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Brits should start saving early for Easter this year, as shrinkflation and changes to supermarket promotions threaten to hike the cost of the UK’s annual chocolate binge.

Easter eggs have already shrunk in the wake of rising raw material prices, with the average weight of shell egg packs falling 6.1% from 185g to 174g last year [IRI 52 w/e 5 November 2016], exclusive research by The Grocer has revealed.

Average prices per kg, meanwhile, have soared by 18.1% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 24 April 2016]. “Average price per pack increased despite the ongoing pressure of prices in grocery,” said Kantar analyst John Walker. “Manufacturers have downsized to hit key price points; price per kg has increased.”

Suppliers are staying tight-lipped about whether shoppers will see further pack shrinkages for Easter 2017, but costs are expected to rise further this year.

“The price of raw cacao has risen significantly in recent months due to the growing number of people buying chocolate and an increased demand for quality product, coupled with a bad season and damaged supply,” says Choc on Choc co-founder Flo Broughton. “The increased cost of sugar and ingredients with the sugar tax increase will further hike prices and increase costs.”

Both Mondelez International and Nestlé have confirmed their Easter confectionery rsps will remain static for 2017, but noted pricing was at the discretion of the retailers.

“Food and drink manufacturers have been experiencing increasing input costs for some time which, coupled with recent foreign exchange pressures, are making food products more expensive to make,” said a Mondelez spokeswoman. “For example, the price of cocoa, which we import into the UK, is up by over 50% since 2013. We have, and continue to, carry these increased costs within our business as much as possible.”