CHOICE membership

Shrinking pack sizes and supermarket pricing oddities

food
shopping

#1

Some news from the UK - the Toblerone has shrunk over there, but you won’t notice from the size of the packaging. The box is the same size, but the mountainous peaks of chocolate now look more like a bicycle stand (reduced by 40g of chocolate).

We’ve covered it at Which? (UK consumers association and friends of CHOICE): https://conversation.which.co.uk/food-drink/toblerone-chocolate-shrink-mondolez-unilever/

Hopefully this stinginess won’t make its way to Australia…


#2

:unamused:

Shrinkage blamed on (anticipation of) change:- As the UK hasn’t yet left the EU, the consequential financial ramifications wouldn’t have occurred. So why would Mondelēz International, Inc. need to reduce the size of the bar now to maintain pre-Brexit pricing?


#3

Isn’t Toblerone from Switzerland (non-EU) anyway?


#4

is an American multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company based in Illinois which employs about 107,000 people around the world. [Wikipedia]

They operate throughout Europe. Have a look at http://eu.mondelezinternational.com/about-us


#5

Australian Toblerone blocks are now the same i.e. what was once a 400 gm block is now 360 gm. No price reduction of course.


#6

I have just received a press release from an anonymous source:

As many of our regular customers are aware, the Toblerone bar has recently had a very slight change of shape. This occurred for a number of reasons.

  1. Our consumers are becoming more aware of, and more demanding about, healthy eating. We consult with Toblerone’s medical specialists regularly, to make sure we are making the healthiest chocolate bar on the market. In recent discussions, our doctors raised a slight concern that perhaps our portion sizes may - for some children - be greater than the recommended daily intake of delicious nougat-filled chocolate. We had to do the responsible thing, and have thus very slightly updated the serving size without - importantly - affecting the overall consumer experience.
  2. Some of our consumers recently reached out to us in order to express concern that the nougat mines of Northern Elbonia might be a non-renewable resource. As you are all aware, Toblerone is extremely environmentally conscious, and so we are currently studying those mines further to identify whether the consumer concerns are warranted. In the meantime, and pending further nougat vein discoveries or the development of an environmentally friendly manufacturing process for our recent invention of ‘Tobleronly Nougat’, we must conserve what remains in our mines as best we can. We think we have found ways to do this without affecting the quality, delicious taste, and overall size of our internationally renowned Toblerone bars.
  3. Many of our younger consumers have complained about the ‘handiness’ of the Toblerone bar. It has simply been too bulky for baby hands, and so in consideration of all our wonderful consumers we have sought to fit all the same goodness into a more conveniently shaped product - suitable for the hand, the backpack, the lunchbox, the salad bar… we want our Toblerones to be on hand whenever you feel the urge.

The feedback we have received here at Toblerone Headquarters in the Cayman Islands has been fantastic. It turns out that our customers love the new size of our bars, and can’t wait to get their hands on them. This is a positive change, driven by our customers, and they recognise the benefits the new size of Toblerone provides to them.

We will continue to promote healthy eating, and our care for the environment, in whatever way we can.

Yours tastefully,

Rufus Edelsmier

It sounds like they are really trying to do the right thing by us all. People posting here are being too negative, and not looking at the background and the real reasons for this change! :smiling_imp:


#7

I just did a web search for Toblerone, and apparently it has encountered consumer fury in the past - winning a Shonky in 2012.

Still, although I know some who wouldn’t have a bar of Toblerone I continue to chews* them. Yes, they milk consumers for all they’re worth, using honeyed words and seeking to block allsorts of comments; in particular, I hear they have tried to chase down all monde** comments.

*I feel a little guilty about this spelling.
**Yes, I know it’s a stretch - but the pun is the thing.

I’ll quit the puns before I’m barred.


#8

I see what you did there!


#9

Thanks for letting us know about this @postulative, I have shared it to the relevant departments within CHOICE as well :+1:


#10

I recently bought a packet of Perfect Italiano block parmesan cheese and noticed it seemed smaller than normal. When I got home I found I had another packet in the fridge. The new one has shrunk to 200g down from 250g. I wonder if the price has dropped accordingly?


#11

Thanks for letting us know @aschefamily, I’ve passed this onto our media team.


#12

These are two different “varieties” so you might need to check both types. I used to work in the dairy section of a supermarket chain, the different strengths of cheese often come in different sizes :slight_smile:


#13

I thought I remembered them all being the same size in the past.


#14

Actually I think you’re right. Maybe this was a new variety which they have made smaller. I’ve never noticed it before and have been buying these cheeses for a long time. It was the only type on the day I was buying - my regular ones were out.


#15

Just visited Woolies and they had Uncle Tobys muesli bars on special for $6.00 per pack. The interesting thing was there were new “15 bar value packs” available alongside some older packs containing 18 bars. We weren’t tempted by the new value packs and opted for a couple of the older packs with 18 bars in them, they were the same varieties as the new packs, just better value for us, not Uncle Tobys.


#16

Hiya hitspacebar

It sounds like you are a switched on shopper that will not be fooled by a glossy picture and new advertising.

This is why we have a choice and free will to choose what we want.

Well done for being a savvy shopper and noticing the extra expense!
Cheers Natalie :slight_smile:


#17

Arnott’s has reduced the snack packs from 10 to 8 packs in some of it’s products . The recommended retail price remains the same at $3.99 .


#18

Thanks for the heads up @vax2000 :thumbsup:

Seems like product shrinkage is all the rage these days!


#19

It will be much easier for more businesses to shrink pack size if the quantity is not shown on the front of packs. At present they must put it there but the preferred option in a recent federal govt Options Paper is to allow businesses to choose where they show it.
Overseas this has resulted in the quantity often being displayed only on the back of packs.
I think this has many negative impacts for consumers and the economy including:

  • will reduce consumer awareness and use of the info
  • will lead to less well informed decisions by consumers
  • will reduce competition
  • will facilitate “shrinkflation” (which can also result in higher effective price increases than if the selling price is increased)
    and
  • is contrary to international recommendations/guidelines by OIML and the FAO’s Codex Alimentarius that the quantity info be on the front of the pack and to the spirit of UNCTAD’s consumer protection guidelines.
    Also
  • there are flaws in the estimation of benefits and costs, esp calculation of cost to consumers and omission of effects on competition and prices
  • estimated net benefits of only $3.6 million a year are insignificant relative to the multi-billion dollar cost of these products and the risks involved in making changes.

**If you agree, and have not already done so, send an email to **
PackagingReview@industry.gov.au


#20

Here is a link to a news article about the changes:

http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/eat-drink/2017/07/27/arnotts-under-fire-as-teddy-bears-picnic-gets-smaller/