Sneaky Piggy Profits

I have uncovered one of the underhanded tricks by a major corporation in the UK.

Since time immemorial, Marks and Spencer have sold Percy Pigs. For anyone outside the UK (as there would be no one inside the UK unfamiliar with Percy Pigs) they are a raspberry-flavoured gelatin-based, and yes, pig-shaped confectionery. In other words, they are small chewy pink sweets. They are delicious. Everyone likes Percy Pigs, proving the words of George Orwell that some pigs are more equal than others. Some people have been known to be almost addicted to them at times.

When I was in M&S recently I intended to purchase a bag of Pigs. I usually bought the largest size (400 grams), but recently had been in the habit of buying the medium size (200 grams) Percy Pigs together with a medium size bag of lemon-flavoured but identically shaped Penny Pigs.

I picked up a bag of Pigs and immediately noticed that it seemed lighter than usual. I thought perhaps it had been split open and some of the contents fallen out. No, further inspection confirmed that the bag was intact. I picked up another bag and it also felt unusually light. Then I saw something strange.

I saw a 7. I happened to glance in the direction of the lower left hand corner of the bag and there was a 7 next to a 0. It all became clear. There was not 200 grams of delectible pork-derived gelatin in the bag. There was 170 grams.  That woud be 15% less.

But wait, there was more. I looked at the price tag. Had M&S lowered the price to reflect the reduced quantity of pigs per package? No. Rather they had raised it. That’s right 200 grams of Pigs at £1.09 had become 170 grams of Pigs for £1.19. No announcement. No fanfare. No warning.

It’s because M&S is losing money so they have to tighten their belt, right? No. In May this year, they reported that their profits were up 20% over the previous year. They tucked £1.1 billion into the bank after paying their bills.

I will be calling M&S later today to get an explanation about this development.

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3 Responses to “Sneaky Piggy Profits”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    Did you get an explanation from M&S about the price increase but weight decrease ? I would love to know how they manage to rationalise that …..

  2. sol Says:

    I rang customer services and the woman told me she would have to get back to me next week after she makes some inquiries. I gave her my email address. I also got an email address for her department in case I don’t hear back.

    I also found out from an in-law who works for an M&S food outlet that they removed the packaging from their pizzas with the green fanfare of “same pizza, less packaging”. However, the pizza size was also reduced at the same time, so it is not the same pizza. It should be “less packaging, less pizza”. Even though they reduced their costs by removing the packaging, they did not reduce their price. In effect, they did the opposite.

  3. Mary Says:

    Same tricks going on here…Dawn dishwashing liquid…has been 16 oz for 99 cents. New bottles are 10.5 oz for 99 cents…at the dollar store…more than that at Walmart or grocery stores. No notice or fanfare at all, only the ounce amount on the label and the size of the bottle to give them away. It is happening all over…TP as well, but one has to have a calculator to figure square footage from package to package to get the best deal… botheration.


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