Conspiracy theorists, listen up. A number of writers, bloggers and Easter candy eaters have taken note of something disturbing in the world of confections: The Easter candy we're used to gorging ourselves on is getting smaller. Sure, some might think this is not such a big deal and that we (and our teeth) are probably better off with downsized portions. But rabble-rousers say that if we're still paying the same for the candy, why should we get less of it while the companies that make it get more profit? Before you take to the streets to march for the cause, let's take a closer look at the Easter candy controversy.
Turns out that most of the hubbub centers around Cadbury, the British candy-maker that's pretty much synonymous with Easter chocolate thanks to its Cadbury Crème Eggs, the ubiquitous foil-wrapped chocolate eggs with an oozy white-and-yellow filling. Accusations that Cadbury's chocolate eggs have been shrinking date back nearly a decade. The story picked up some steam in 2007, when Cadbury claimed on its website that the eggs hadn't gotten smaller, "you've just grown up." In response, actor B.J. Novak appeared on Conan O'Brien's late-night show with both a 2005 and a 2007 egg in hand, proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the '07 egg was indeed smaller than the '05 version. Cadbury soon changed the language on its site to state that "since people's preferences vary from market to market, so do our products."
The Hard Numbers
According to Mental Floss, a single Cadbury Crème Egg weighed 39 grams in 1977. Today? Those eggs clock in at just 34 grams. Interestingly, those extra grams seem to be going to our friends across the pond, where the eggs now weigh 40 grams each, an increase in size. (It's worth noting that the Hershey Company holds the license to manufacture the eggs here in the U.S.) And it turns out that the more you buy, the less you get. Last year, news broke that Cadbury egg multi-packs, which had historically come six to a box, were now only including five for the same price. The company is on thin chocolate-flavored ice as it is, but things seem to be getting worse. According to the UK paper The Telegraph, Cadbury's revenues have dipped since the company announced a little over a year ago that it would swap out the dairy milk it's traditionally used in the recipe for "standard cocoa mix chocolate." That shakeup had Crème Egg purists up in arms, with many fans of the classic candy taking to Twitter to express their outrage about #cremeegggate.
It's not just candy specific to Easter that's shrinking. According to the blog Dead Caterpillar, a two-pack of Reese's Peanut Butter cups are now an ounce lighter than they were in 2003. And mega chocolate-maker Mars announced a few years back that it would be downsizing many of its candy bars, including its fabled Snickers and Mars bars, to limit portions to 250 calories and encourage "responsible snacking." Right...
So, in conclusion: Has some candy gotten smaller in recent years? Yes. But will we all still feel like we ate way too much of it by the end of Easter Sunday? Sadly, also yes.
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