s is already selling the new 16-pack for £2.80, the same price as it used to sell the 23g version for – although it currently has a promotion on the 9x20g pack to bring it down from the RRP of £1.75 to £1.25, according to The Grocer magazine.
Tesco, meanwhile, is selling the newer 16x20g multipack for £3.00 even though the same pack with 23g bars was previously on its website for £2.00.
Morrisons no longer has the older versions on its website while Asda has yet to replace its 23g multipacks.
The various sizes and prices may confuse shoppers, but consumers get more chocolate for their money if they buy bigger bars, even if it does mean more calories.
The 16x20g multipack, for example, now works out at 94p per 100g.
But one can buy a 9x40g pack of Twix bars on offer for £2.00, which is the equivalent of paying just 56p per 100g.
A spokeswoman for Mars told The Grocer it had been ‘absorbing the rising costs of raw materials and operations for some time, but the growing pressures we are facing mean that more needs to be done’.
She added: ‘Reducing the size of our products is not a decision we take lightly, but we’re confident that our chocolate brands still offer our customers and consumers the best possible value for money without compromising on quality or taste.’
It comes as it was revealed today that a large 1kg tub of Lurpak is now close to £10, retailing at £9.30 in Iceland.
Data from comparison site trolley.co.uk revealed that a standard 500g pack of the popular spreadable butter is up around £2.25 to £5 in the past year and is also being security tagged. Sainsbury’s is selling a 750g tub of Lurpak for £7.25 – up from £5.90 in recent months.
Meanwhile, to counter the growing threat of shoplifting, Tesco has fitted security tags to tubs of baby milk. The cans of the formula are being protected at Tesco Extra in Streatham, south London. It follows Sainsbury’s recently tagging tubs of Aptamil baby, toddler and follow-on milks.
Justifying putting tags on more foods, a Co-op spokesman said: ‘Co-op has been involved in a small scale trial of new packaging for higher value products for well over a year, with the additional security providing a further deterrent if a store locally experiences shoplifting issues’.
It came after the boss of Sainsbury’s warned today that pressure on household budgets ‘will only intensify over the remainder of the year’ amid the worst inflation crisis in the UK for decades, while Tesco is running out of Heinz baked beans and ketchup due to a stand-off with the US food producer over price increases.
In Iceland, a 1kg pack of Lurpak slightly salted butter is being sold for £9.35. At Ocado, the only other major supermarket where that size is on sale, it is priced at £9
Photos posted to social media showed £3.99 blocks of cheddar on shelves in Aldi, Wolverhampton, with electronic tags fitted to them (pictured)
Another image showed a 750g pack of Lurpak butter with a security label on it (pictured)
Meanwhile, Tesco has fitted security tags to tubs of baby milk. Cans of the formula milk – some of which were priced at £15 – are being protected at Tesco Extra in Streatham, south London
This Twitter user from Wolverhampton pointed out the security tags on the cheese in Aldi and lamb chops in Co-Op. They wrote: ‘If you think Lurpak is bad – the local Aldi and Coop have started security tagging food. There was a GPS protected tag on a pack of lamb chops as well #ThisMorning #CostOfLivingCrisis’
Another Twitter user pointed out the sky-high price of a 750g pack of Lurpak in Sainsbury’s. The luxury butter brand, first produced in Denmark in 1901, has become a staple for millions of households across the country
Families are OFFICIALLY suffering the worst squeeze since records began in 1955
Families are officially suffering the worst squeeze on record after real disposable incomes fell for the fourth quarter in a row.
Finances failed to keep up with soaring inflation once again at the start of the year, making it the longest sequence of drops since official figures started being compiled in 1955.
Real household disposable income was down 0.2 per cent between January and March, as income growth of 1.5 per cent was outstripped by household inflation of 1.7 per cent.
Household finances have now been under pressure for a straight year with costs of energy, food and other goods spiking after Covid and with the Ukraine crisis raging.
Meanwhile, HMRC figures have shown nearly two million people have been dragged into the higher and additional rates of tax over the past three years.
Underlining the burgeoning burden on workers, 6.1million are projected to be paying income tax at 40 per cent or 45 per cent in 2022/23.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of the supermarket group, said it is working to reduce costs across its operations amid continued inflation.
‘We really understand how hard it is for millions of households right now and that’s why we are investing £500 million and doing everything we can to keep our prices low, especially on the products customers buy most often,’ he said.
‘The pressure on household budgets will only intensify over the remainder of the year and I am very clear that doing the right thing for our customers and colleagues will remain at the very top of our agenda.’
Sainsbury’s is selling the Lurpak butter at the sky-high price despite the fact that many of its rivals are offering it cheaper. Tesco is selling the same pack for £5.30, whilst Asda, Iceland and Ocado are selling it for £6.
The luxury butter brand, first produced in Denmark in 1901, has become a staple for millions of households across the country. But families might soon be turned off by the eyewatering cost a pack.
The news comes amid the worst cost of living crisis since the 1970s stoked by rampant inflation – with experts warning that the worst could be yet to come.
