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Which? says Easter eggs are suffering from shrinkflation as climate changes push up cocoa prices





Some popular Easter eggs are costing up to 50% more than they did a year ago, say analysts, who warn that the chocolate treats are the latest food item to be hit by ‘shrinkflation’.

Dry weather in West Africa, explains Which?, has doubled the price of cocoa globally and pushed the price of chocolate up in the UK by 12.6%.

The price of cocoa has doubled as a result of dry weather in Africa. Image: iStock.
The price of cocoa has doubled as a result of dry weather in Africa. Image: iStock.

And with Easter fast approaching, the consumer champion says it is seeing signs of Easter egg inflation as producers and supermarkets react to rising costs.

Among the most significant examples, found the study, was a Maltesers Truffles Luxury Easter Egg weighing 286g, that leapt from an average £8 to £13 at Waitrose, in the one month to the end of February when compared to the same time last year.

Shoppers looking for eggs for friends and family may notice price and size differences this year. Image: iStock.
Shoppers looking for eggs for friends and family may notice price and size differences this year. Image: iStock.

At Asda, a Lindt 5 Gold Bunny Milk Chocolate 50g increased from £2 on average to £3.11.

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While at Tesco, a Ferrero Rocher Golden Easter Egg rose from £10 on average in the one month to the end of February 2023 to £15 this year.

Sainsbury’s it says, has also added 50p to the price of a 36g Kinder Easter chocolate with surprise – going from £1.50 to £2 – while at Ocado, a Cadbury Mini Eggs 1kg Large Pouch has risen from an average £8.86 last year to £12.95 come the end of February 2024.

At Sainsbury’s a Kinder Easter chocolate with surprise has risen by 50p in the last 12 months. Image: Stock photo.
At Sainsbury’s a Kinder Easter chocolate with surprise has risen by 50p in the last 12 months. Image: Stock photo.

As well as price increases ‘across the board’ the food and drink trackers also found instances where Easter products have shrunk in size over the last 12 months, while the price has stayed the same or increased – otherwise known as 'shrinkflation'.

For example, a Mars milk chocolate large Easter egg weighed 252g in 2023 but is 201g this year at Morrisons and Tesco.

While a Terry's chocolate orange Easter egg and mini eggs changed from 230g in 2023 to 200g this year at Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

A Smarties chocolate orange egg was also noted to have changed from 226g to 188g at Asda and Tesco while a Twix milk chocolate Easter egg, says Which?, changed from 246g to 200g at Tesco.

Which? food and drink trackers monitor changing prices for items. Image: iStock.
Which? food and drink trackers monitor changing prices for items. Image: iStock.

In response, Waitrose said it works hard to keep prices down and introduce offers and as a result the price of the Maltesers egg has now dropped to £8.50.

A spokesperson for Nestlé, which makes Smarties, said like every manufacturer, it too has experienced ‘significant cost increases’ that make it more expensive to make products and in order to maintain the quality it has sometimes been necessary to make adjustments to the weight of some items.

While there are no rules against changing the weight and size of an item, providing packaging is labeled correctly, Which? says it would like to see businesses be more upfront when they have to make changes so that shoppers too can make informed choices.

Ele Clark, Which? Retail Editor, added: “Easter eggs are a non-negotiable highlight of Spring for many of us, but Which? has found that paying for your chocolate haul will be more of a stretch this year. Some eggs are over 50% pricier than in 2023 - while others have shrunk in size but not price.

“To ensure you get the best value for money on your Easter chocolate, shop around and compare the price per gram across different pack sizes, retailers and brands.”

Shoppers may notice some eggs this year are more expensive when compared with last year. Image: iStock.
Shoppers may notice some eggs this year are more expensive when compared with last year. Image: iStock.

A spokesperson for Mars Wrigley UK, which makes Mars, Maltesers and Twix, said reducing the size of some items, together with price increases, weren’t ever decisions ‘taken lightly’.

They added: ”We have been actively trying to find ways to absorb the rising costs of raw materials and operations, as we know the increase in the cost of living has impacted both consumers and businesses across the UK. Unfortunately, the growing pressures mean that more needs to be done.

“Reducing the size of some of our products, whilst raising prices, is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is necessary for shoppers to still be able to enjoy their favourite Easter eggs without compromising on quality or taste.”



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