P&J Column 27.7.17

Terry’s Chocolate Satsuma? That’s shrinkflation!

Tanya Souter, Lifestyle Correspondent

This wik, I wiz shocked tae read a report by the Office o’National Statistics aboot ‘shrinkflation’. That is, reducing the size of a product files keeping the price the same, so the unsuapecting consumer gets less for their money.

Apparently mair than twa and a half thoosand household items has been affected by this, as a result of a deliberate strategy by manufacturers, or as they ought tae be cried fae noo on, sneaky bandits.   Noo, I dinna ken aboot youse, but I hid ayewiz suspected this was gan on, ever since I found masel smoking 40 Regal King size a day instead o’20. Back fan I wis a youngster, fags lasted langer and looked bigger. Mind you, I wis in Primary Siven. But onywye, it turns oot shrinkflation is happening a’ o’er tae a’ manner of household goods. Tubes of toothpaste, cartons of orange juice, even lavvie rolls hiv been getting smaller. Mr Andrex admitted this wiz true but claimed that although their rolls hiv gone doon fae 240 to 221 sheets, they were noo “better quality”.  Big deal, efter a chicken madras and 5 pints o’ Lambrini it’s nae the quality I’m worried aboot, ken fit I’m saying? Fan I’m 20 sheets tae the wind I shouldnae hae tae deal wi the fact that my toilet roll is an’ a’.   And then, of course, there’s chocolate.  Ab’dy kens that sweeties is nae as big as they wis fan we wis kiddies, and noo we hiv the proof!  Maltesers hiv shrunk by 15%, Toblerone is mair troughs than peaks and Terry’s Chocolate Orange is noo barely the size o’ a Satsuma.  It’s shocking. Mind you, my pal Big Sonya is delighted, as if jist the portions getting smaller, that means she’s nae been quite as much of a guts as she thocht.  And there are ither benefits too, as smaller packets could lead to reductions in obesity, prevent the need for price increases and are easier tae stuff up yer jumper fan choring them fae Morrisons.

Cosmo Ludovic Fawkes Hunte, 13th Earl of Kinmuck

So the desperate Remoaners are now complaining that Britain’s glorious departure from the EU and embrace of a trade deal with the US will open us all up to dreadful consequences, including exposure to chlorinated chicken.  When first I heard this, I said, “Well, truly they’ve taken leave of their bally senses now.  Chicken with apricots in a light curry mayonnaise has been freely available in this country for decades!”  But it transpires that that is in fact, Coronation chicken, and quite different from poultry that has been washed in chemical disinfectant to extend its shelf-life, (though not that different, given the way Mumsie made it).

There has been a great deal of talk about ‘standards’ and ‘food safety’ as apparently the do-gooders think that swapping sanitary living conditions for livestock for a for a simple, cost effective, anti-bacterial carcass bath is in some way undesirable.   Well cover me in streaky bacon and baste me periodically, but I beg to differ.  I’ll wager a bet that none of these protestors would care to swallow a mouthful of water from a swimming pool that had not been cholorinated – especially if my old classmate, Jobbie McConnachie, had been in first.  My wife assures me that we sterilised our dear son St John’s bottle in a chlorine solution every night and that did him no harm; it is the fact that my wife and I are first-cousins that left him a drooling simpleton.  So three cheers for cheap meat produced in conditions so filthy that it needs to be decontaminated before it can be eaten!  It is perfectly fit for human consumption – by plebs like you, while I feast on home-reared grouse and guinea fowl.

Davinia Smythe-Barratt, ordinary mum

Like any ordinary mum, I’m deeply concerned about how environmental issues impact on my children, so I was very interested in the Government’s announcement that no new petrol or diesel cars are going to be sold after 2040. This is an issue very close to my heart, and I drive many thousands of miles a year to I can lend my support to campaigns against unnecessary car journeys. I invariably take Snezhana, the au pair, along with me (she’s Bulgarian – but she’s marvellous, and a dab hand with a megaphone). Banners and placards are good, but I find nothing makes the statement quite like hearing the words ‘Get Out Of The Car “ blaring out of a blacked out Discovery in an Eastern European accent.