Chocolate suppliers have once again cut the size of Christmas selection tins - but canny shoppers can avoid paying more than they did last year for their festive chocs.

Mondelez has reduced the size of its Roses tub from the 826g it weighed in at last Christmas to 753g, while Nestlé has cut its Quality Street tub from 820g to 780g. Mondelez’s Heroes are 760g, as they were last year, however, and Mars has kept Celebrations at 750g after dropping it from 855g last Christmas.

confectionery pack sizes have been adjusted as cost pressure on suppliers mounts, with the price of core ingredient cocoa butter soaring 50% year on year [Mintec] due to growing demand for chocolate, particularly in Asia.

Tins and tubs are typically selling for £5 each at the big four - as they were last year - but steep promotions on some lines means the price per kilo shoppers are paying for certain brands is the same or even lower than a year ago.

A key factor keeping a lid on average prices is Tesco promotional activity, with the retailer currently (as of 30 September) offering tins and tubs at £4 each. It ran similar deals last year, but for a very limited period and on fewer lines than this year. As a result, the average price of a tin or tub across the big four has been £4.91 this September, compared with £4.95 in September 2013.

On average across the big four, Cadbury Heroes have cost £6.48 a kilo this September, the same as they were in September 2013 [].

And Mars Celebrations have been £6.50 a kilo, seven pence cheaper per kilo than last year.

Quality Street and Roses are more expensive than last year, however, with Quality Street at £6.32 a kilo on average (vs £6.02 a year ago), and Roses at £6.55 compared with £6.20 in 2013.

It remains to be seen whether Morrisons will employ the strategy it used last October when it took some lines down to £3.50 with a two-for-£7 offer. During last year’s Morrisons promotion, Asda also dropped the price of tins and tubs to £4 for a limited period.

Offers such as £4 a tub this early in the festive run up were unheard of even a few years ago. In September and October 2011, for example, the average unit price of tins and tubs of chocolate was £5.83.