The Office for National Statistics has been collating the sizes and portions of the products sold to the nation, and has declared "shrinkflation" a very real phenomenon that's seen 2,529 things sold in the UK shrink in size when compared with the more generous package contents of the glorious, benchmark year of 2012, when everyone wanted to be in the UK and the Tolberones hadn't been eroded away by time.
The ONS says it's the sugary sector that's been hit the most, although it casts doubt on claims that portion sizes are being reduced to cover for an increase in the cost of raw materials. The prices of cocoa and sugar did indeed hit record highs in late 2014 and early 2015, but have since fallen back -- suggesting that the prices of chocolate should start coming down now, much like the way the cost of fuel fluctuates depending on the crude oil price.
But of course they haven't and won't. Some of the biggest pack content reductions have come from the non-food sectors, though, with Andrex toilet rolls seeing an eight per cent reduction in wiping capacity thanks to the number of sheets per roll falling from 2012's 240 to 2017's 221, and Tropicana Orange and Raspberry juice packs falling in size from the standard one litre pack to an arbitrary 850ml.
It's not because of Brexit, though. The ONS says the trend kicked in well before the EU referendum, explaining: "...our analysis doesn’t show a noticeable change following the referendum that would point towards a Brexit effect. Furthermore, others had been observing these shrinking pack sizes long before the EU referendum, and several manufacturers have denied that this is a major factor." [Office for National Statistics via BBC]
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