Monday, 22 Apr 2024

Shoppers boycotting reduced-size ‘shrinkflation’ products

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UK shoppers are hitting back at ‘shrinkflation’ with a reported one in five consumers boycotting products that have been reduced in size, but not in price. 

Two in three, meanwhile, say they have noticed leading brands and supermarkets carrying out the act of shrinking packaging without offering discounts. 

Household names such as Cadbury, Warburtons, Walkers, McVities and Fairy Liquid are just some of the alleged culprits, amid the ongoing cost of living crisis. 

It comes as leading stores reduce the size of their own brands of products, ranging from household essentials to ready meals. 

Consumer activity analysis from Barclays published on Monday (June 5) read: “Amid ongoing concerns around rising food prices (88 per cent), two thirds (65 per cent) of shoppers have noticed that some products are now being sold in smaller package or portion sizes, yet cost the same or more than they used to – otherwise known as ‘shrinkflation’.

“The products most frequently cited as being impacted by shrinkflation are chocolate (50 per cent), crisps (40 per cent), packs of biscuits (39 per cent) and snack bars (35 per cent).”

It added: “In response, a fifth of consumers (20 per cent) are switching away from products which have been downsized by manufacturers in favour of buying products in bulk which offer better value for money.”

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), argues however, that shrinking packaging isn’t misleading as prices and quantites are always stated on packs. 

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The lobby group added, however, that the value of consumer card spending was 3.9% higher this May than in the same month last year, although once adjusted for inflation there had been a significant drop in sales volumes.

BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson commented: “The trio of bank holidays failed to get shoppers spending as sales growth slowed to its lowest level in six months. While food sales got a boost from the coronation weekend, this was not sustained for the rest of the month.

“Meanwhile, growth in discretionary spend continued to tumble as the high cost of living squeezed households. There was cause for some optimism, however, as brighter weather at the end of the month led to a much-needed pickup in summer fashion sales, as well as gardening and DIY products.”

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