AB Inbev manufacturer of Coca-Cola and other well-known cool drink brands has introduced reduced size containers at the same price as the previous packaging to howls of rage from consumers and industry watchers.
In a recent snap online poll undertaken by the consumer website Retail Price Watch www.retailpricewatch.co.za more than 90% of consumers surveyed felt that the latest shrinkflation to hit our stores was a rip-off
. Pepsi/Kingsley/Twissa here we come!!!
The anger seems to be centred around two things: Firstly the claim by Roger Gauntlett general manager of Coca-Cola South Africa that the new size was “intended to reduce consumers’ sugar intake” (the new 440ml bottle apparently contains the equivalent of 11 teaspoons of sugar instead of 13). This claim has been trashed on social media:
Roger Gauntlett is one of those business people who think his customers are stupid…
Where’s the sugar in Sprite Zero?
Secondly the new packaging which will replace the old completely in stores from November comes at the same price – a 14% hike.
Viccy Baker of Retail Price Watch says that Coca-Cola’s treatment of its customers is just one more example of large FMCG manufacturers – “Big Food” - riding roughshod over consumers simply because they can.
“Coca-Cola’s dominance in the marketplace is well-established. It has kept the price of its products artificially low for years, not out of consideration for its customers but in order to squeeze out smaller competitors, a remarkably successful strategy. It obviously hoped by decreasing the size and maintaining the price, to slip under consumers’ radar in the run up to the holiday season.”
Baker believes that consumers should vote with their wallets.
“Stop buying Coca-Cola for your children. A diluted fruit juice concentrate contains 2-3 teaspoons sugar as opposed to the 11 spoons in a 440ml Coke, and costs far less.
“Or make Coca-Cola a weekend treat for the whole family, instead of an everyday drink.”
“Reduced sales are the only way that Coca-Cola will pay any attention to consumers.”