Mark Jones reacts on BBC to Cadbury shrinkflation statement

Tuesday 21st July 2020

Mark Jones, partner at Gordons and an expert in the food and drink supply chain, has been quoted in national media including the BBC, Guardian and Express following an announcement from Cadbury that it will be shrinking the size of some popular chocolate bars.

Cadbury has said the shrinkages, which will apply to multipack bars only, are being introduced to support efforts to reduce obesity in the UK. But with no reduction in price, it means consumers get less product for their money – commonly termed ‘shrinkflation’ in the FMCG sector.

Mark Jones said: “This is a sign of the times. You may remember in July 2017, the ONS confirmed that 2,529 products shrank in size between January 2012 and June 2017 but their price remained the same. The vast majority of the affected products were food and drink.

“Whilst that process has slowed in recent years, we can expect a new wave of shrinking products. The phenomenon was embraced by the market as a consequence of the last recession. No food producers wanted to increase the on-the-shelf price but, at the same time, they needed to cover the cost of rising overheads and limited volume growth in the packaged food market. The solution was to modestly reduce the size as consumers, generally, don’t notice.

“Now we are on the brink of another recession, shrinkflation will probably increase again. Only this time, when the producers are caught, they are likely to point to the obesity epidemic as their motivation rather than their margins.”

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