Our chocolate bars are literally shrinking before our eyes and no one is stopping it!
Not to brag, but at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in the ’90s, I won pretty much every hula hoop contest I entered. The prize was always some sort of amazing king-sized chocolate bar.
I didn’t win because I was exceptionally good at hula hooping, I just really liked chocolate.
But that was when king-sized chocolate bars were actually GINORMOUS. Sure, I was smaller and everything looked bigger, but ever since their ’90s heyday, chocolate bars have been shrinking. And no one is doing anything about it.
The current chocolate industry is broken up into a handful of major mass producers, including Hershey, Mondelez, Mars, Nestle, Cadbury, Tobler, and Terry’s.
Many of the major players are undergoing change by combining their operations with previously independent businesses. For example, Rawstory pointed out that certain products like Dairy Milk Ritz and Dairy Milk Marvelous Creations Mix-Ups are using other products that aren’t chocolate (like Ritz crackers). That makes the cost lower, and the chocolate content smaller.
But the question is, is this innovation or a rip-off?
If customers were feeling completely satisfied with the taste, form, and packaging, it wouldn’t really matter. But since bars like the Cadbury Dairy Milk shrunk from 54g to 34g in 2012 without a price decrease, and Creme Eggs went from being sold in packs of six to five, customers naturally aren’t happy.
Because we want our chocolate!
It’s all about nostalgia. People want to hold on to the chocolates they remember eating as kids. But with the increases in costs of cocoa and cocoa butter and the constantly changing products, the nostalgic favorites are slowly disappearing.
But then there are companies like Hotel Chocolat and Green & Black that use a completely different strategy. As premium chocolate manufacturers, the companies tend to showcase their ingredients — highlighting the cocoa content instead of hiding it.
So what do we do about it?
Two options. Either continue giving the big companies that we know and love our money (even though their products are shrinking), or commit to buying premium chocolate. The price will be higher, but the product will be a lot tastier. And there will be more of it.