This the last text of our “Plan”: Shrinkflation
Here’s the good news. There’s no need to plan your diet this year. The food brands are doing it for you. They’re selling you a slimmed down version of their product for the same price.
So while the checkout till rings up the same total as usual, your shopping bag may be considerably lighter because manufacturers are shaving costs by giving us slightly less chocolate, or fish or ice cream, in what looks like the usual packet. It’s known as “shrinkflation”. If the portion size is getting stingier -shrinking- but the price stays the same, then you’re effectively paying more -inflation.
For instance, as you’ll no doubt have heard, the Toblerone is being redesigned for the UK market; its Alpine peaks are being eroded to compensate for the rising cost of ingredients, and a lighter bar is being sold for the same price. The 400g bar is now a 360g bar and instead of 15 peaks it boasts only 11.
But -and here’s the bad news- there could be more of it to come. According to the consumer organisation Which?, several brands were guilty of this “sneaky way of increasing prices” last year. Tropicana reduced the size of its Orange and Raspberry juice by 15%, packets of McVitie’s Digestive dark chocolate biscuits lost around 10% in weight, and Princes is putting less mackerel in each of its tins. But thanks to the pound’s recent weakness and higher costs of ingredients, manufacturers may be tempted to go further.
“I think it’s going to happen even more,” -says Ratula Chakraborty, retail specialist at the University of East Anglia. Manufacturers want to keep their prices low, and inflation is happening, commodity prices are changing, so who is going to pay for it? It will be you and I who pay for it.” She thinks we should keep an eye on products across the board in coming months.“I would say we should be watching out everywhere, food products, fresh produce, household products, grocery products.”
Toblerone’s owner Mondelez says, “It is cost pressures that are behind the change. Cocoa in particular has risen sharply in price over the last decade. And the weaker pound since the UK’s vote to leave the EU means it’s even more expensive to pay for those kinds of raw ingredients on the world market.”
Question 1 – Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer.
- Food packets change according to the amount of the product inside.
- The Toblerone bar will be smaller everywhere.
- Some other brands reduced the weight of their products before Toblerone did it.
- The pound’s instability will encourage manufacturers to go on with this practice.
- Ratula Chakraborty is afraid that “shrinkflation” will be applied to a lot more products in the future.
Question 2 – Find words or phrases in the text that correspond in meaning to the words and definitions given.
- to reduce (par.1)
- tricky, dishonest (par.4)
- to attract, invite (par.4)
- to look closely (par.5)
- unprocessed (par.6)
Question 3 – Choose the most suitable answer (a, b or c) according to the text
1. Shrinkflation occurs …
a) when the portion gets smaller and the price stays the same.
b) if you pay more.
c) unless the portion gets smaller.
2. Toblerone bar in the UK …
a) is heavier and has fewer peaks
b) has more alpine peaks
c) weighs less and has fewer peaks
3. Mondelez said …
a) it is getting easier and easier to pay for the ingredients they need to manufacture the bar
b) the price of cocoa is higher and higher
c) the pound is getting stronger and stronger
4. Ratula Chakraborty believes shrinkfation is ….. in the future
a) not going to happen
b) more likely to happen
⇒ As usual, answer down here in a comment, just with the numbered questions. In this occasion, there’s no need for you to present the composition, as you’ve also got some “Rephrasing” to do. Deadline: Monday, August the 28th.
But don’t forget to review the “Writing Guide” in page 155 of your book (or page 152, in the case of 1ºBCH).