A small change has taken place in the cereal section. With great repercussions.

It’s a ritual, every morning, for millions of French people, young and old. At breakfast time, there is often a box of cereal on the table. In a bowl, with or without milk, this is the first meal of the day. An important moment, especially for the youngest. In supermarkets, Chocapic, Crunch, Lion and Nesquik are among the iconic brands and often present in household shopping carts.

If the large brown, blue or yellow box has been iconic for decades, a change has recently appeared on the packaging. All buyers see it, as the size of the characters is unmissable. The new designation reads: “FORMAT 375G”. No more no less. With such a thick headband, one might expect good news, a larger quantity… This is not the case. It is even the opposite that happened, as noted by the consumer association UFC – Que Choisir.

Behind this large display without indication hides a big trick for customers: the quantities of packages of these four brands have been reduced and the prices have increased! Now there are only 375 grams of cereal per box compared to 430 previously. A drop which did not lead to a fall in price, far from it.

If the old box of Chocapic cereals cost around €2.45, it now costs around €2.95. More expensive and less quantity! To better understand the rise in the bill, the price per kilo jumped from €5.70/kg to €7.87/kg.

And that’s not all. The new 645 gram format, also displayed large on the package, costs more even though it replaced the 750 gram package. The same goes for Crunch, Lion and Nesquik, whose prices have also increased despite a drop in quantity.

At the UFC – Que Choisir, Nestlé, the manufacturer which owns all these brands, admitted to having “reviewed the positioning” of these products, simply evoking “new packaging, new weights and a readjustment of the price” to be “in the average market price.” The “consolation” put forward by Nestlé? The recipe has not changed. Chocapic is a lot of chocolate… but above all it makes your bank card burn.