Supermarket Products Are Shrinking Before Our Eyes But The Prices Aren't, Says Report


The sizes of your favourite supermarket products are shrinking but the prices are not, a new study has found.

A report by Which? found that everyday items such as toothpaste, biscuits and toilet roll are slowly reducing in size.

However many of the prices are remaining the same or are no longer value for money.

In response to the findings, a lot of brands said that supermarkets are responsible for setting prices, but many wouldn’t comment on whether they’d charged supermarkets lower wholesale prices.

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Which? asked its readers to notify them of any shrinking products they'd spotted and were inundated with responses.

One particular product cropped up more than once: Andrex toilet roll.

After exploring the supermarket prices for Andrex toilet roll between 2006 and 2008, Which? revealed some interesting results.

Firstly, Andrex toilet roll used to have 240 sheets and now has 221 sheets, a reduction of 8%.

Andrex 'Puppies On A Roll' had 221 sheets per roll but now has 190, that's 14% less.

When Which? checked the price of a standard Andrex four pack around the time it shrank, it found that the price remained around the £2 mark.

"We also checked even older Andrex toilet roll and found that it used to contain 280 sheets - 59 more per roll," reads the report.

In response to the findings, Andrex said: "We invested significantly in improving our product strength and softness.

"Reducing the roll by a very small number of sheets (this equates to five to six wiping occasions) has helped make this multi-million pound investment possible."

Here are some of the other products which have shrunk, yet remained a similar price.


Size before: 332g / Size after: 300g

Which? says: "In Tesco, these biscuits were sold for £1.59 before they shrank and increased to £1.69 after. They stayed at £1 in Asda."

In response to this, McVitie's said its new pack size means it can offer a lower price and more promotions. It didn’t, however, comment on whether it charged supermarkets less.


Size before: 227g / Size after: 200g

Which? says: "This coffee was £3.90 in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose before it shrank, and £3.65 and £3.75 respectively after – both of which are more per 100g."

In response to this, Percol said its new recyclable packaging is more expensive. They also said the packs were sold for £3.50 in many shops.


Size before: 100ml / Size after: 75ml

Which? says: "In Tesco, this sold for ‘£2.40 was £3.60’ before it shrank, then £3.49. In Morrisons it was £4 before it shrank, and then £3.49 after, which is more per 100g."

In response to this, Sensodyne said it hadn’t changed the size. It did add that it no longer makes the 100ml tube and had continued selling the 75ml tube, but at a lower RRP.


Size before: 36 wipes / Size after: 32 wipes

Which? says: "These were £2 in Tesco and Ocado before they shrank, then £2 in Tesco and £2.03 in Ocado afterwards."

In response to this finding, Dettol said that the recommended retail price (RRP) is based on the cost of production and ongoing development.

It didn’t comment on whether it charged supermarkets less for the product.


Size before: 1 litre / Size after: 850ml

Which? says: "This juice cost £2.48 in Asda both before and after it shrank."

In response, Tropicana said that it strives to produce competitively-priced products.

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