Inflation and pack size
There have been a number of questions on this recently and here are 3 articles looking at the dangers and impacts of smaller sizes.
Downsizing: Smaller packs hurt volumes
Over the last 10 years, smaller pack sizes (usually cheaper in absolute price but not per ml/g) have become fashionable to respond to the growth of small households, to offer treat-sized portions or to control calorie intake. Today they may be an option for households worried about their shopping spend. Comparing brands which experienced an increase versus a decrease in the average pack size consumers chose we saw a similar loss of buyers and little change in frequency. But there was a big difference in volumes. Beware these consequences of down-sizing!
The right (or wrong) of changing pack size
How do shoppers make sense of changes in packaging? Their estimates of pack size changes are least precise if all dimensions change. Consider a box of cereal measuring 10x10x10 which changes to 20x6x6. The new box is 28% smaller but on average consumers think it’s 20% bigger. Why? They arrive at a new size estimate by adding up the relative dimension changes (+ 100% – 40% – 40% = + 20%).
Pack sizes: When offerings and preferences diverge
In the 5 years to 2016, brands had generally reduced their average pack size. But shoppers didn’t follow and tended to purchase larger packs. Offering smaller packs may help the bottom-line, given the higher price per Kg/Ltr. But recent trends like lower shopping frequency and a wish to economize make large packs more appealing.