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Easter Eggs Shrinking Due To Climate Change (Or Not!)

March 21, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

It’s like Whack-a Mole!!

 

 

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Some of the nation’s favourite Easter eggs have been hit by ‘shrinkflation’, with the sizes falling, but not the price.

Experts say the phenomenon is being driven by soaring demand for cocoa alongside reduced yields because of climate change.

They fear in future that quality may drop as confectioners are forced to tweak ingredients to cope.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9384983/Easter-egg-favourites-hit-10-shrinkflation.html

 

I’d like to know who these “experts” are, because they are lying through their back teeth!

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, cocoa bean production has been steadily rising for decades, and yields have been stable since the turn of the century, following a dramatic rise.

 

 

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27 Comments
  1. dearieme permalink
    March 21, 2021 1:43 pm

    The M&S plain chocolate digestive biscuits are pretty good. Obvs one should ration oneself to one biscuit per month, and none in Lent.

    • March 21, 2021 8:21 pm

      Sundays in Lent don’t count so today you can eat as much chocolate as you like – or can afford.

  2. stevejay permalink
    March 21, 2021 1:55 pm

    My Grandson is an Easter Egg expert and he says they should be bigger because of the increase in CO2.

  3. It doesn't add up... permalink
    March 21, 2021 2:00 pm

    Cocoa prices seem to be right in the middle of where they have ranged over the past 15 years. You can set the chart to show long term history here

    https://tradingeconomics.com/commodity/cocoa

    Commentary

    Cocoa futures have been trading close to a one-month low below the $2,550/tonne level, amid ample supplies and prospects of increased output in top producers Ivory Coast and Ghana for the upcoming main crop due to milder conditions this month. The International Cocoa Organization forecast a global cocoa surplus of 102,000 tonnes in the 2020/21 season, widening a surplus of 10,000 tonnes estimated for the 2019/20 season. Meantime, demand continues to recover amid a gradual reopening of the economies after being hit hardly by coronavirus-related restrictions for restaurants and shops. In November last year, cocoa prices hit an over 4-year high at $3,054 a tonne after Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s two biggest producers, introduced a premium of $400 a tonne on physical purchases aimed to alleviate poverty among farmers.

  4. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    March 21, 2021 2:23 pm

    Two years show a drop in “yield”; possibly 1997 and 2007.
    I recall reading about Cocoa issues in recent times, either weather or disease related. Growers and companies dealt with Phytophthora pod rot disease, among other things. If one is being paid to write these news stories, one ought to learn how to search-up reality on the web.

    Note that “The Guardian” had a cocoa crisis story on Fri 21 Nov 2014 titled “The cocoa crisis: why the world’s stash of chocolate is melting away” –
    It is easy to find scare stories. Truth takes a bit more work.

    Thanks Paul.

  5. Martin Burlin permalink
    March 21, 2021 2:30 pm

    Actually it’s all about profits.

    • Duker permalink
      March 21, 2021 9:00 pm

      Yes. The low overall inflation rate means they have to get creative about putting up prices.
      I think the way supermarket chains work too comes into it too
      say a 5p increase from the manufacturer means 15p on the shelf. Yet keeping the same price and reduction is size means the manufacturer keeps all the benefits and the customer only notices the price is ‘about what it always was’

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 22, 2021 3:24 pm

        I don’t understand your comment. Inflation is the measure of price increases.

        What manufacturers are finding is that many of their costs – notably energy – are higher, so to maintain the same price they have to offer smaller sizes.

      • Duker permalink
        March 23, 2021 7:32 am

        Inflation is an ‘index’ of household prices. Is misunderstood as a measure only of price increases.
        Surprising number of price increases end up as decreases in the index. I followed the detail of a popular small Toyota car. The auto gearbox went an extra cog, the engine went from 1.6 to 1.8 litres and the tires were a wider section.
        The small increase in price was set against a larger ‘betterment’.
        Mobile communication devices are always adding extra features, even more capable processor which are mostly invisible, net result that computing devices sector results in a pull down in the inflation index.
        Yes some prices go up , but some of those like petrol are excluded as ‘offshore created ‘ that dont count.
        Its a sorcerers brew rather than the simple all the price increases and decreases added up.
        The easter egg would be seen as less product for the same money so its an ‘increase’, but buried in all the other products in the index

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 22, 2021 3:25 pm

      Actually it’s all about competition and trying to maintain market share in the face of increasing costs..

  6. March 21, 2021 2:37 pm

    I came across a wrapper for a TwIx when going through a pocket of a coat i hadn’t worn for 10 years and was throwing out. I then went and bought a fresh Twix and compared the two. The new one was 20% smaller.

