Shrinkflation Hits The UK: Toblerone Shrinks By 10%, Price Stays The Same

Tyler Durden's picture

One of the oldest tricks in the inflationary book - shrinking the contents while keeping the size the same - has struck chocolate lovers in the UK's today, where Toblerone fans are crying foul after its maker announced the chocolate bar's shape and weight are changing to keep costs down.

Mondelez reduced the weight of a version of Toblerone sold to British discounter Poundland to 150 grams from 170 grams by spacing its triangular chocolate peaks out more widely. Another altered version, lightened to 360 grams from 400 grams, is sold in stores other than Poundland, a Toblerone spokeswoman said. The maker kept the packaging and the price of the reduced product the same in an attempt to mask what is effectively a ~10% increase in price.

In a Facebook statement, Toblerone said: "We always work hard to ensure we offer value for money for our consumers, but like many other companies, unfortunately we are experiencing higher costs for many ingredients," the Toblerone spokeswoman said."

We carry these costs for as long as possible, but to ensure Toblerone remains on-shelf, is affordable and retains the triangular shape, we have had to reduce the weight of just two of our bars in the UK, from the wider range of available Toblerone products.

The scaled-down version was prompted by higher commodity prices and had nothing to do with the British pound's plunge in value since Britons voted in June to exit the European Union, manufacturer Mondelez International. Milk prices have also started to rise, boosted by a pick-up in demand and tighter supplies in the EU. Cocoa prices have been weaker this year but remain comparatively high after hitting a more than four-year peak late last year.

Mondelez exports Toblerone to 120 countries from a Swiss plant in Bern. Its main sales channel is duty-free outlets. Furthermore, with the ongoing decline in sterling, more shrinking may lay in store. The candy maker joines other multinationals such as Unilever, which was the first to move with an attempt to impose 10% rises on a host of big brands like savory spread Marmite, Pot Noodle and Magnum ice cream last month, triggering a dispute with supermarket group Tesco. A bag of Britain's biggest-selling potato chips is set to rise by 10 percent after maker Walkers said this week the sterling slump had pushed up manufacturing costs.

* * *

Meanwhile, as Reuters put it, a vocal "Tobler-moan" broke out on social media in Britain as it was the third case in a month in which UK brands have taken steps, including big price hikes, to offset higher costs for their products in the wake of the Brexit vote.

"This must be up there with the dumbest corporate decisions of all time," Toblerone customer Michal Tat posted. "You have a somewhat premium chocolate bar which is very well known for its distinctive shape, and to save money you change the shape? Now you have a premium-priced product that looks like a weird knock-off of itself....Shame on you, Mondelez."

"It's not as if people eat Toblerone every day. You could literally double the price and people would still buy it. Fools," posted Nicholas Barker.

Writing on Facebook, Alex Barrett questioned why the company had not put up a picture of the new bar.

"I suspect not because you know full well it looks wrong," he said. "It's not aesthetically pleasing and it no longer looks like a premium product."

Dan Rickwood posted: "Hi Toblerone, I am one of your biggest fans and love your chocolate, but I bought a 150g Toblerone earlier only to be left upset, disappointed and a little distressed!

"In fact I felt cheated a tad in the way that they are now spaced out so much losing out on Toblerone goodness, I'm upset Toblerone I'm sorry but I really am."

Rachel Yates had a tip for fellow Toblerone enthusiasts: "If I can't have the iconic chunky triangles I'll buy the budget supermarket version. Tastes the same and is cheaper. Think you've just scored a home goal Toblerone."

Some loyal customers are even urging a boycott until the company has a change of heart. 

Mondelez, which also owns Cadbury, was criticised in recent years for changing much-loved products such as Creme Eggs and Dairy Milk bars. Walkers crisps and Birds Eye also revealed price rises last week, blaming the falling value of the pound for making the import of raw materials more expensive.

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Colonel Klink's picture

Fucking cockroaches are everywhere I tell ya!

Yukon Cornholius's picture

What a surprise. Mondelez fucking with the Oreo recipe is what killed things for me. They made triscuits shittier too!

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

You mean you don't like "sawdust" in your triscuits?...

Yukon Cornholius's picture

Sweet sassy molassy! That is an ugly fuckin woman.

Secret Weapon's picture

The government will argue that because the new wrapper is smaller it is more environmentally friendly and therefore the value you are receiving is actually greater - so no inflation.

rejected's picture

No inflation says all the governments and their central banks while they print away. Gotta have them tools of war, ya know.

