Chocolate Shrink-flation and Brexit

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The new Brexit Toblerone bar with 10% less chocolate.

 

We’re all anxious to see how the results of today’s U.S. election will affect our well-being for the years to come.   In England, they’re already seeing the effects of the recent vote to ‘Brexit’ the European Union.   And, it’s effects are being seen in food – specifically Toblerone Chocolate. The immediate effect of Brexit was sending the British pound into a dizzying nosedive.       So that means food products are now more expensive to produce, chocolate included.

 

In order to make up for this, and instead of raising prices and creating sticker shock, Modelez International, the U.S. company that makes Toblerone is shrinking the size of its triangular chocolate bars.   The spaces in between each triangular piece are increasing, amounting to about 10% less chocolate per bar.   The packaging remains the same, but the bar inside has suffered from shrinkage in a method called ‘shrinkflation.’      Fans in the UK are up in arms saying what used to look like the Swiss alps now looks more like a bicycle rack.   The company has gotten criticism for changing its iconic shape and left a bitter taste in people’s mouths about the change.

 

Other British food products like Marmite – the nasty yeasty jelly for toast and biscuits – have risen 12% in price since Brexit.

 

The good thing is that times of scarcity and high prices create food innovation.   When the price of chocolate went up in the mid 20th century, the Europeans replaced some of it with hazelnut paste and invented the amazing food spread Nutella. A shortage of tomatoes in the post WWII Philippines helped spawn banana ketchup.   So let’s see if any new commercial food innovation happens in Britain in the next year to deal with increasing prices.

Let’s hope the results of our home election doesn’t create any shrink-flation in our beloved food products!

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