Between September, 2015 and June, 2017 about 206 products used
to calculate British inflation shrank in size, while only 79
increased, the Office for National Statistics said.
Some Britons have blamed the fall in the pound and an increased
cost in imports after June 2016's Brexit referendum for reduced
product sizes, most obviously when the Toblerone bar lost
several of its chocolate peaks in November, 2016.
But the ONS said there was no evidence Brexit was to blame for
"There was no trend in the frequency of size changes over this
period, which included the EU referendum," the statistics agency
concluded, echoing its earlier research into the topic.
Toblerone's makers always denied Brexit was the reason for the
change, and the bar returned to its traditional shape last July.
Food products changed in size most often, especially cereals,
meat and confectionery -- but toilet rolls, nappies, tissues and
washing-up liquid were affected too.
Retailers rarely adjusted prices immediately after a product's
change in size, so the shrinking size of some products will have
added to British consumer price inflation, which hit a five-year
high of 3.1 percent in November, 2017.
However, the ONS said it estimated the effect was small as only
1.0-2.1 percent of products used to calculate inflation shrank
in size, while 0.3-0.7 percent increased.
British manufacturers have been under pressure from public
health authorities to reduce the calories and sugar in their
products for a number of years.
Confectioners agreed in 2014 to reduce the size of single-serve
chocolate bars so they contained no more than 250 calories. A
new sugar tax last year led to Coca-Cola and other soft drinks
being sold in smaller bottles.
(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Ed Osmond)
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