Chocolate bars really are getting smaller, but don't blame Brexit

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A study by the UK's Office for National Statistics (OMS) has revealed that more than 2,500 products - including household name chocolate bars - are subject to so-called "shrinkflation". However, in the category of sugar, jam, syrups chocolate and confectionery, the rate of inflation when adjusted for shrinking products was significantly higher.

Brits with a sweet tooth might find the news a bit hard to swallow.

The ONS found 2,529 products have been found to have shrunk in the past five years - mostly in food or drink - while just 614 packets got bigger.

The ONS says it's the sugary sector that's been hit the most, although it casts doubt on claims that portion sizes are being reduced to cover for an increase in the cost of raw materials.

The trend has been widely reported in the media - Business Insider noticed that popular crisp brand Doritos was shrinking their packet by 10% in April - but until now there has been no solid data produced. For example, where Andrex toilet rolls previously had 240 sheets, it now only had 221.

Toblerone famously cut the number of chocolate triangles in a bar after the Brexit vote and Mars has cut packs in several high profile products in recent months.

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The ONS also dismissed Brexit as a reason for recent shrinkflation, even though it has contributed to an increase in the price of some imported goods.

"But our analysis doesn't show a noticeable change following the referendum that would point towards a Brexit effect".

It noted: "Furthermore, others (including Which?) had been observing these shrinking pack sizes long before the European Union referendum, and several manufacturers have denied that this is a major factor".

This won't come as a surprise to dessert lovers - there was uproar in November a year ago over Toblerone-gate, when it emerged that the shape of the Swiss favourite was changing, and in 2015 Cadbury announced plans to shrink the size of Roses and Heroes tins.

The consumer website said Tropicana Creations Pure Premium Orange and Raspberry juice has also decreased from 1 litre to 850ml, but the price in Asda remained at £2.48.

The manufacturers, Mondelez - formerly Kraft - said they changed the shape "to keep the product affordable". This increased the price of imported ingredients for food manufacturers and they looked for ways to recover their extra costs.

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