Long gone are the days of stepping into your local shop with £1 and emerging with enough sugar to fuel you for an entire week - we're living in a world where tearful millennials are forking over notes for childhood treats that would, once upon a time, have barely made a dent in your pocket money.
The world around us is changing.
That's why vouchercloud decided to see just how much has changed since 2000, comparing prices of some of the old-school favourites today with what they should be, according to inflation.
“Things aren't that bad”, I hear you say. “We're just being nostalgic”, you cry.
Well, you're wrong. You're wrong and you should feel bad.
Some of the staples of our childhood are being ruined before our eyes - and ruined well ahead of the rate of inflation.
The cornershop-staple that was the Beano comic has skyrocketed in price well ahead of anything else, but the iconic Freddo isn't far behind. The cost of a cinema ticket and a Mars Bar have also shot up well ahead of the rate of inflation, but there's a reason that the Economist picked out a Big Mac to create an Economic Index around - it has remained remarkably consistent with the rate of inflation for the last 15 years.
That said, if things carry on like this, we'll need to take out a loan next time we want to sneak some snacks into the cinema.
The Price of a Freddo - The Freddo Index
British people are known around the world for that one timeless question; the question that defines us; the question that determines the state of our once great nation:
“How Much is a Freddo?”
If the price of a Freddo had increased alongside inflation, it would cost 15p today - and still weigh the original 20g, instead of the measly 18g version we ‘enjoy’ today.
Instead, the price of a Freddo Frog sits at an unsettling 25p - and worse still, if the price increases at the same rate it'll end up at 38p in 2030.
… but be thankful you aren't Australian:
Weight of a Freddo:
- In 2013, a Freddo reduced in weight from 20g > 15g.
- In 2015, the weight of a Freddo reduced further, from 15g > 12g.
This means that if we were subjected to the same terrible Freddo treatment as our brothers on the other side of the world, you'd be being charged 42p for the equivalent weight - and the price would reach the equivalent of 69p in 2030.
WHAT HAPPENED, BRITAIN? WHERE DID WE GO SO WRONG?
|Freddo (with inflation)||10p||11p||13p||15p||17p||18p||20p|
The Price of a Mars Bar - The Mars Index
It's fairly bad news across the world of chocolate as a whole. In fact, taking the weight change into account, your favourite nougat, caramel and chocolate treat has sky-rocketed even quicker than our amphibious friend.
Long story short, the price of a Mars Bar is fairly depressing:
If the price of a Mars Bar had remained consistent with inflation, we'd be sitting at a fairly bitesize 44p.
Instead, we're left with a 60p bill (87p come 2030) on a bar that's also notoriously shrunk over the years.
Weight of a Mars Bar:
- In 2002, the weight of a Mars Bar reduced from 65g > 62.5g.
- Then, in 2008, the size of a Mars Bar fell further, dropping from 62.5g > 59g.
- Then, the final straw - in 2013, the Mars Bar shrunk from 58g > 51g.
Again, that means that if a Mars Bar was still the same healthy 65g bar that we fondly remember, we'd be paying 76p. In 2030, at the same rate, you'd be paying £1.18 for the same amount of chocolate.
|Mars Bar (at original weight)||29p||33p||47p||73p||88p||£1.00||£1.18|
|Mars Bar (with inflation)||29p||33p||38p||44p||48p||52p||58p|
The Price of a Beano Comic - The Beano Index
What was a childhood cornershop trip without the cheeky purchase of a comic, too?
Though some of us were more into football, music or those weird girly magazines, let's not pretend any of us were Dandy readers - we were Beano readers, and one of the last generations to truly appreciate the age of the comic.
But, just like most other print media, things changed. The Internet happened.
A double-whammy of above-inflation price increases and stuttering sales has led us to the most staggering jump of anything we tracked - take a gander at the cost of a Beano Comic:
Awwwhh, that's depressing. The Bash Street Kids would be kicking off.
Through a combination of covering their costs and ever-rising prices in similar products, the price of a Beano Comic has shot up to £2.50 this year, compared to a gentle 52p in 2000.
The inflation-appropriate price of 79p makes for equally saddening reading, too. In fact, the price of a Beano Comic, inflation adjusted, should only just be hitting the £1 mark in 2028 - while the price increase over the last 15 years suggests it'll actually be closer to £4.
