Businesses giving smaller portions, but charging the same

It was back in August last year that I contributed to an article by Linda Higgins in The Irish Independent – Good Buys: Products hit by ’shrink ray’.

The gist of that story was that businesses were starting to try to make extra money for themselves by providing smaller portions and measures while charging the same price as the original bigger portion cost.

I thought about this when I read this recent “Bad Value of the Week” story from Gareth Naughton in the Sunday Tribune:

The demise of Breakfast Roll Man has been much heralded in this recession, but then who can blame him if he’s decided to forgo his daily shop-bought roll when retailers have so blatantly begun skimping on fillings? These are tough times, fair enough, and cost-cutting is necessary, but if you are willing for fork out for a sandwich at a deli counter, you expect something more than a lonely slice of ham and some lettuce to bulk it up. Do not be afraid to ask for more if you come across mean behaviour.

Another place to watch out for this is Costa Coffee and their breakfast sandwich offering. This sandwich, enjoyed on many a recent Sunday over the Sunday papers, used to comprise a “club sandwich” 3 slices of bread with lots of filling. However, in the past couple of weeks, they’ve now started to make the sandwich with only two slices of bread and half the amount of filling. But all for the same price.

It frustrates me that businesses would do this. Its basically sticking up their two fingers to their customers. I suppose some people won’t notice, but I have, and I’m outta there.

(And yes, I know I’m getting what I deserve by going to an impersonal foreign chain like Costa Coffee, but up until recently, it was the only place I knew local to me that I could go to on a Sunday morning. But more on the replacement I’ve found soon).

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4 Responses to Businesses giving smaller portions, but charging the same

  1. Claire Boyles (Business Coach) June 11, 2009 at 02:28 #

    Maybe it’ll help with reducing obesity?

  2. The.Q June 11, 2009 at 15:09 #

    I’ve even noticed this myself with my (irregular) mars bar or snickers bar. I’m sure they’ve definitely gotten smaller in size, although I can’t prove it.

  3. valueireland June 16, 2009 at 12:17 #

    Just noticed that Costa have gone back to the original breakfast sandwich with 3 slices.

    I wonder was the money saved by skimping not worth it compared to drop in sales because of the skimping?


  1. » Blog Archive » Beware of shrinking portions - June 11, 2009

    […] Irish consumer blog Value Ireland has written about the practice again, naming and shaming Costa Coffee for skimping on their club sandwiches.  Value Ireland refers to a […]

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