Chocolate company Whittaker's say they won't be following Cadbury and reducing the size of their bars.
Cadbury yesterday announced their 220g family blocks will be dropping by around 10 per cent to 200g - the equivalent of a row of chocolate.
"We had a choice to make about whether we increased the price we recommended to our retailers or reduced the size of the block and we've taken the choice to reduce the size of the block to make sure it stays an affordable treat," chief executive Jacqueline Evison said.
Whittaker's marketing manager Holly Whittaker said they had no current plans to reduce the size of any of their products as a cost saving mechanism, but with increasing raw material prices, a price increase at some point this year was likely.
"Whittaker's strategy is to maintain premium quality and value to the consumer. We have a policy of better before cheaper," she said.
"Our focus on improving product quality has proved successful with our increasing market share."
Cadbury's announcement attracted mixed reactions and more than 400 comments on Cadbury New Zealand's Facebook page this morning.
"Didn't they make them smaller by one row a while ago when they changed the packaging? And now they are doing it again," Savannah Peterson wrote.
In early 2009, the company cut its 250g and 150g blocks by around 20 per cent and replaced a portion of the cocoa butter ingredient with palm oil.
A market backlash and calls for a boycott by environmentalists concerned that palm oil production damaged rainforests led to a backdown by Cadbury, and the size was increased again slightly and the palm oil was removed.
A Cadbury spokesperson replied to Ms Peterson saying the company learned important lessons in the 2009 downsize and had been working hard since then to restore consumers trust.
"This change is different to 2009 - we are only changing the size. Our manufacturing costs have increased to a point that we can no longer absorb," they said.
Cressida Evans wrote; "I thought you would have learnt from the huge volume of kiwis who swapped over to Whittakers (and stayed there!) during the palm oil debacle, that you can't just tell your customers what you think they want. How arrogant".
However, not all the feedback was negative.
"Really proud of you Cadbury - for not putting the price up and being upfront and giving us the consumers reasons," Meg Tyler Ja Kerry wrote.
"I'm sure we will all survive with one less row," wrote Nicole Murdoch.
University of Auckland senior marketing lecturer Dr Michael Lee said only time would tell what the impact of Cadbury's decision would be.
"It's really putting it in the hands of the market.
"Do you prefer to not spend more and get less, or do you prefer to spend more and get the same amount."
"It's obviously a calculated decision," he said. "Essentially for every 10 bars they make now they can sell another one."
Foodstuffs and Countdown spokeswoman declined to comment on whether they believed the move would impact sales.
At Countdown on Auckland's Quay St, customers said the downsize would make them reconsider buying Cadbury's.
Belinda Mitchell said the downsize would put her off the brand.
"I generally wait for it to come on special anyway, but I definitely prefer their flavour to some of the other brands," she said.
"I don't think it will be met well, I think it's going to have a bad reception.
"To be honest I would look at purchasing something else rather than [Cadbury's] now."
Toni-Lee Tairua said she never usually bought Cadbury's anyway and the downsizing was another reason that would put her off.
"I get Whittaker's usually. It tastes like there's more - it's richer."
Shavani Henare said she usually bought Cadbury's, but the downsize would make her reconsider.
Natasha Symonds said she had recently gone off Cadbury due to the taste, favouring instead Whittaker's and Lindt.
"But if I was a Cadbury's purchaser, and I do buy it from time to time, [downsizing] would put me off."