Chocolate.Whether you're trying to eat away the pain of modern existence or simply harness the unbridled hermetic business prowess of Howard Hughes (who almost exclusively ate chocolate bars), the ancient confection that is chocolate has got you covered.Sadly, though, it seems that the opulence and sovereignty of our chocolate bars are under unprecedented threat—and things are looking as if they will only get worse from here. That's because of the nascent industry-wide practice of decreasing the size of chocolate bars—while still charging the same price for them, of course. It's called shrinkflation.
Chocolate lovers in the UK were enraged recently when Mondelēz International—the American multinational that owns Toblerone, Cadbury, Milka, and several other well-known chocolate brands—announced that they had decided to make some most unwelcome changes to two versions of the Toblerone bars. Despite keeping the prices the same for both the 170-gram and 400-gram milk chocolate Toblerone bars, Mondelēz will decrease the size of both and will alter the iconic appearance by making the triangles narrower and the space between the peaks wider. The bars will now weigh 150 grams and 360 grams, respectively—but cost the same as the heavier bars.The company says the move was necessary because its costs have just gotten too high. That increase in cost is largely due to severe shortages of cocoa butter, a key ingredient in chocolate bars . Despite a decline in the cost of cocoa beans, the cost of cocoa butter has risen almost 40 percent this year alone. On Facebook, Toblerone posted the following statement: "We carry these costs for as long as possible, but to ensure Toblerone remains on-shelf, is affordable and retains the triangular shape, we have had to reduce the weight of just two of our bars."Everyone's favorite duty-free chocolate bar is not the only chocolate to be getting lighter these days. Hershey was recently criticized for reducing the weight of its Reese's Peanut Butter cups, as was Baker, the manufacturer of cooking chocolate. By reducing weight rather than the size of the packages—Toblerone added bigger spaces between the peaks of its bars—the chocolate companies may very well be misleading customers about what they're actually buying.
In Britain, the sweets-loving public is blaming Brexit. In addition to seeing their Toblerone diminish, they've seen the prices of Walker crisps and Marmite increase.These are dark times, friends. There is a pox upon our houses!Somewhere out there, Willy Wonka is rolling over in his glass elevator-shaped grave.