‘Rip off’: Cadbury change outrages fans
Cadbury fans are furious over the confectionery giant's decision to slash the size of one its popular items.
Freddo Frogs are a treat that has been loved by generations and while consumers are familiar with paying $5 for a share packet of 15 frogs, they will now have to pay the same price for three fewer frogs.
The packet went from weighing 180g, down to 144g - a 20 per cent decrease in chocolate for the same price. It has gone from 2.78 cents per gram to 3.47 cents per gram.
While many fans have taken to social media to express their disappointment labelling it a "rip off", there's a reason for the size change. And it isn't just Freddos that have been affected.
"Yep, thought it felt light when I picked up the pack the other day but was in a hurry and didn't look closely," one customer wrote on Facebook.
"Refuse to buy Cadbury rip-offs," another threatened.
"I just want to know how there is still a glass-and-a-half of milk in every block. When the block's have gone from 375g to 175g. Just asking," a third commented.
"If they make them any smaller they will have to rebrand as 'Taddy Tadpoles,'" wrote a fourth person.
But many defended the decision pointing out the change is because of "shrinkflation".
"It's been happening for years. Inflation and price increase on ingredients. You either get less or you pay more," one Facebook user said. "Remember back to how big a family block of chocolate used to be compared to now."
Standard blocks first went from 250g down to 200g and now they are just 180g.
Supermarket expert Dr Gary Mortimer from the Queensland University of Technology,
explained "shrinkflation" is a tactic confectionery companies and food manufacturers have been using for "several years".
It occurs when a product's contents reduce but the price stays the same.
"Smiths chips have also done this - their packets were 250g and now it's 175g. And Kelloggs did the same many years ago, reducing the contents inside their cereals, while keeping the price the same."
He said the reason is because the costs of production and sourcing ingredients continue to rise.
"The same costs that families face with electricity rates going up and insurance prices rising, manufacturers face those same cost increases too," Dr Mortimer told news.com.au.
"They have three options - wear cost increase themselves and get less profit, pass the cost increases to the retailer who can wear it themselves or hike prices, or option three, reduce the content - so sell the product at the same price, maintain the same profit margins but we just give shoppers a little less.
"And that's what they have done," he said.
Dr Mortimer added that brands weren't breaking any rules by doing this.
He said most shoppers wouldn't notice unless they looked very carefully at the changes of the weight printed on the label, while revealing a handy tip.
"Look at the unit price on shelf label. It will have the retail price and the unit price," he said.
"If grammage reduces then the unit price goes, while the retail price might remain the same.
"Shoppers tend to overlook that one little trick when shopping."
Cadbury's change to the number of pieces in the sharebags was rolled out back in April.
Paul Chatfield, marketing director for Cadbury, told news.com.au it has been five years since the company last reviewed the size of its Cadbury sharepacks.
"And with all Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate in Australia made in Tasmania and Victoria, our costs have gone up over this time," he said.
He said he would have "preferred to avoid" downsizing Freddo packs but the company had done so because of production costs.
"Earlier this year, we made the difficult decision to reduce the number of pieces in several of our sharepacks rather than increase the recommended retail price, as the best way to maintain affordability for Australians."
Originally published as 'Rip off': Cadbury change outrages fans