At least, compared to everything else on here, you're likely getting a better product than you used to (and you can get 13 issues for £17 if you subscribe).
|Beano Comic (With Inflation)||52p||59p||68p||79p||86p||95.00||£1.03|
The Price of a Cinema Ticket - The Cinema Index
Orange Wednesdays and Meerkat Movies can only do so much.
Once upon a time, the cinema used to be something you didn't have to plan an entire weekend's budget around - with adult prices not too long ago sitting just below a fiver, kids were welcomed with something even cheaper.
… at least popcorn was always expensive.
After the gruesome shock of Freddogate and Marsgate, this doesn't look quite as bad.
However, considering we weren't paying above a fiver until 2005, the fact that we're set to be paying almost £13 to see the latest release in 2030 is fairly appalling. This data doesn't even take into account the premium for 3D movies, and the occasional extra cost you have to pay for the biggest releases.
… that's right. Some cinemas charge you extra for seeing the biggest movies of the year.
Even the inflation-adjusted £8.75 in 2030 would be an annoying amount to pay if ‘Mission Impossible 14’ comes with a premium for 3D.
|Adult Cinema Ticket||£4.40||£6.39||£8.07||£9.32||£10.52||£11.75||£12.97|
|Adult Cinema Ticket (With Inflation)||£4.40||£4.96||£5.78||£6.69||£7.30||£8.02||£8.75|
The Price of a Big Mac - The Big Mac Index
The Economist were onto a winner, weren't they?
Way back in 1986, Sam Woodall decided to portray the Purchasing Price Index (PPP) and compare exchange rates around the world using the Big Mac - one of few consumer items that transcends the world.
Although this is not an exact science - well, exact economics - by any stretch of the imagination, the price of a Big Mac is apparently a fantastic indicator of the rate of inflation across the UK over the last 15 years.
In 2007, the gap between the actual price of a Big Mac in the UK (£1.94) and the equivalent price predicted by inflation since 2000 (£2.31) reached its biggest disparity - 37p.
On the whole though, it's been remarkably close to the appropriate figure - 1p difference this year, in fact - and is a great example of how big business doesn't have to rip us off for our fast-food staples and nostalgic endeavours.
… who'd have thought we'd be saying that about McDonalds?
In 2030, a Big Mac might end up costing £3.68 - 10p below the predicted inflation figure.
|Big Mac (With Inflation)||£1.90||£2.14||£2.50||£2.89||£3.15||£3.46||£3.78|
Notes about the Data
Vouchercloud endeavoured to find the average price of each product across the UK for every year since 2000, and track the rises and falls in price appropriately.
Where possible, we've gone with the RRP - yes, we've seen the pictures of shops selling 65p Freddos and we're just as appalled as you are.
Regional differences also have a big influence on price, and some prices may not be 100% accurate - we've used unequivocally correct sources where possible, along with some case studies and news articles from appropriate years - if there are any amends that you can back up with evidence, we'd be happy to hear them.
Full data for each year individually is available upon request.
Inflation figures are based off the accurate historical data, and predictions for the future are based on a static rise of inflation based on the average rate over the last 16 years (around 3.9%).
People get so angry about this that it's hard *not* to find the information. Weight changes (similar for Mars) are consistently well recorded and, outside of the huge local store inflations, the RRP is accurate.
For reference, the British Freddo actually started, in 2007, at 17g. It grew, believe it or not, to 20g in 2007. and then shrunk back to the current 18g version in 2011.
There were a couple of dates handily filled in by some old news sources - AOL and BBC included - but we've filled in some of the gaps with first-hand experience and insider knowledge.
For the Beano, we literally looked at historical front covers of the Beano to derive the price - don't let us hear you say we didn't put the work in. The Wikipedia page and Beano Forums helped fill in some gaps.
Cinema ticket calculations are based on the recorded average ticket price (courtesy of CinemaUK), which were then transformed into the “average adult price” using a formula derived from StephenFollows’ post (roughly x1.36, using the average of an ‘off-peak’ and ‘peak’ ticket price).
The classic Big Mac Index, courtesy of the Economist, was the saviour here. We gathered the historical data from BigMacIndex.org.