Are chocolate bars really getting smaller? Researchers compare historic packaging

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

How do chocolate bars today measure up to historic counterparts?
How do chocolate bars today measure up to historic counterparts?

Related tags Chocolate Uk

An online marketing company has analyzed scans of vintage bars to discover if the most popular chocolates in the Western World have been shrinking.

UK-based Boom Online Marketing polled a 1,000 people in the US and UK on behalf of Appliance City​ and found almost 80% of Brits and almost half of Americans think chocolate bar sizes have been ‘getting smaller’ compared to when they were a child.

Boom compared historic packaging of brands such as Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Nestlé’s KitKat to investigate changes in weight by grams.

Shrink ray assumption off the mark

“The poll taught us that just because there is overwhelming public belief that chocolate bars are getting smaller, it doesn’t mean it is strictly true,” ​Wayne Barker, head of online marketing at Boom told ConfectioneryNews.

“In reality this belief is slightly off; whilst certain bars are getting smaller there are still plenty that are more generous than they were 10, 20 or even 30 years ago.”

While brands such as Nestlé’ UK’s Yorkie have shrunk by around 10 g since the Seventies, others such as the UK four-fingered KitKat have grown by 29% since the Sixties.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate has grown 20% in the US since the Sixties and Mars’ UK Snickers has become around 7% larger since the Eighties.

A lasting misconception?

But what can chocolate makers take away from the findings?

“All chocolate gets tarred with the same brush when it comes to our belief in whether it is getting smaller or not,”​ said Barker.

“It doesn’t matter whether your chocolate bars are smaller or not the public believes that they are – based on their memories, some rose tinted psychology and which chocolate bar they like the most. Also, this misconception is likely never to go away.”

The kids of today

The research found that beliefs chocolate bars had shrunk varied depending on the era of the person’s childhood.

Barker said: “If you are UK based and grew up in the Seventies then you can rightly claim that a Yorkie is smaller than it used to be. Similarly if you grew up in the UK in the Nineties then you can claim that Mars Bars are smaller than what you remember – by 14 grams...So the age of the people answering the question changes the truth.”

Is Our Chocolate Getting Smaller

Source: Appliance City

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