I know there are more pressing matters in the world right now but today I want to talk about chocolate.
More specifically how our beloved chocolate bars here in the UK are shrinking, shockingly so.
This is a growing problem in many chocolate bars and with cut backs being so blatantly obvious the feeling of being short changed and underfed, especially now with our government squeezing us dry of income as much as possible, is amplified even more.
I could go into many chocolate bars and their outrageous size reductions over the years but I’ve decided to concentrate on one that particularly shocked me when they changed it just recently.
In fact, it was my favourite chocolate bar, now ex favourite, the KitKat Chunky.
The Kit Kat Chunky wasn’t the first iteration of the Kit Kat by any means, it had to come a long way before it got shaved down in size and stamped with Hashtags, a sad fate for anything in my book, let alone something with 80 long years of history.
It was way back when in 1935’s London when Rowntree’s released what we know as a Kitkat, 4 fingers of tasty chocolate encasing wafer biscuits you could break apart and eat, though it was originally called the “Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp”.
It wasn’t until 1937 that it was known as a “KitKat Chocolate Crisp” and of course over the years has been abbreviated down to Kit Kat, a bit like the sizes of the bars themselves.
I have to say, I can’t imagine the KitKat’s of our day tasting anywhere as nice as the 1930’s version, they do advertise using the finest butter after all, have you ever seen butter as an ingredient in a Kitkat?
Rowntrees was sadly taken over by Nestle in 1988 and if I had a time machine I would certainly go back and see what difference that made to the bars themselves if any, you never know, business practices weren’t as bad back then, maybe they protected the integrity of the precious KitKat until later years.
If you know, do let me know in the comments!
Still, in history we are KitKat Chunky-less so lets fast forward to 1999 when they first came into production.
KitKat Chunky’s were a big hit straight away and in 2005 they sold a whopping 73 million of them.
Myself, I wasn’t that keen on usual KitKat’s, it was the chocolate bar you got in your lunch box and was a staple treat that I admit I got bored of.
The KitKat Chunky on the other hand was one big finger, rather than the 4 or the later 2 wafer KitKat’s and tasted so different with even more chocolate surrounding the crispy wafer inside. Truly chunky.
Over the years they have released quite a few different flavours like mint, orange and even peanut KitKat Chunky’s which were still pretty nice indeed, my favourite being the orange!
Of course, being a big fan of them, I picked up a regular 4 pack recently and though on the outside they look pretty much the same, a red packet with the brand emblazoned on it, inside I discovered a whole different matter.
Before I even opened the first bar I could tell the size had reduced significantly, what was once a wide and thick bar was now reduced to a pretty skinny little weed.
Sadder still, the chocolate which was once thick and chunky was now about half the size, completely ruining the texture that was unique to the chunky and making it a lot more like a regular KitKat, not the worst thing that could have happened but anything unique to the chunky had disappeared.
I was pretty dismayed but I thought since many companies make smaller versions for multi-packs, it could be that they’re following in the same vain.
Sadly, that is not the case and all bars, whether multi-pack or individual were once 48g and are now just 40g.
If that doesn’t seem like a lot to you, just think, that is 19% smaller! That is 32grams less in a 4 pack, almost a whole bar.
Of course, you could say that they are helping us out, with the 19% reduction, of course we will have 19% less calories to worry about in each bar, phew, crisis averted and the guys at Nestle don’t even need to alter the recipe for the health concious.
Personally I find that a pretty crap excuse since most of us are capable of knowing there are plenty of calories in something like this, should we decide to eat it, and if you do have a serious problem and don’t know that, the 19% reduction is not going to help you.
Add to that, they have just made the bar smaller and less satisfying, it is much more likely someone will eat two, which ruins the entire concept if you believe the entire idea isn’t just complete baloney to save money in the first place.
Surely the fact they are saving money on each bar would be the main, if not only, concern for any sane company.
What really gets my goat though, is that these savings that the company are making, never come back to the consumer.
Do they say, “Right guys, we have reduced the size of these by about 20% for your own good, got to keep fit and all. In exchange we will lower the price by 20% to keep it in line with what we were charging just 1 month ago.”
In order for the calorie consideration to be valid in any way they would have to do that, but no.
The price stays the same, the package stays the same, everything looks normal until the unsuspecting person, still paying the £1.50 RRP for a pack of 4, finds out they have been for all intents and purposes, short changed.
Unless you have memorised the gram weight of a bar then purposefully checked how many grams are in a bar that might look the same as before, you won’t know until they already have your money.
Is it just me that thinks advertising standards should require these companies to state on the front of the package that the size has been reduced and then leave the buyers to make their own decision?
Of course this would be fought all the way by the companies in question, after all who wants to tell their customers straight in the face that they’re reducing their sizes but not reducing the price?
