That takes the biscuit!
Number of Jaffa Cakes in an Xmas box falls from 48 to 40
CHRISTMAS… the time for giving. Or taking away, in the case of McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes.
We’re already used to getting less for our money in other seasonal treats.
Now it’s the turn of McVitie’s, which has been criticised for shrinking the contents of its bumper boxes of Jaffa Cakes while keeping the price the same. Last year the ‘yardlong’ Christmas box contained a total of 48 Jaffa Cakes, but this year’s versions contain only 40.
To make matters worse, the ‘Jaffa Cracker’ tubes – which are popular stocking fillers – remain the same size, which means an extra four inches of unnecessary cardboard and plastic packaging. And despite having noticeably fewer contents, the box still carries the same £3 price tag at Tesco.
The product contains four of the standard boxes of ten cakes that were phased into shops last Sepof tember, replacing the old packs of 12. The new Jaffa Cracker tube weighs just 500g compared with the 750g one sold in previous years.
The cakes are the latest of many treats to shrink in size. Quality Street, Toblerone and Walnut Whips have also got smaller over the years as part of a trend dubbed ‘shrinkflation’ by consumer analysts.
McVitie’s yesterday said it announced changes to the pack sizes of Jaffa Cakes more than a year ago, including changing standard packs from 12 cakes to ten.
A spokesman said: ‘Our new seasonal Jaffa Cracker consists of four individual packs of ten cakes which are stacked and designed to be gifted over the festive period.’ The firm also said some online independent retailers were misleading shoppers by selling McVitie’s products with ‘incorrect information’.
Confectioners have often been criticised for slimming down the size treats but keeping the price the same. In 2012, Nestlé cut the standard tin of Quality Street from 1kg to 820g, while keeping the price at £5.
Customers accused the firm of shrinking the tin again in 2015. The following year Toblerone owner Mondelez increased the gap between the peaks of the chocolate bar in order to cut the weight.
First made in 1927, Jaffa Cakes are not without controversy of their own. The question of whether the orange jellyfilled favourite is a cake or a biscuit was the subject of a much-publicised tribunal in 1991.
McVitie’s won after arguing its product should be exempt from VAT because it is a cake. The company’s proof was that cake goes hard when it is stale, while biscuits turn soft. Although it is often found in the biscuit aisle in shops and its size is more akin to that of a biscuit, Jaffa Cakes actually have a base of Genoise sponge.
How it stacks up: The new McVitie’s ‘yard-long’ tube now has eight fewer cakes
Crackers: How the contents have shrunk since last year