Festive faves hit by ‘shrinkflation’ as shoppers show how Christmas treats have declined in size over the years

6 December 2023, 01:37

A new study has revealed the impact of 'shrinkflation'.
A new study has revealed the impact of 'shrinkflation'. Picture: Tiktok/Deborah Lee Cowell/Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Some 60% of shoppers have noticed the impact of shrinkflation on festive treats, a new report has revealed.

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Christmas is set to cost Brits an average of an £105 extra this Christmas - but it's not just bank accounts that will be affected.

According to a report by Barclays, 36 per cent of consumers said they have noticed the impact of ‘shrinkflation’ on chocolate boxes.

Shrinkflation is a tactic used by manufacturers to maintain profit margins as production costs increase.

Instead of rising prices, manufacturers will shrink packet sizes to prevent noticeable changes to consumer prices.

The report also revealed that a further 28 per cent of consumers have noticed the impact of shrinkflation on tins of biscuits, 15 per cent on cheese, 14 per cent on mince pies, and 13 per cent on Christmas cake.

Some of the most iconic festive chocolates, such as Celebrations, Quality Street and Roses are among those to have shrunk over the years.

A video shared on Tiktok by creator Deborah Lee Cowell claims to show how the quintessential festive treat, Celebrations, has downsized over the years.

The video purports to show the dramatic shift in size from a 2009 celebrations box to 2023.

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In the clip, she says: “This is the Celebration box today with the tiny best before date there, and it's 600g.

“And the one that I've had in my cupboard for years holding my dog's biscuits treats which is, best before date nice and big so you can read it, 29/03/09, and it's holding 975g. The difference in that.'

The report found that food and drink were expected to contribute most significantly to the growing average cost of Christmas this year.

Food and drink contributed to a £25.87 rise on average, followed by gifts at £18.62 and activities at £11.86.

It comes after French retailer Carrefour started labelling products that had shrunk its product sizes over the summer - leading to calls for UK supermarkets to do the same.

Jack Meaning, Chief UK Economist at Barclays, said: “This data suggests consumers are continuing to spend more but get less for their money, as spending growth remains below inflation.

“However, the gap is narrowing as the rate of price increases slows, and we expect it to narrow further in the coming months.”

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