A U.K. consumer group is calling for a better way to label products to reflect prices by volume or weight after noticing that more food and consumer products companies are reducing pack sizes but keeping prices high, reported The Daily Mirror on April 19.
The group, known as Which?, recently found that three more brands -- including
varieties of Carte D’Or ice cream, Magnum ices and Ariel detergent -- had
smaller pack sizes priced the same as for the larger pack sizes previously
Which? researcher Matt Clear says that he
discovered the smaller pack sizes in groceries ordered online from Tesco. When
they arrived, the pack sizes were smaller than advertised but the prices were
the same, according to the article on Mirror.co.uk.
Which? says that the practice, which is known as “shrink-ray,” can be “an
underhand way of raising prices.” Without a standard method of comparing the
prices by weight or volume, “it can be easy to miss,” says Clear.
A recent Which? study of supermarket shoppers found that 85% realized that food
packs were smaller but prices had not changed.
Smaller beverage bottles and cartons were noticed by 40%, just over one-third
saw that cleaning products had shrunk, and one-fifth realized that makeup and
beauty items were running out sooner, The Daily Mirror reports.
Manufacturers admitted to reducing the package sizes but not the prices. A
spokesperson for Unilever NV, which makes Carte D’Or and Magnum, said the move
was intended to offset higher prices it is paying for commodities, like vanilla
Other products that have recently been packed in smaller containers with no
change in price include Dairylea Cheese Spread, Birds Eye Crispy Chicken,
Branston Smooth Pickle and Fairy All-in-One dishwasher tablets.
Consumers are more likely to accept smaller packs than higher prices, said a
spokesperson for PZ Cussons Group, which makes Imperial Leather, reportsThe
In the UK, some products sizes are shrinking while prices stay the same
May 1, 2012