Since the Brexit referendum result a few years ago something curious has been happening to the cost of food in the UK. The prices have stayed pretty similar which, given the weak pound (remember a lot of food is imported) shouldn’t be possible right? Right. What has changed is that supermarkets are slowly, discreetly, reducing the amount of food in the packets but keeping the price the same. This is called “shrinkflation” which is a way of hiding inflation.
So if you used to get a packet of vegetables that fed a family of four for say £3, that package still costs £3 but now only feeds 3 people. It’s an insidious way passing the cost of inflation to the customer without them really knowing.
We think this is because there is a price ceiling that families are prepared to pay for certain items and the supermarkets know this so pushing up prices doesn’t work. So they just give you less for the same price and which is harder to track and won’t raise any alarms. Sure, some people notice like you and us but the average person won’t and the supermarkets know this.
If the pound ever recovers don’t expect any savings to get passed on to the consumers. No way, these changes are one way only.
It’s like of like how VAT went up to 20% during the financial crisis together with austerity measures but when things normalised, VAT never came back down.