Haagen-Dazs shrinks tub size but not its price

Stephanie Hawthorne
14 May 2018

Shoppers will be giving a cold reception to Haagen-Dazs’ decision to cut the size of its family ice cream tubs while charging the same price. This is yet another example of ‘shrinkflation’ where you get a smaller size product for the same money. 

As widely reported yesterday, the US-owned giant has cut the contents of favourites including Belgian chocolate, vanilla and coffee from 500ml to 460ml.

But despite the 8% reduction, Haagen-Dazs ice cream will still cost families £5.35 a tub.

The luxury maker of ice cream told the Mirror that rising costs were to blame and insisted it had taken the step “absolutely as a last resort”.

Condemning the move, Alex Neil, director of home products and services at consumer group Which?, says: “Time and again we've seen popular products shrinking while the price stays the same, and this latest example will leave ice-cream lovers feeling cold. Manufacturers and retailers should be up front about any changes to their products, so customers can make an informed choice about how to spend their cash.”

The price of vanilla, one of the main ice cream ingredients, has soared over the past two years. It now stands at around $600 per kilo, costing more than silver.

Over 75% of vanilla is grown on Madagascar, where a cyclone in March destroying many of its plantations.

A huge number of manufacturers are adopting sneaky shrinkflation tactics with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reporting in July 2017 that 2,529 different consumer products have decreased in size or weight since 2012.

As Moneywise has previously reported, maker of Toblerone, Mondelez, admitted to making its famous triangular chocolate bars smaller in order to not increase prices. It also cut the size of Terry’s Chocolate Orange, blaming rising prices for the raw ingredients.  

However, while many manufacturers have blamed the falling pound for rising costs, the ONS data would suggest that the practice of shrinking products long outdates this more recent economic trend – dating back to 2012.



In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

My wife makes our ice cream at home. It's absolutely delicious. It's a Mary Berry no -churn receipe and the coffee version is a Nigella Lawson receipe. They are both very simple quick and easy. Why would you bother with Haagen-Dazs. Don't let them take the mickey. Shun them and make your own. Once they see sales dropping they may learn a lesson.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Why are people surprised? This sort of 'theft' (it IS the appropriate word) is an everyday occurrence, isn't it?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

L'Or coffee jars have also shrunk in size. Do these manufacturers think we are idiots?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

OK so there's been a bad harvest this year, I wonder next year when there's a bumper crop, their prices will come down?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

This has been ongoing for a decade, it isn't just shrinkflation, the quality of the products themselves has also been diluted alongside reduced weights and measures for the same price.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

But the biggest example of shrinkflation is Wrigleys Extra Mints. A few years ago a multipack of 4 packs of 16 was £1. Now one 16 mint pack is 60p!

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