Marks & Spencer has upped the cost of its popular Percy Pig sweets by 10% – but doesn’t seem to have told anyone.
A 170g bag is now priced £1.65, up from £1.50 a few months ago. M&S has also increased the price of its multi-buy deal, where you can now get two bags for £3, up from £2.50 previously.
An M&S spokesperson said: “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.”
The retailer declined to say when the price rise was introduced but it is another example of shrinkflation in full effect.
That’s when businesses up the price but not the quantity, or cut the quantity but sell a product for the same price.
Just last month, McVitie’s cut the number of Jaffa Cakes in a standard box from 12 to 10. While the recommended retail price was lowered from £1.15 to 99p, the smaller pack still meant an increase in cost per cake.
And Haribo reduced the size of its packs of Tangfastics, Starmix and Giant Strawbs but kept the price the same.
Earlier this year, the Office for National Statistics reported that supermarkets and food companies had shrunk more than 2,500 products over the past five years – while keeping the price the same.
There has been outrage as the likes of Toblerone slashed the number of little triangular peaks on the famous chocolate and how the Walnut Whip ditched its eponymous nut to become a Walnot Whip.
Various manufacturers have used the impact of the Brexit referendum vote on the value of the pound for upping prices or cutting size.
Many have argued the cost of importing raw materials and ingredients has climbed as sterling has fallen against the euro and other currencies.
Equally, some major producers, such as Unilever, have been at loggerheads with supermarkets as they try to pass on hefty price increases for such staples as Marmite to consumers.