Quality Street tins shrink



The food industry is up to its duping tricks again according to a new report that reveals we'll be getting less of our family favourite chocolates this Christmas.

Nestle has cut the quantity of Quality Street chocolates in its tins for the festive season, yet failed to slash the price.

We reported earlier this year how sizing tricks from supermarkets and food brands are duping consumers into paying more for less.

Now a report from trade magazine, The Grocer, reports that the size of Quality Street tins – a household staple across the country come Christmas time – have been reduced in size by 18% from 1kg to 820g.

Producer Nestle has been criticised for failing to reduce the price of the chocolates, prompting campaigners to describe the move as a hidden price rise.

The report in trade magazine The Grocer said: "The Christmas shrink ray has struck again, and this year it is Nestle pulling the trigger.

"The tins are being sold by Tesco for £5, the same price as last year's larger tins, though Nestle claimed the recommended selling price was lower."

More for less
Nestle's decision follows similar moves from other Christmas favourites last year, which saw Cadbury's Roses reduce from from 975g to 850g and Heroes chocolates cut from 950g to 800g.

The move to reduce product sizes is increasingly widespread throughout the industry as supermarkets and food brands attempt to counter rising production and food costs. The impact on confectionary has been particularly noticeable, with Mars and Dairy Milks reducing in size, while Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts and Jelly Babies, Maynards Wine Gums and Haribo have also reduced in weight.

Underhand pricing
Consumer watchdog Which? accused confectionary companies of "treating customers like idiots" and said that shrinking products is just an underhand way of raising prices.

As part of a wider call for clearer pricing to allow customers to accurately compare the price of products, the consumer champion is campaigning for supermarkets to improve the way they display unit prices.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, says: "People are struggling with rising food prices and shouldn't be expected to carry a calculator around the supermarket in order to work out the best value. We want supermarkets to help their customers through clear and consistent unit pricing."

In the meantime, consumers are urged to vote with their feet and simply avoid products that they don't feel genuinely offer good value for money.

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