curry ready meal in a microwave

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Tesco has swapped its 450g ready meals for new 400g packs, and its 800g ready meals for 750g ones

Tesco has cut 50g from the weight of its entire range of own-label ready meals – but prices have risen in some cases.

Research by The Grocer using Assosia data shows the retailer has swapped its 450g ready meals for new 400g packs, and its 800g ready meals for 750g ones [Assosia 12 w/e 3 August 2022].

Its Sweet Potato Red Thai Curry & Jasmine Rice 450g, for instance, has been replaced with a 400g version – and risen in price from £2.75 to £2.80.

Its Cottage Pie 800g, meanwhile, has been replaced with a 750g version at the same price of £3.50, the data shows. 

Tesco, however, isn’t the only retailer to have shrunk its own-label ready meals over the past year.

Assosia data shows Morrisons made a similar move towards the end of last year, swapping its range of 450g Indian-inspired curries with rice – including the likes of Chicken Jalfrezi with Basmati Rice, Chicken Korma with Pilau Rice, and Chicken Tikka Masala with Pilau Rice – for 400g versions.

Those meals have since risen in price from £2.75 to £3.49 [Assosia 52 w/e 3 August 2022].

Prices have also risen across Sainsbury’s and Asda’s own-label ranges, the data reveals.

Sainsbury’s Chicken Korma Banquet Meal with Rice, Bhajias & Bombay Potato 500g (meal for one), for instance, rose in price from £3.50 to £3.75 on 20 July.

The price of Asda Good & Balanced Chicken & King Prawn Paella 425g, meanwhile, increased from £3.25 to £3.50 in the retailer on 1 August.

It comes as a mass of fmcg brands have been shrinking their products to mitigate soaring input costs.

As reported by The Grocer this week, a raft of Fairy, Bold and Lenor laundry products have shrunk in the mults – along with Dove Beauty Bar packs – have shrunk, with prices staying the same or even rising in some cases.

Over recent weeks, Mars has shrunk the size of its Maltesers sharing bags and Twix multipacks, citing the “rising costs of raw materials and operations” as its reason for doing so.

Spreads giant Upfield also shrunk packs of Flora, Bertolli and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, blaming “significant commodity cost increases”, while Unilever downsized its Magnum multipacks.