Sarah Coles, of finance firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said that pressures on household finances are ‘laying waste’ to the ‘extra resilience’ that was built up by Britons during the pandemic.
Taking to Twitter today, one user revealed the images of the protected cheese in Aldi and the boxed meat in Co-Op.
They said above the images: ‘If you think Lurpak is bad – the local Aldi and Coop have started security tagging food. There was a GPS protected tag on a pack of lamb chops as well #ThisMorning #CostOfLivingCrisis’.
At Tesco, it is understood staff were forced to protect baby milk products after a spate of thefts.
The tags operate via a transmitter that sounds out an alert when it is removed from a shop.
They are usually removed by staff when customers pay at the till.
There are fears struggling mums and dads are turning to crime to help feed their little ones amid the cost of living crisis.
A spokesman for Tesco declined to comment.
Sainsbury’s this week revealed that like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, declined by 4 per cent over the 16 weeks to June 25, compared with the same period last year.
At Tesco, it is understood staff were forced to protect baby milk products after a spate of thefts. The tags operate via a transmitter that sounds out an alert when it is removed from a shop
Sainsbury’s hailed a ‘good’ performance in its grocery business, which saw sales dip 2.4% against levels from last year, which had benefited from pandemic restrictions on other parts of the retail sector.
Sainsbury’s boss Simon Roberts has warned that pressure on household budgets ‘will only intensify over the remainder of the year’
The retailer said its ‘improved value position’ has helped its performance against competitors, with the group investing heavily into improving prices, such as through its Sainsbury’s Quality, Aldi Price Match campaign.
Sales were also particularly strong around the Jubilee week, the company said, with sales of beers, wines and spirits at ‘the highest ever outside of Christmas and Easter, with Pimm’s, sparkling wine and champagne selling particularly well’.
The total sales decline was dragged lower by significant slumps in the group’s clothing and general merchandise divisions, which includes its Argos brand.
Argos sales fell by 10.5 per cent over the period, which it said was driven by a heavy slump over the first five weeks.
The group also revealed that fuel sales jumped 48.3 per cent over the period, driven by jumps in the price of both petrol and diesel.
Mr Roberts added: ‘We’re working hard to reduce costs right across the business so that we can keep investing in these areas that customers care most about.
‘The progress we are making on improving value, quality, innovation and service is reflected in our improved grocery volume market share.’
Ms Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, warned today: ‘The cost-of-living crisis is laying waste to the extra resilience we managed to build during the pandemic.
‘It’s hitting those on lower incomes the hardest, leaving them with an impossible challenge to stay on top of their finances. And it’s not just causing huge problems right now, it’s building them for the future too.’
Research produced by Hargreaves Lansdown found that, in the past three months, 41 per cent of households dipped into savings or borrowed money to cover their costs.
Once inflation is taken into account, disposable income fell 3 per cent in the past three months, the report also found.
It comes after it emerged a typical family of four’s shopping bills could rise as much as £40 per month in the latest pinch on domestic finances as essentials such as bread and dairy look set to rise.
And the staggering rise in prices doesn’t just stop at dairy products.
Recent Retail Price Index figures for food bought by ordinary shoppers showed the average price of a roasting joint of beef had risen by 9.8 per cent to £11.34 over the year to April, while chicken had risen by 10.4 per cent to £3 a kilo.
But caterers are reporting even more dramatic rises of between 20 and 30 per cent for many products, with prices often changing by the week.
The cost of minced beef rose by 11 per cent overnight in recent days, Laca said, while one catering company saw the cost of 10kg of prepared potatoes increase from £10.46 to £15.50.
Elsewhere, Heinz staples such as baked beans, ketchup, salad cream and soup soared in price by up to 55 per cent in June.
Data from retail research experts Assosia shows the price of Heinz beans is up a third in Asda since June 17 – up from 90p to £1.20 per can – while a standard bottle of Heinz squeezy ketchup is up 39 per cent in Morrisons, from £2 to £2.79.
Real household disposable income was down 0.2 per cent between January and March, as income growth of 1.5 per cent was outstripped by household inflation of 1.7 per cent. It is the longest sequence of drops since official figures started being compiled in 1955
HMRC figures have shown nearly two million people have been dragged into the higher and additional rates of tax over the past three years
Cans of Heinz soups, including family favourite Cream of Tomato, have also gone up. The price of a 4x400g pack has increased 40 per cent from £2.50 to £3.50 in Sainsbury’s. In Asda a single can has gone up from 90p to £1.40.
A 4x200g pack of baked beans Snap Pots is up 20 per cent from £2.50 to £2.99 in Morrisons this month. While a small 200g can of Heinz beans with sausages appears to almost doubled from 65p to £1.20 in Asda.
The UK economy is facing its ‘strongest period’ of inflationary pressure since the 1970s, with the conflict in Ukraine worsening the impact by restricting supply chains and pushing up grain prices.
This has been compounded by the fact that Ukraine and Russia are both big global grain producers, collectively accounting for nearly a third of global wheat exports.
Products that use grain such as bread and products containing meat from animals fed on grain, for example chicken, are to increase in price over summer and autumn as a result, said the Institute of Grocery Distribution.
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