Colonel Klink's picture

Keep complaining and they'll get the Tobler-droned.

holgerdanske's picture

idiotic, like cutting Mont Blanc. They have lost it

Billy Shears's picture

These assholes wont raise prices because they wont raise wages. Fuck their shitty chocolate bar; You lose sir, you get nothing (from me).

LA_Goldbug's picture

Nothing new for those that pay attention. The strange none whole number weights and the none changing package size trick has been very visible for the last few years.

The next best trick by them is putting in "puffiness" so that we can enjoy that delicate sensation of eating air. But the size of the delicacy looks ever so inviting to spend the money on this air.

Pliskin's picture

Quick Tip to all my fellow ZH'ers, if you ever get a Toblerone stuck up your arse, don't pull it out straight away, wait a while, until the sharp corners have melted!

You're welcome.


NuYawkFrankie's picture

re UK Toblerone Shrinks By 10%

If only their women would do the same... and then some...

Colonel Klink's picture

In America most women are SUPERSIZED!

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Where the likes of Loretta "Where's The Buffet?" Lynch is a public icon, that's hardly surprising.

yellowsub's picture

That's not bad really when you consider what Nabisco did with their cookies by renaming their current package as family and releasing a smaller package 30% less and calling that the standard and selling it at the old price.

jay35's picture

This has happened to a lot of products in the U.S. but either no one bothered to notice or no one talks about it for some reason.

LA_Goldbug's picture

You can see this everywhere in Europe. On my trips there I made a point of looking at this as with time as I noticed that things were getting lighter and lighter but the packaging looked the same for a given brand of product.

Another one they are pulling off is changing the product composition depending on the country !!!!! A Nestle product in Germany versus Czech Republic ,thought has the same packaging, will have a different ingredient mix. Guess what they put less of and substitute it with.

cheech_wizard's picture

MOAR sawdust, rat droppings, insect parts, and gmo...

Standard Disclaimer: Just what growing children need...

kw2012's picture

I've stopped buying a lot of stuff that has shrunk their portion sizes. The original portion sizes were made for a reason. People for whatever reason would feel they got the most value at a certain size. Now you have to buy odd multiples, or you run out so frequently it becomes an inconvenience etc...

Joyo Bliss's picture

Cheap sugary crap anyway.

I've been trying to get healthy lately - stopped smoking, joined a gym, had a physical - passed with flying colours, eat less meat and carbs, and more veggies these days.

...and stopped eating junk food ... especially sugar.

I liked Toblerone before, but once you stop sugar, your taste buds don't need it anymore and it seems sickly sweet to eat sugar now.

My travel pack of Tums is in the drawer now ... don't need them anymore.

LA_Goldbug's picture

On a trip to Indonesia I bought a run of the mill chocolate bar in a supper market as well as some of their more expensive chocolates. We compared back home later how they stacked against local products. It turned out that the cheap Indonesian chocolate tasted better than the so called excellent Lindt sold in our local supermarket !!!! They are ripping us off like hell. Glitzy packaging cost nothing as well as chemical mixes that simulate chocolate taste. It's called Food Science in our Universities.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

re joined a gym..


Forget the gym - thats for poseurs, pus$$ies & wannabees

Strap on a backpack with at least 10% of your bodyweight.

When you can walk 10 miles - OUTDOORS, OVER HILLY TERRAIN with that, repeat with 15% over 15miles, then call back for further instructions.

- No 2.


Joyo Bliss's picture

Easy to say; tough to find the time.

I'm not a poser, but I can get in and out of the gym in 1.5 hr and have walked on hilly terrain on the elliptical for an hour on flat or varying degrees of uphill terrain, and be sweating my balls off by the end of it.

I used to think that way about people and why they go, but I don't want to be a part of any of that posing shit. I don't want to be buff; just healthy.

Whatever, dude.

Boxed Merlot's picture

Yep, that professor had her thinking cap on when printing out the new label too. You'll notice the % values go up on the smaller weighted bar because they're based on a "per triangle" measurement. What isn't available for comparison is the number of "triangles" or an equivalent way to compare to any other standard of measurement. More useless information.

"Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord." - Proverbs 20:10

Kinda like having a currency valued by the floating values of others, a house on sand.


robertocarlos's picture

It's all good. Now you will be a 10% less fat-ass.

