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Are Chocolates Getting Smaller and More Expensive?

Chocolate comes from roasted and ground cacao pods and is turned into the solid-formed sweet that we all know and love. But over the years, consumers have noticed the change in the size and prices of chocolate. Are chocolates getting more expensive?

Between 2014 and 2018, the BBC examined 19 chocolate items and discovered that most of them had dropped in size. A four-pack of Snickers was the worst hit by ‘shrinkflation’ in the survey, reducing its size by 28.1 percent from 232g to 167g.

The History of Chocolate

Chocolate has a 4,000-year history dating back to ancient Mesoamerica. The earliest cacao plants were discovered in today’s Mexico. The Olmec, one of Latin America’s ancient civilizations, were the very first people to transform the cacao plant into chocolate. They utilized chocolate as medicine and often drank it during rituals.

Nobody knows when chocolate first arrived in Spain. But in 1528, explorer Hernán Cortés was said to have brought chocolate home with him after his expedition.

Cortés introduced the Spanish to cocoa pods when he returned to Spain. At the time, it was still served as a drink. Spanish chocolate was combined with sugar and honey to sweeten the inherently bitter taste.

Chocolate became popular with the wealthy instantaneously. Even Catholic monks liked chocolate and drink it to help them with their holy rituals.

For a long time, the Spanish kept chocolate under wraps. It took nearly a century for it to reach neighboring countries like France. After a while, it eventually spread across Europe.

In 1615, French King Louis XIII married Anne of Austria, the daughter of Spanish King Phillip III, and she brought chocolate samples to the royal courts of France to commemorate their wedding. The European aristocracy remained a huge fan of chocolate. And it was consumed by royalty and the upper classes for its health benefits and indulgence. By this, we can definitely say that in those days, Chocolate was a luxurious treat for the Royals. (Source: Magnum)

The Inflation and The Shrinkflation

Between January 2012 and June 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that 2,529 products decreased in size, while only 614 grew. Of the 2,000 falling food items, sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate, and other confectionery items have shrunk the most.

Causes of this “shrinkflation” have been widely discussed in recent years, with some saying that sugar importation costs have increased due to the weaker pound

Mars Chocolate Company

Many have blamed Brexit for our shrinking sweet treats. However, the ONS study did not find a noticeable change in post-Brexit Britain. Manufacturers of these goods blame long-term rising material costs.

Like all chocolate manufacturers, we have seen the cost of raw materials rise and, while we try to absorb these pressures as much as possible, sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to reduce the size of some of our products so our consumers can continue to enjoy an affordable treat.

Mars Chocolate Company

(Source The Boar

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