It is not your imagination; the sweets you bought as a child were larger then than they are now. It’s known as shrinkflation.
Today, in the UK, the newspapers rediscovered shrinkflation headlines after a Scottish taxi driver found a 23-year-old Mars bar in his loft. Newsworthy? Not only is the Mars bar larger than the skillfully trimmed chocolate we can buy today but he’s already had offers of swaps and trades from collectors and piss-takers looking to get their hands on it.
Some geeks collect candy and sweets. Ex-Marvel editor Jason Liebig, who worked on the X-Men series, is sometimes described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy” and runs the site Collecting Candy.com.
Remember how Stranger Things ramped up the nostalgia with all those boxes of Eggo? They were re-created from pictures of Jason’s original.
Mars on Mars
We can get even geekier with our shrinking Mars bars.
Scottish Friendly, a mutual mainly interested in ISAs, also published research on shrinkflation and have a slideshow all about it. They worked out how many Mars bars it would take to match the weight of the Curiosity Rover stranded on Mars.
In 1990 it would take 13, 846 of those 65g Mars bars. Whereas, using today’s chocolate bar alternative, it would need 17,647. By my calculations, that means Curiosity weighs about 9,000Kg.
It turns out that the humble Mars bar isn’t the only space-themed confectionary to have been hit with the shrinkflation ray. The classic Space Raiders (bonus points if you remember those) have also shrunk. The 1980 packet weight was 13g, but if you’re lucky enough to find any in the shops today, the snacks will only weigh in at 11.8g. Weird?