Lifestyle Economics

Public Health England sugar reduction scheme has led to ‘shrinkflation’ rip off


Lifestyle Economics

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IEA reacts to Public Health England's sugar reduction progress report

Commenting on Public Health England’s progress report on the sugar reduction scheme, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs says:

“Public Health England issued their Soviet-style targets with no understanding of how food is made or what consumers want. A five per cent reduction in one year was always unrealistic because it takes longer than that to develop products, test them and create the manufacturing infrastructure. A 20 per cent reduction is unrealistic under any time-frame and leaves the manufacturers of many products with only one option: reduce the size of the product. We have started to see the rip-off of ‘shrinkflation’ with chocolate bars and we will see much more of it in the years ahead.

“Why is this quango systematically degrading the food supply? Consumers didn’t ask for it, the electorate didn’t vote for it and, when offered an artificially sweetened option, shoppers don’t buy it.”

Notes to editors: 

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: or 0207 799 8920 or 07791 390 268

For more on the sugar tax from the IEA, click here.

To read Christopher Snowdon’s ‘Killjoys’, a critique of paternalism click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

Further IEA Reading: Killjoys: A Critique of Paternalism