The well-known products that have been hit by ‘shrinkflation’


Shrinkflation has become a tactic used by many leading FMCG brands and retailers over the past year to counter soaring production costs with product sizes shrunk to ensure the same taste and quality.

According to recent research from Barclays, consumers are noticing shrinkflation most across products including chocolate, crisps and biscuits, and 21% are switching to brands that have not reduced the size of their products.

Just last month, supermarkets in the UK were urged to follow French supermarket Carrefour in putting warning labels on products that have been impacted by shrinkflation.

As shoppers are becoming more aware of the changes in size and price, we take a look at the well-known products that have suffered from shrinkflation during the cost-of-living crisis.

Mars – Galaxy chocolate bars

In September confectionery giant Mars slimmed down the size of Galaxy Smooth Milk chocolate bars at the same time that supermarkets raised prices.

The bars were cut by 10g to 100g and cost £1.25 in Tesco, in comparison to 99p for 110g in July 2022.

While retailers are responsible for setting prices in stores, it is understood that Galaxy owner Mars increased its price to supermarkets in October 2022.

A Galaxy spokesperson told The Telegraph at the time that it has been “actively trying to find ways to absorb the rising cost of raw materials and operations” at a time when the price of sugar hit its peak in over a decade.

The spokesperson added: “Unfortunately, the growing pressures mean that more needs to be done. Reducing the size of our products is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is necessary for shoppers to still be able to enjoy their favourite Galaxy treats without compromising on quality or taste.”

Blue Dragon noodles

Blue Dragon has shrunk its 300g packs of fine egg noodles, medium egg noodles and whole wheat noodles by 50g, with each pack now containing four nests instead of six.

According to Associa data and The Grocer, the old packs were priced at £1.50 in Morrisons and Tesco, however the new, smaller packs are now 43.2% and 40% more expensive, priced at £1.79 and £1.70, respectively.

A spokesperson for AB World Foods, the manufacturer of Blue Dragon, told the publication that it had altered the size due to “significant increases in the cost of ingredients, energy and transportation”.

“The price of our products as sold in store or online is always at the sole discretion of the retailer.”

McVitie’s – Digestives, Club biscuits and Penguin bars

In February, McVitie’s Digestives were cut from 400g to 360g, while multi-packs of Penguin bars and Club biscuits were reduced from eight items per pack to seven.

At the time, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up the cost of commodity crops such as wheat and vegetable oils that are widely used in the manufacture of biscuits.

McVitie’s owner Pladis said: “Like many businesses, we continue to see an unprecedented rise in input costs and inflationary pressures.”

Hellmann’s mayonnaise

Hellmann’s mayonnaise jars were slimmed down from 800g to 600g in May.

At Tesco, the 600g jars are priced at £3.75, however the previous 800g version cost £4.30, which equates to 9p more per 100g.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), ingredients found in Hellmann’s mayonnaise such as olive oil and eggs have seen big price increases, with olive oil up 49% in the 12 months to March 2023.

A Unilever spokesperson told The Telegraph at the time of change: “Although we are currently experiencing significant increases in input costs, including the costs of the quality ingredients used to make Hellmann’s mayonnaise, we will always try to absorb as much of the cost pressure ourselves and look for savings within our own business before passing on pricing to customers.”

Richmond’s meat-free

Richmond meat-free sausages

Richmond relaunched several meat-free products in June with smaller pack sizes and increased prices by up to 25% per gram.

Its meat-free bacon packs were reduced from 150g to 120g, while its meat-free sausages in chilled and frozen formats were shrunk from 336g to 304g.

The price of the frozen sausages remained the same at £2.15 despite the change in size.

A Richmond spokesperson told The Grocer that this came as a result of “rising production costs” and was “not a decision we made lightly”, adding that the brand remains “committed to offering the best possible value for money without compromising on quality or taste”.

Lurpak butter

Lurpak 200g butter

Arla Foods butter brand Lurpak cut its 250g packs by 20% to 200g across its salted, unsalted and ‘lighter’ block varieties in May.

This came despite the average price of a 250g block of butter having risen by 37p, according to ONS.

At Tesco and Sainsbury’s, the 200g block was priced at £2.15 in May and continues to be the same price at the time of writing.

Arla Foods VP of marketing Danny Micklethwaite told The Telegraph at the time: “We want to make our price points more accessible for shoppers, which we believe can be achieved by reducing our pack sizes.”

In June, Arla reduced the recommended selling price of Lurpak’s 250g and 750g spreadable varieties by 20% to better support shoppers.

This came as the dairy company introduced a smaller 400g spreadable pack to replace its 500g tubs, which is also 20% cheaper than the larger former product.


Magnum ice cream

Magnums were one of the first products to suffer from shrinkflation when Unilever slimmed the size of multipacks in July 2022, with 110ml sticks reduced to 100ml.

The change impacts flavours such as classic chocolate, white chocolate, almond, caramel and mint.

Magnum owner Unilever warned of price hikes earlier this year due to ‘accelerated’ input costs through the first three months of 2022.

A Unilever spokesperson said at the time that it was “experiencing large increases in the costs of some of our raw materials, including some of the high-quality ingredients in Magnum”.

“When this happens, we will always try to absorb as much of the cost pressures ourselves before increasing our prices. The retail price of our products is always at the sole discretion of the retailer and we, like all manufacturers, only provide a recommended retail price.”

Nestlé – Quality Street

Quality street tubs are shrinking by 50g for the first time in three years as the FMCG giant Nestlé looks to cut soaring production costs.

In August 2022, Nestlé shrunk Quality Street tubs by 50g to 600g, marking the first time the FMCG giant had slimmed them since 2019, according to Assosia data.

In 2021, the 650g tubs were listed in Tesco for £4, however the grocer is currently pricing the 600g product at £5, while Asda and Sainsbury’s are selling Quality Street at £4.50 and £4, respectively.

At the time of the tub size reduction, a spokesman for Nestlé told the Daily Mail: “We have to make choices to remain competitive – either increase the price, decrease the weight or make the product cheaper.”


Pringles has announced plans to roll out 500 drop off locations for customers to dispose of its tubes, expanding its partnership with TerraCycle. 

Kellogg’s crisp brand Pringles has also fallen victim to shrinkflation according to PowerEpos,  having seen a 7% decrease in size.



2 Comments. Leave new

  • Inflation – Shrinkflation – also we need a THIRD word like qualityinflation to describe the cheapening of ingredients whilst keeping the price the same or raising it, like sunflower oil instead of olive oil or less cocoa content in ‘dark’ chocolate or less fruit on Florentine biscuits or removing certain varieties of chocolate from mixes.

  • Shrinkflation on such is a bleseing..might force one to eat fresh produce instead? Though more hassle to cook, wash..well..threre is a brain to cook simple yet hewathy, not ewuate to delicious though, probably much value for money AND health. Oops…did i feel processed food cursing at me?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.



Sign up to our daily newsletter to get all the latest grocery news and insights direct to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.