Twinings has cut the size of its packs by a fifth, bringing them down from 100 to 80 bags, states reports recently.
The 300-year-old company said it had lowered the recommended retail price of the new packs so shoppers would not have to pay more per bag.
“We recently reduced the number of teabags in some of our Black Tea range and therefore we have reduced our manufacturer recommended retail prices so that the cost per bag to the consumer would remain unchanged,” The Telegraph quoted a Twinings spokesman as saying last week.
“Ultimately, we can only recommend retail prices and it is at the discretion of retailers to set the shelf price for the products they sell in their stores,” the spokesman added.
The Twinings spokesman added: “We regularly review our pack sizes and recently reduced the size of our black tea range which is more in line with the pack sizes within the Tea category. We now offer 40, 80 and 120 pack sizes across this range.”
The price on shelf has fallen in all the major supermarkets apart from Morrisons, which at the time of writing was selling newer, smaller packs of Earl Grey and Lady Grey for £5.99 – a rise of 69p.
Many food and drink manufacturers have been shrinking the size of their products over recent years.
Recent examples of shrinkflation have included Mini Cheddars and Magnum. The former reportedly made some of its biscuits smaller and less cheesy in December 2022, while the ice cream maker cut the number in its multipacks in February but kept the price the same.
Noteworthy here is TWC’s latest survey, conducted in collaboration with the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD), which suggests that consumers’ preference is to avoid “shrinkflation” and instead increase the price of the pack.
In a survey of over 2,000 consumers, more than four in ten (42 per cent) preferred this option, whilst 23 per cent would prefer that the price point is maintained, and the pack size reduced. The remaining 35 per cent said either option was fine, or they didn’t know.