Much less to munch on

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st cadbury . Sign of the times: Chocolate producers have been quiet about their ever changing pack sizes but times are tough and costs are being passed on to consumers.

Not so long ago all the small chocolate slabs on sale in SA were 100g and all the big ones were 200g. Simple.

Then in 2009 Cadbury decided to pass on the increased cost of “premium” ingredients such as nuts and fruit by reducing the weight of the variants with those ingredients – such as Whole Nut and Fruit & Nut – to 90g and 180g respectively.

Now the chocolate maker, owned by Kraft Foods, has introduced new re-sealable foil packs, and done away with the remaining 200g and 100g slabs. All of them are now 90g and 180g, a move which been picked up by many readers.

“Cadbury has quietly reduced both the Dairy Milk and the Top Deck to 180g,” wrote Graham Goetze.

“Previously when they reduced the size of the Whole Nut slabs to 180g, the marketing department said they’d done this because of the high cost of the hazel nuts. I wonder if this means that they will sneakily reduce the size of that slab again…”

Responding, Kraft Foods Southern Africa marketing director Mike Middleton said commodity prices had increased by between 8 percent and 10 percent in the past year, and with escalating transport and energy costs, Cadbury had been under “enormous pressure” to find ways of minimising the impact on consumers and remain at a competitive price point – relative to competing brands, which had also downsized their slabs in recent years.

“Therefore, we decided not to apply a price increase to the Cadbury Dairy Milk range in 2012, but to rather reduce grammage to 90g for the smaller packs and 180g for the larger packs, across the entire range,” Middleton said.

The packs have been re-designed to accommodate the smaller slabs, and the packs are now re-sealable.

In my experience whenever you see a new pack design, you should check the weight or volume. Chances are it will have reduced.

Beacon’s standard size slab is now 90g and Nestle’s is just 80g. So when comparing the prices of chocolate slabs, take into account the size. If you’re shopping in a Pick n Pay or Checkers/Shoprite store, compare the unit prices displayed on the shelf label.

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