Shrinkflation: Paying for air | Fin24
  • Load Shedding Schedules

    Find information for Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and other cities.

  • Lockdown

    Once restrictions are lifted, will customers return to SA's malls?

  • Exchange Rates

    The rand is approaching the R20/$ mark. Here's why you should care.


Shrinkflation: Paying for air

Apr 08 2014 14:24
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

Share your shrinkflation experience with Fin24 - drop us an email and you could get published.

* Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyFin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views of users published on Fin24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.ells how he overcame his unemployment crisis



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

Voting Booth

Do you support a reduction in the public sector wage bill?

Previous results · Suggest a vote