Think your chocolate bar has shrunk over the years? You'd be right

UNITED KINGDOM - Packs of chocolates and confectionery in the United Kingdom have been getting smaller since 2012, although prices have stayed the same.

The BBC reported on Monday (July 24) that official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that as many as 2,529 products have been subjected to the so-called "shrinkflation" over the past five years.

"Shrinkflation" is a portmanteau used to describe the phenomenon where items are sold in smaller packets at the same - or higher - prices.

Just last year, British consumers were outraged when Toblerone cut costs by spacing out the distinctive jagged peaks of its chocolate bars.

Food items were hardest hit by shrinkflation - the inflation rate for chocolate was 1.22 per cent higher since 2012. The data also showed that household items like toilet rolls were coming in smaller packages. For example, where Andrex toilet rolls previously had 240 sheets, it now only had 221.

In comparison, over the same period, 614 products got larger.

According to ONS statistics, shrinkflation does not seem to be caused by risingmaterials costs.

The BBC reported that prices for cocoa and sugar both fell last year, with the European import price of sugar reaching a record low in March 2017.

Brexit was likewise dismissed as a factor in shrinkflation.

The BBC quoted the ONS as saying: "Our analysis doesn't show a noticeable change following the referendum that would point to a Brexit effect."