Shoppers are increasingly paying higher prices for products already hit by “shrinkflation” a report claimed last week, describing the effect as “super-shrinkflation”.
Brands and supermarkets are both responsible for the “super-shrinkflation”, The Telegraph stated, after analysing the items at various retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.
In some cases, the cost charged is twice the price per unit compared with last year, stated the report citing how bags of Cheetos crisps when bought in a multi-pack are now 25p per pack, rather than 12.5p. They used to be sold in packs of eight for £1, but now come in sixes for £1.50.
In recent months, Hellman’s large 800g mayonnaise has dropped to 600g but now costs £3.75 instead of £3.29. Penguin chocolate bars were sold in packs of eight for £1.25. Now they are sold in packs of seven for £1.50, meaning that each bar costs 5.8p more.
One particularly striking example is that of Magnum ice creams, from Unilever. Early last year, individual lollies in a pack of four went from 110ml to 100ml, while the price stayed the same at £3. More recently, the number in each pack has gone down to three and the price at Tesco is up from £3 to £3.25, implying each ice cream has gone up 33p to £1.08, while also being several bites smaller.
A McVitie’s digestive biscuit is now up 1.5p to 7.5p, after the number in packs went from 27 to 24, while the price went up from £1.60 to £1.80, claimed the report, adding that ready meals are also affected.
It came after economists warned Britain’s era of cheap food was at an end, with the Bank of England saying grocery price inflation will stay in double digits until the end of the year.
Sue Davies, head of food policy at Which?, said that pack sizes on popular products continue to shrink, but the same can’t be said for their prices – leaving shoppers with a double whammy of paying more for less when they’re doing the weekly shop.
“Supermarkets and manufacturers must be more upfront about the cost of their products and ensure unit pricing is prominent, legible and consistent in-store and online. That way, customers can easily compare prices across different brands and sizes of packaging to ensure they are getting good value.”
The report quoted Pladis, which makes McVitie’s biscuits and Penguins, as saying that as with every company in the sector, the maker has seen its “input costs increase with inflationary pressures across our supply chain and this trend has continued throughout 2023”.