A biscuit beloved by many Australians, the Tiny Teddy has had its size, but not its price, downsized — and people have taken to social media in outrage.
- Choice says it’s the latest example of an old trick routinely played by food manufacturers
- Pringles chips, Magnum ice creams, Freddo Frogs, Tim Tams have all been called out for downsizing
- Choice says clear labelling is needed to protect consumers
Arnott’s has defended its decision to sell kid-sized snack packs of Tiny Teddies and some other products in bundles of eight instead of 10 now — even though they are leaving the price on hold.
Shapes biscuits multi-packs have also been reduced in size.
While it may seem like only a small change, consumer advocates are warning that manufacturers downsizing products is a much wider problem.
This morning, Arnott’s was targeted on Facebook and Twitter by angry customers.
“I have always supported Arnott’s but no longer! Why are you trying to rip us off by reducing the amount of product in your boxes but at the same price?” one person wrote on the company’s Facebook page.
“Reducing Tiny Teddy’s from 10 to 8 packs is disgusting. I will find another product to buy for my grandchildren!!”
Another wrote: “We all know that it’s cold and that “shrinkage” happens, but it’s a shame that it’s happening to your biscuits.”
Choice senior policy adviser Katinka Day said this was just the latest example of an old trick routinely played by food manufacturers.
“We see products shrinking all the time without the price changing,” she said.
“And it’s particularly concerning as industry is trying to remove displaying weight from the front of processed products.”
She said that recently the same had happened with products such as Pringles chips, Magnum ice creams and Freddo Frogs.
“In fact we gave Tim Tams the shonky [award] a few years ago because some of its … flavours of Tim Tams only contained seven Tim Tams compared to the usual nine — despite the packets looking the same,” Ms Day said.
“So we see a lot of tricks being used by food manufacturers to make their products look bigger than they actually are also.”
‘Rising energy costs’ behind decision, say Arnott’s
Ms Day said the Tiny Teddies’ case was just more evidence that clear labelling was needed to protect consumers.
“Consumers need to know if they’re getting value for money and at the moment they have two mechanisms to do that,” she said.
“They have unit pricing, which tells them the price per 100 milligrams or grams.
“And they have the quantity statements on front of pack — and that allows them to see if a product has gone down in weight over time.
“If we do lose that quantity statement from the front of pack it’s going to be really difficult for consumers to see if they’re going to be getting ripped off.
“So we’re really calling for quantity statements to remain on front of pack.”
Ms Day said if manufacturers just adjusted the prices, there would be no issue.
“We’ve seen instances where manufacturers have reduced the product and reduced the price — we saw that with the killer python,” she said.
“We just think that’s more fair, if you’re going to be reducing the product size.”
Arnott’s released a statement defending the changes, saying that from time to time it was necessary “for us to review the prices of our products”.
“Recent increases in energy costs mean costs across our Australian bakeries are higher,” the statement said.
It went on to make the point that recommended retail price was only a recommendation.
“It is important to note that we do not set the price our products are sold at — that is up to the individual retailer,” the statement said.