Marks & Spencer has increased the cost of its popular Percy Pig sweets by 10 percent – but does not seem to have announced the price increase.
A 170g bag is now priced at £1.65, from £1.50 a few months ago. Marks & Spencer has also raised the price of its multi-buy deal, where customers can now get two bags for £3, from £2.50 previously.
A spokesperson from Marks & Spencer stated: “We always strive to offer our customers great value and at £1.65 for a 170g bag, given the quality and taste, we think Percy is the best value sweet treat on the high street.”
However, the retailer refused to say when the price increase was introduced but it is another example of a shrinkflation in full effect.
A shrinkflation happens when businesses increase the price but not the quantity, or decrease the quantity but sell the product for the same price.
Just last month, McVitie’s decreased the number of Jaffa Cakes in a standard box from the original 12 to 10. While the recommended retail price was decreased from £1.15 to 99p, the smaller pack still involved an increase in cost per cake.
Haribo also reduced the size of its packs of Starmix, Giant Strawbs, and Tangfastics but kept the price the same.
Earlier in 2017, the Office for National Statistics reported that food companies and supermarkets had shrunk more than 2,500 products for the past five years – while maintaining the price.
There has been outrage as the likes of Toblerone decreased the number of the little triangular peaks on the chocolate and how the Walnut Whip deserted its eponymous nut to become a “Walnot” Whip.
Many manufacturers have used the effect of the Brexit referendum vote on the value of the pound for increasing prices or reducing size.
Most have argued that the cost of importing ingredients and raw materials has increased as sterling has weakened against the euro and other currencies.
Equally, some major producers, including Unilever, have been at loggerheads with supermarkets as they attempt to pass on massive price increases for such staples as Marmite to consumers.