Iconoclast421's picture

I used to be able to buy candy bars on sale at the grocery stores for 4 for $1 not even 10 years ago. Even 3 years ago 3 for $1 sales were common. Now all I see is 2 for $1 sales. Its a good thing I dont eat carbs anymore.

gaoptimize's picture

"The bad news delivered by the telescreen was that the chocolate ration would be reduced from 30 grams to 20 grams at the start of the following week. Later on in the Ministry of Truth as Winston was correcting information for The Times, it was revealed that the Ministry of Plenty had some time back issued a categorical pledge that there would be no further reduction of chocolate rations during that year. Ironically, one day later, demonstrations were held in praise of Big Brother for increasing the chocolate ration to twenty grams. Winston was stunned at how mindless everyone else seemed to be for forgetting in just a span of twenty four hours that the ration had actually been decreased and not increased."

Ajax_USB_Port_Repair_Service_'s picture


cuzzinjak318's picture

PG TIPS tea bags for 240 used to be 750 grams now 696 for 240 bags toblerone not only ones doing it they all at it cadburys are the same SHRINKFLATION as been here a long time , they wont put prices up because it would affect inflation and us sheep mwould be after bigger pay rises etc,see how devious they are

SgtShaftoe's picture

Citizens will be pleased to celebrate the chocolate ration being increased to 360 grams a week.  We have always been at war with Eastasia.  Doubleplus good!!

SubjectivObject's picture

The ShadowStats type competency should back calculate to a real rate of inflation as seen by producers and based on these shrinkflation metrics, making the general assumption that they are maintaining a nominally constant percent profit.

HenryKissingerChurchill's picture

Big Brother has raised the chocolate ration from 30 to 20 grams a week. <<1984, George Orwell>>

They are fücking creative aren´t they?

bluskyes's picture

"The scaled-down version was prompted by higher commodity prices and had nothing to do with the British pound's plunge in value"

Are there really people around, stupid enough to believe this nonsense?

TheVoicesInYourHead's picture

But ol'Yellen and the ofher CB's say there is no inlfation and they need to fight deflation?

USCG83's picture

Wait one....We reduced the size and shape of the bar to "reduce" costs? But you're not paying more! Ersatz Triscuits? Who knew!

GreatUncle's picture

It don't work reducing costs if the consumer is strapped out they ain't buying more chocolate bars they are buying less.


Or as I do buy unbranded stuff that tastes as good if not better for a fraction of the price.

Consumers set prices, corporations think they do but end up losing market share.

WezTheJuic's picture

For how many years?


The simple process as applied.



theprofromdover's picture

pronounced "toe bler own"

It used to be a classy swiss chocolate bar of high quality wrapped in tinfoil.

Since the chocolate bar wars (who the heck are Mondelez, I think they were Kraft), the quality has dropped to sugary swamp-fat.

the cardboard is probably tastier.

Good thing they haven't wasted money on a new package size, well done accountants.


GreatUncle's picture

Mondelez International, styled Mondel?z is an American multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company.

Bought out cadburys quite a while ago, they changed the taste etc. I know loads of people just dumped the shit.

All the promises to keep Cadburys going in the UK was a pack of lies.

On the American connection part in a stagnant economy all around the world how do you justify the stock price?

It started downsizing ages ago to maximize the profits and keep up with the rising stock price.

It got dumped because of overpricing and alternative chocolate bars that are way cheaper.

Northern Lights's picture

I fucking hate Toblerone bars.

You want to taste real good swiss mild chocolate, buy a "Milka" bar.  These things are fantastic and they haven't fucked with the recipy in all my 43 years.

Noticed the price on the Milka bars went up also, however, they're not cheating by reducing the size of the bar.  They're just jacking up the price.  I was paying $6 for the large bars back in April.  Went in to buy a bar last week and the price is now $7.

khildner's picture

Buy some toothpaste. Get that taste of sugars and yeast off your teath and out of your mouth. Don't do no filthy sugars. Inhale pure cacao! :)

khildner's picture

... and eat more Marmite or apply it to your shoes!

Joyo Bliss's picture

Haha. They were going to ban Marmite in Canada because of the salt content, but I guess the masses gave the gov the collective Marmite finger, because you can still buy it. I bought 7 jars at the time. I didn't know what to do with it all after I began my health kick ... until now ... shoe polish!