    Almost everything from Mars Bars to Kit Kats are smaller. Party as a result of govt policy to reduce fat and calorie content (simple-reduce the size) and also the drive for increased profits from makers who know there will be a fuss for a few days then people will pay up

    • Curious George permalink
      March 21, 2021 2:44 pm

      We are being domesticated. Domesticated animals have brains 20% smaller then wild ones. Our brain is 25% smaller than a Neanderthal brain.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 22, 2021 3:28 pm

      Or perhaps it’s about trying to keep prices the same despite cost inflation. I’m pretty sure we have all noticed energy costs increasing over the last ten years. Energy plays a fair role in chocolate making and transportation. So amazingly enough costs have risen. So you can pay more or have less. That’s how it works.

  7. Curious George permalink
    March 21, 2021 2:42 pm

    Cocoa Price is at a current level of 2.405, up from 2.391 last month and down from 2.716 one year ago. This is a change of 0.59% from last month and -11.44% from one year ago.

  8. 1saveenergy permalink
    March 21, 2021 3:24 pm

    Remember in 1980s/90s when ‘Polo’ increased the price but made the hole bigger to compensate, sales went through the roof !!
    See, you can’t fool the public … oh, wait a minuet …

  9. Barrie EMMETT permalink
    March 21, 2021 4:37 pm

    Pure greed by the manufacturer, nothing to do with the climate. And we cannot complain because of the current obsession with obesity

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 22, 2021 3:29 pm

      Yeah yeah, nothing to do with costs increasing? That chocolate melts itself does it?

      And then there’ competition but let’s ignore that…

      As for it being “greed”, you think there’s some price you should be able to pay for an Easter Egg?

  10. Ben Vorlich permalink
    March 21, 2021 7:00 pm

    Am I mis-remembering but hasn’t there been a sugar tax on chocolate in the UK for about 18 months or so? Presumably manufacturers have decide to reduce size and therefore tax rather than maintain size and increase size.

    • March 21, 2021 8:21 pm

      Stop confusing us with facts!

    • Duker permalink
      March 21, 2021 9:05 pm

      Wasnt the sugar tax on drinks only with some exceptions like flavoured milk drinks?
      The name is officially the Soft Drinks Industry Levy

  11. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 21, 2021 8:08 pm

    There is a long-standing legal problem with experts. There is no requirement in law for an expert to be shown to have expertise, it is assumed that the lawyers employing him have ascertained his expertise. I was once involved in a commercial dispute where one of the experts was similar to the clown prince of wallies. It still took several months and many thousands of pounds to prove that he was a wally.

    No one seems to have told the UK’s journos that for every expert opinion (or scientific one equally) there will be an opposite opinion unless the dispute breaks the basic laws of physics. Sadly the controllers are winning. We need a reverse extinction rebellion!

    • Duker permalink
      March 21, 2021 9:14 pm

      I thought the Courts have a ‘rule’ about such things under the Judges Rules which standardize practically all of the court processes.
      eg for my country

      “Evidence of expert witness
      3 In any evidence given by an expert witness, the expert witness must—
      (a)acknowledge that the expert witness has read this code of conduct and agrees to comply with it:
      (b)state the expert witness’ qualifications as an expert:
      (c)state the issues the evidence of the expert witness addresses and that the evidence is within the expert’s area of expertise:
      (d)state the facts and assumptions on which the opinions of the expert witness are based:
      (e)state the reasons for the opinions given by the expert witness:
      (f)specify any literature or other material used or relied on in support of the opinions expressed by the expert witness:
      (g)describe any examinations, tests, or other investigations on which the expert witness has relied and identify, and give details of the qualifications of, any person who carried them out.”
      and much more

      There been a bit of a flap in the US when one Appeals Circuit judges rules against Garamond font and other non serif fonts on the papers filed on the grounds it was harder to read on a screen. Lawyers had previously flocked to garamond as it enabled say a 17 page legal brief to become 15 pages , the limit. Then court changed to a word count limit.

  12. JBW permalink
    March 21, 2021 9:22 pm

    I seem to recall there was an article in the Mail some years ago which used the Mars bar as a measure of inflation as the ingredients / size hadn’t changed over those years. I guess you couldn’t use that now.

  13. David permalink
    March 21, 2021 9:44 pm

    I remember about 1950, in all the comics there was an advert advertising the “new larger Mars Bar” coupled with the price rising from twopence halfpenny to threepence! I remember it was a big laugh at school. We all saw through it although I don’t think we actually calculated the increase in price per ounce.

  14. tom0mason permalink
    March 22, 2021 3:12 am

    Yes this looks a little smaller this year.
    Are those undernourished rich kids are going to notice that this year there is less to their chocolate eggs?

    Hotel Chocolat Ostrich Easter Egg all wrapped up neatly in a ribbon-tied box – only £80 from hotelchocolat.com.

  15. Dan permalink
    March 22, 2021 9:46 am

    Quite a lot of products have been reduced in size recently, not just chocolate.

    It’s a standard way for maintenance of profits when costs are increased.

  16. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 22, 2021 3:30 pm

    Pretty sure we were sold Fair Trade as a way of ensuring “fair prices” in a world where there’s a glut of things like cocoa?

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