In 2016 the size of a 170g Toblerone was reduced to 150g while the 400g bar was reduced to 360g. Those ‘in the know’ will remember this was achieved by stealth in that they increased the gaps between the peaks. This random piece of research was conducted as a result of the first pack of Cadbury’s Creme Eggs being cracked open in the PEW editorial office…only to discover they do in fact appear smaller than they used to.
I am reliably informed that there is a name for this and its happening every day – it’s called ‘shrinkflation’. A quick internet search will tell you that this is the process of items shrinking in size or quantity while the price remains the same or increases.
The size of a Cadbury’s Creme Egg is probably not at the top of your ‘things to be concerned about’ list and while you may hand a few out to loyal customers in the run up to Easter, the cost, and size of them probably isn’t a huge issue for you right now.
The concept of shrinkflation however is a potential cause for concern. We are all familiar with the phrase ‘quality versus quantity’ and in the past the majority of electrical wholesalers have come firmly down on the side of quality – vowing to continue to only stock products which provide quality and value for money for their customers.
But what happens when the cost of raw materials increases? This is something which we are now seeing on a daily basis and the wholesalers I have spoken to have started to see some fairly significant price rises from manufacturers as a result of this. The quality versus quantity debate is perhaps now more significant than ever because wholesalers want to offer quality products, but can your customers afford them?
The cost of living crisis is hitting everyone hard, all the way through the supply chain. It is a particular issue for those contractors working in domestic properties where your average homeowner needs work to be carried out but they can’t afford the bells and whistles approach. New technology is making this easier in that it is meeting the demand for energy efficient homes which will allow the homeowner to save money – but it still comes with a price and the average homeowner has to weigh up the cost versus the savings before agreeing to home upgrades. Where does this leave the quality versus quantity debate?
The good news is that the wholesale market remains strong and despite the latest flood of cheap imports into the market, you continue to sell on quality whilst providing value for money to your customers.
It’s good to see. The impact of Covid, supply chain issues, the cost of raw materials, Brexit and staffing issues have all hit this industry hard but once again the industry has pulled out all the stops to show fairly robust growth in 2022. The moral of the story is that quality always wins over quantity and that’s why our industry continues to remain strong in the face of tough competition from cheap imports.
I’m now going to test this theory on my ‘smaller’ Cadbury’s Creme Egg – purely for research purposes!
See you next month – Tracey Rushton-Thorpe Editor
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