Nestle have refuted claims that Quality Street tins have been gradually reduced over the last three decades after a disgruntled Facebook user posted a photo to the company’s page.
Charlotte Stacey Hook from Washington, Tyne & Wear, has kept several of the containers over the years to store her Christmas decorations in.
And, this year, she couldn’t help noticing how much smaller the tin was, and posted a picture on Facebook.
“Look how they’ve changed in size from 1998 till 2014!” she wrote. “Bring back the big tins!”
Back in 2005, a tin contained 1,700g of sweets. By 2011, that was down to 1,000g. And last year Nestle cut the size again, from 800g to just 756g, while keeping the price the same.
And it seems that Charlotte isn’t the only disgruntled customer, as her post has now received more than 80,000 likes and has been shared more than 30,000 times. Many commenters say they won’t be buying Quality Street again.
However, Nestle has defended itself, claiming that Charlotte’s picture isn’t comparing like with like.
“As well as the 780g tub pictured, we also have a 1.3kg tin available which lovers of Quality Street might like to try this Christmas,” it says in a statement.
“We want to give the best possible value for money and we believe that this product is still extremely competitive.”
And, as one Twitter user points out, the sweets are called ‘Quality Street’ rather than ‘Quantity Street’.
There’s no denying, though, that chocolates have been shrinking over the last few years, with Cadbury one of the worst offenders. Earlier this year, the company reduced the number of Creme Eggs in a multi-pack from six to five.
And the same thing is happening with many other food products, from tins of tuna to packets of tea. In the case of chocolate, particularly, some firms claim that they’re shrinking products for our own good, in order to help combat obesity.
This argument, though, doesn’t carry much weight with Which? executive director Richard Lloyd.
“Shrinking products can be an underhand way of raising prices because pack sizes shrink but the prices don’t,” he says.
“Consumers will feel angry that they are being short-changed by some of their favourite brands.”
Elizabeth J. Bentley