For any child, Christmas morning is immense. Growing up in the 70s, my stocking was one of Dad’s socks (as they were the biggest), and I would wake to see it at the end of my bed filled with satsumas, walnuts and handfuls of chocolates from the Quality Street tin.
As I grew older and Christmas stockings got bigger, I received my first Terry’s Chocolate Orange©. The joy that this magnificent orange ball of chocolate heaven was all for me. Since then, the chocolate orange has played a significant part of my family’s Christmas, and I suspect, I am not alone because the supermarkets are stacked high with them every year.
2016 will be a significant year for many reasons. The loss of many of my music heroes, Brexit and then Trump. But worse was to come as we approached the Christmas season, the realisation that my beloved Christmas chocolates had shrunk!
It transpired that manufacturers would rather give us less chocolate for the same money than charge us more money for the same amount… A trick I realised that had been going on for years, smaller Waggon Wheels, shorter Walnut Whips, ever increasing valleys between the mountains of Toblerone, and now the smaller orange.
Your hands haven’t grown 10% bigger over the last 12 months, the dreamy balls of orange chocolate have shrunk 10%, which, by my calculations, is a loss equivalent to 2 segments.
The serious stuff!
Last year we saw inflation rise from 0.6% to 1.2%, and the trend is set to continue as the Bank of England expects inflation to rise close to 3% in 2017.
Take the Chocolate Orange. At the beginning of 2016 your £1 would have purchased 175g of chocolate, from October, only 157g of chocolate could be bought for the same price. So ultimately you will get less for your pound.
What does this mean?
The reality is that we need to make our money work harder, to give us more, so that we can keep up with the hidden rise in the cost of living. If you are a basic rate tax payer, you will need an interest rate return of 3.75% to equate to a rate of inflation of 3%. (www.moneyfacts.co.uk)
What will next Christmas hold? A Chocolate Tangerine!
If you want straight talking finance and information on ways to stay ahead off inflation call us on 01462 422507.