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Quality Street to shrink in size for Christmas

lots of_quality_street_11_09_12They are a festive staple for many households across the UK. But this year, the brightly wrapped chocolates won’t stretch as far, as Nestle cut sizes and costs

Tins of Quality Street are almost as synonymous with Christmas as mince pies and boozy Xmas pudd. Passing around the purple tin containing decadently wrapped caramel and fruit cream filled treats is a necessity, while watching the televised festive latest offerings. But this year the tin might stop a couple of circuits short around the living room, as Nestle have chosen to dispatch slightly more scrooge-like chocolate filled tins to supermarkets.

No, this isn’t the nightmare before Christmas. In a decision that will shock festive and chocolate enthusiasts, alike, Nestle have shrunk their tins of Quality Street, just before the Christmas period when sales of the sweets are at their highest.

And not only will you get less chocolate, you’ll have to pay exactly the same price for your purple tin. Failing to reduce the cost of the chocs, food giant Nestle have come up against mass criticism from campaigners, who have described the move as a hidden price rise.

And if Nestle thought they could fool consumers with the new, compact size, they were wrong. Reduced in size by a hefty 18 per cent, from 1kg to 820g, trade magazine The Grocer has described the move as a terrible strike of ‘The Christmas shrink ray’.

While Nestle may be the festive culprit in the spotlight, the move is part of a trend amongst confectionary manufacturers to reduce product sizes in order counter rising production costs. Other Christmas favourite Cadbury’s Roses were reduced from 975g to 850g by manufacturer Kraft last year, while the American company also cut Miniature Heroes from 950g to 800g.

And it’s not just the beloved Christmas tins that are shrinking. Smaller chocolate bars like Mars and Dairy Milk have also been affected by size reductions. Packets of Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts, meanwhile, have been reduced from 215g to 190g. And bags of Bassett’s Jelly Babies, Maynards Wine Gums and Haribo have all been reduced in weight.

Consumer watchdog Which? is on hand to fight the customer side of the shrinking equation, however. Not wanting to mince their words they have accused confectionary companies of ‘treating customers like idiots.’

Nestle, meanwhile, has maintained that, ‘The recommended retail price of our standard tin has reduced proportionally greater than the reduction of the weight, ensuring consumers are getting more for their money.’ The confectioner also shifted the blame noting, ‘The price shopkeepers sell Quality Street at is at their sole discretion.’

And drawing other chocolate manufacturers into the equation, the spokesperson continued to confirm that, ‘The tin size weight is now in line with similar products in the market who reduced weight in previous years.’

Let’s hope the tins are on ‘buy one get one free’ offers to stop grumbles from the family.

Picture credit: Shutterstock

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