It also confirmed that there have been no changes to the recipe. It said the changes are due to a rise in costs and are with immediate effective.
A Ferrero spokesperson told FoodNavigator: “In common with many other manufacturers, the costs in relation to our products has risen. In the UK, we have made a change to our Nutella 400g jar which will now be available as a 350g. In Belgium, our 750g Nutella jar is now available as 700g and our 975g jar is available as a 900g. These changes enable us to still provide our consumers with the highest quality, taste and freshness of their favourite product without increasing the unit price.”
Nutella is the latest brand to cut the size of its product without altering the price: a trend known as ‘shrinkflation’, and one often met with a backlash from consumers. After a similar move by Cadbury last year, Adam French, the consumer rights expert at Which?, told us: “In recent years, we’ve repeatedly seen this trend of popular products shrinking while the prices stay the same, and it is understandable that households, many of them facing a squeeze on their finances, feel frustrated by it.”
Between September 2015 and June 2017, the latest official data available, there were 206 products that shrank in size and 79 that increased in size, according to Office of National Statistics data. “We also observed that prices tended not to change when products changed size, consistent with the idea that some products are undergoing ‘shrinkflation’,” the report said.
Most, 144, were food and drink and products, with 86 shrinkages made up of bread, cereal, meat, sugar, spreads and confectionery products. Most chocolate manufacturers have blamed the need to resize their products on rising raw material costs. In October 2016, Toblerone said: “We are experiencing higher costs for numerous ingredients… we had to make a decision between changing the shape of the bar, and raising the price.”
Mars, which makes Maltesers, M&Ms and Minstrels also blamed rising raw material and operational costs for changes to pack sizes.
Another report from insurance brokers Lockton in 2017 claimed 43% of UK food and drink manufacturers had already admitted to shrinking products, while another 56% were open to doing so. Only 1% completely ruled it out for the future. Three-quarters (76%) of 200 food and drink manufacturers surveyed in August and September 2017 claimed they were under pressure from retailers to cut prices as costs surged.