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Mars bars, Oreos: The products shrinking in size but not in price

·2-min read
oreo biscuits and woman shopping
Mars bars and Bega peanut butter are some of the items getting stung by 'shrinkflation'. (Source: Getty)

Bega peanut butter, Burger Rings and Finish dishwasher tablets are among the popular grocery products getting more expensive while shrinking in size.

Known as ‘shrinkflation’, it’s a tactic food and beverage manufacturers use to battle inflationary pressures without losing customers.

Bega peanut butter has shrunk from 500g to 470g despite becominging 20 cents more expensive ($5.70 to $5.90), according to new data from grocery app Frugl.

Finish Quantum Ultimate Pro dishwasher tablets lemon used to come in a packet of 48 but now come in a pack of 46, despite now being $2 more expensive.

Jumpys multipack chicken chips have increased by 30 cents despite having one less pack, and Burger Rings have lost 10g despite getting 20 cents more expensive.

Products that have reduced in size, while the price has actually increased.
Products that have reduced in size, while the price has actually increased. (Source: Frugl)

Several products have also become smaller despite staying the same price, including Mars Bars, Oreo Cookies and Helga's wraps.

In July 2021, a $2 Mars chocolate bar shrank from 53g to 47g.

An eight pack of Helga's wraps traditional white had also diminished from 560g to 508g in September 2021 despite staying the same price.

Arnotts Tina Wafers have also been trimmed - from 250g to 200g - marking a 20 per cent reduction in size for the same price.

A packet of Oreo cookies Original has also shed a little weight, dropping from 137g to 133g in February 2020.

These products have reduced in size, while the price has remained the same
These products have reduced in size, while the price has remained the same. (Source: Frugl)

Why do companies shrink products?

Basically, when the cost of production goes up, like it has recently, food and beverage companies try to hide these rising costs by skimming some weight out of their products without altering the price.

Although sometimes manufacturers have other reasons to shrink products - such as changes to regulation that limit the amount of sugar used in products, for example, or dictate what packaging can be used.

Canstar finance expert Effie Zahos said the best way to combat shrinkflation was with unit pricing.

This is when you shop by comparing products, like for like, based on their actual weight.

She said this was easy to do online because most online stores allowed customers to filter unit prices from lowest to highest.

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