And so it begins …

In previous articles Finance Friend warned readers to expect the price of chocolate to skyrocket. Today Cadbury quietly announced the size of its 220g block of Dairy Milk chocolate will be reduced to 200g; the price, however, will remain the same. As well, all variations of their chocolate (hazelnut, back forest, etc.) will be reduced to the standard 200g; again, with no comparable drop in price.

Cadbury have blamed the increasing cost of manufacturing, the low Aussie dollar, and dwindling supplies from Ebola ravaged West Africa as reasons behind the surrogate price-rises.

But Cadbury has done something like this previously: In 2009 the chocolatiers quietly slashed the size of their 250g blocks to 200g. Before the outrage caught public attention they issued a loud and well-orchestrated marketing campaign spruiking an increase in the size of the chocolate blocks from 200g to 220g, all at no extra cost to the consumer.

The initial cut in size was artfully neglected.

In the end, however, it is the retailers who set the price for the goods they sell. So regardless of Cadbury not changing the recommended retail price there is still hope for chocolate lovers (though supermarket chains have not be noted for their generosity).

Cadbury’s issued this statement: “We know that people will not be happy about getting less chocolate, but we are maintaining what is most important – the taste and quality hasn’t changed.

“We had to make a choice – increase the pric we recommend to our retailers or change the size a little. We wanted to maintain the taste and quality while keeping Cadbury family blocks affordable as we know how important it is to people to maintain their shopping budget.”

Both Mars and Hersheys have used a similar tactic in the past, hoping shoppers will not notice the change in size of their products.

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