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Chocoholics living in shrinking world where their treats become smaller

LONDON, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Number crunchers from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a British statistics agency, put the process of "shrinkflation" under the microscope on Monday to analyze the influence of things getting smaller.

Popular chocolate bars are smaller. Even toilet rolls have shrunk in size, as well as pots of coffee, sausages and cans of beer.

The ONS said shrinkflation is a phenomenon where manufacturers reduce the package size of household goods, keeping the price the same.

The statistic agency also said one of its regular tasks is to keep a close eye on prices, sending hundreds of data collectors into shops every month to record the prices of specific products in a traditional "basket of goods."

The results are used by the ONS to help calculate the inflation rate for Britain.

"As part of this process, we look out for pack sizes changing so that we can make sure we're comparing like with like," said the ONS.

They have found customers' favorite treats are really shrinking, citing the examples of Toblerone chocolate bars reducing in size by 10 percent, and other popular products like Maltesers, M&Ms and Minstrels.

"When we looked at the data from the last 5 years, we found that lots of the items we recorded had reduced in size or weight, mostly in the food and drink category," an ONS spokesman said.

As for the reasons for smaller candy bars at the same prices, the ONS said most chocolate manufacturers blamed the rising raw material costs.

"We had to make a decision between changing the shape of the bar, and raising the price," a manufacturer said. Enditem


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