All this without even scratching the surface of using cheaper ingredients, some of which are harmful to humans in large doses like North America’s KitKats, where they are using Polyglycerol polyricinoleate instead of cocoa butter. Makes me think even more about not doing my “Eating From England” posts I tell you!
All in all it is a sad state of affairs which will only change if we as consumers put our foot down.
If we refuse to buy, these companies won’t have their millions and they will soon start caring about us and what we want from our products, or at least where our money goes, again.
Of course most of these companies are on a global scale and you might not think just one person could make a difference but one thousand people individually doing something they think might not make a difference is 1000 people and those 1000 can affect and lead as an example for their families, their friends, which will affect the next persons family and friends and in time another 1000 people, and another and that’s just when you’re not shouting on the rooftops about it!
Stand up for yourself as a consumer and as a person if you don’t like what these companies are doing and maybe, just maybe we will see what happens.
I remember the KitKat from the 80’s and they were totally satisfying I used to eat the top first then nibble the chocolate off and end up with the base biscuit, I bought a four bar pack the other day and they are nothing more than a light taste of the original. Far better value to buy a pack of scones or cake now!
I too right away noticed the kit kat chunky had gone down in size…it wasn’t as satisfying just as you stated perhaps the company knows this and Hope’s the consumer will be trained to buy 2 bars to get the satisfaction. The enrobed chocolate was not as thick either. 19% may not seem like a lot but wow I’m left completely unsatisfied wanting to raid a cocoa bean plant.
With a degree of fairness, global chocolate prices are up, as there’s a bit of a shortage But why do they make a fuss about Extra Milk & Cocoa but never make a fuss when the bar gets smaller
32g now and not at all a KitKat chunky. Supposedly to fit in with sugar reductions placed on the industry, but if so then the price should reflect that very same reduction. Was 48g, then 40g and now 32g. So a third less in weight and yet still the same price. Sad, but that’s my very last one, and if if my guess is right, before long I shan’t be eating any chocolate at all – Twix bars are the same, a fraction f the size they were. Shame on you all – reduce your prices before there’s a wholesale boycott on your products.
I’ve seen that 32g bar but it’s not the only one – I think labelled as a snack size or something seemingly intended to persuade you that it’s normal when it isn’t. The 40g is still the ‘norm’.
I notice they currently make a big fuss about “EXTRA MILK AND COCOA” on what they proudly label as “CHUNKY” but no mention of “REDUCED WEIGHT & VALUE FOR THE SAME CHUNKY PRICE”. I now only buy them at 4 for £1
I just sat down to enjoy a Kitkat Chunky. As soon as I picked it up, I said out loud, this feels smaller. I googled it right away and came across your article. I am so pissed to find ouy they made the bars smaller and are charging the same! Seems most food producers are going this way. Ripping us off by charging is more bit giving is less. I can name many things where this is the case. As if we weren’t paying enough when the products were “full size”. And I agree, the smaller Kitkat chunky is nowhere nearly as satisfying as the original sized bar. I am over in canada so it’s obviously a nestle wide change. Disappointing.
Amen brother!!! Bloody corporate greed!!! I messaged kit kat about it and they didn’t get back to me surprisingly.
Recently (Sep 17) the bars in the multi-bar pack of chunky KitKat appear to have shrunk by a further 20% – from 40g to 32g; and the price? You guessed it.
Absolute day light robbery!
I think the reduction in size in many sugary and fatty foods may have something to do with EU regulations, in terms of tax put on these food types. Just a thought I will look into it further…
Just bought a KitKat Chunky – so disappointed and definitely not satisfying. Smaller and tastes rubbish – I shall not be tempted again!
It’s just not a kit kat chunky anymore. Don’t eat chocolate that often tbh, but had one today and just thought “what happened to this?”. Why do manufacturers keep getting away with it?!
I used enjoy a chunkey kitkat the 19% smaller size does not give the same pleasing satisfying taste. I won’t be buying them again if they stay at this size. Manufactures think they can fool us and they do most of the time. It’s time we got wise and stopped buying products that change radically. They can’t afford to loose market share for several months as it changes buying habits as you could have found a better product. Manufactures should have to put original manufacturing size of product including percentages of ingredients on label together with any downgrading of size.
Well said. Bought a pack of Chunky Kit Kat last week after 3 year gap not buying – thought they had shrunk significantly – couldn’t believe it!Bet next trick to bring out a newer bigger bar (back to 48g ) and put price up 20%! Will be another 3 years before I buy again!
Because I felt so cheated by Nestle I started buying Aldi chocolate – trust me not only don’t you feel ripped off but it tastes far superior!
I used to buy Nestle because it’s what I’d always done and it used to taste so good but yes things have altered – definitely changed to cheap ingredients – I urge you all, join me with Aldi and let Nestle know we won’t take it anymore!!!!
A bit like the chocorat in 1984.