Shrinkflation: Paying for air

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Fin24 user Len Dempsey writes:

I have been in the confectionery industry since the 1970s. I worked with a Swiss chocolate company when the pound was revalued, doubling our prices overnight!

In the early 1970s inflation was having a devastating effect on every facet of life. Some products though had a maximum perceived value and just could not be seen to double, treble in price in short periods of time.

So manufacturers started to alternate price rises with size reductions... so a sixpence ( old money ) bar of chocolate shrank one month, then went up in price by a penny, etc.

Then, of course, consumers noticed. Amazingly, large bars, or chunky bars, were introduced - at a higher price. Boxes of chocolates that used to be half a pound in weight were brought into line with European metric packs and became 250g; they then started to shrink in size, not price, to 227g (old ½lb), then 200g.

Other tricks (!) include manufacturing products to be the same volume but lighter; a Milky Way bar is much more aerated than it originally was. Why did Cadbury spend so much time formulating a Wispa bar? It was because Rowntree discovered early how to get people to pay for air (sell them bubbles in their chocolate!). 

The trick is to wait around - everything comes back, LIVE LONG and become cynical.

 - Fin24

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