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Jaffa Cake Noise Unjustified

I do like a nice Jafa Cake. Favourite of the sports stars for its high energy release and low fat content. And it's a cake not a biscuit so no VAT! But it’s been a tough week for McVities Jaffa Cakes. They’ve taken a hammering from the press. Why? Because they’ve had the temerity to reduce their pack content from 12 cakes to 10. The retail price mark is now at 0.99p down from £1.20 but the size of the individual cakes is still 12.2g. The pro-rata value is maintained at around 10 pence per cake. So what’s the issue?

It is perfectly legitimate for brand manufacturers to review the value of their packs and engineer them to hit price points attractive to consumers. It happens all the time. Just look at the major detergent companies. They change the number of washes per pack regularly to ensure that the RSP is attractive to consumers. Only yesterday I noticed that Daz 10 wash has now become a 9 wash. The pack content across a range of groceries is being reformulated all the time by suppliers for the Pound Stores to get inside that £1 envelope.

This is exactly what McVities has done with the Jaffa Cakes. I can’t believe that they haven’t researched this extensively before making the change. It is always a big risk to reduce the quantum price of any pack, as there is a serious danger of trading down. They must have calculated that a reduction in the RSP will drive enough sales volume to at least make up the difference in lost pack value.

Consumers are very savvy. They can spot a con and they will vote with their wallets. Good luck to McVities. They’ve maintained the value and I hope the pack size change works. The consumers will have the final decision.

David Gilroy

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