Forget Brexit, what really sums up the state of the nation is the price of a Freddo.
A light-hearted Facebook post about the price of the tiny chocolate bar has suddenly become a matter of national importance.
The poster claims that the UK minimum wage should stand at £18 an hour, because in 1999 one hour’s pay at minimum wage could buy you 72 Freddo chocolate bars.
But by 2017, when the minimum wage stood at £7.50, you could only buy 30 Freddos.
The claim was so profound it was taken up by Full Fact, one of the UK’s independent factchecking charity.
“The post is, obviously, light-hearted and not intended to be taken entirely seriously,” writes Full Fact.
In response to a humorous Facebook post, we calculated that the price of a Freddo bar has risen five times faster than inflation over the past two decades.https://t.co/RaHYAIKNOc— Full Fact (@FullFact) September 13, 2019
“But it’s a good excuse to talk about inflation and chocolate.”
Full Fact says the post is actually wrong because the cost of a Freddo in 1999 was 10p, meaning you could only buy 36 not 72 - but it is still not good news for chocolate eaters.
It says the post was correct in claiming that the price of the chocolate bar has risen faster than inflation over the past two decades.
“Based on the government’s two official measures of inflation (CPI and CPIH), if a Freddo cost 10p in 1999, and the cost then rose in line with inflation, then a Freddo should have cost 14p in 2017 (an increase of 40%) and 15p today,” says Full Fact.
“Yet at the start of 2017 a Freddo cost 25p, and rose to 30p by March (at least in some parts of country—costs seem to vary slightly across the country and between shops).
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“That means that by March 2017 the cost of a Freddo had increased by 200% since 1999—five times faster than inflation.”
Earlier this year, Freddo maker, Cadbury, reduced the price to 10p, but only for a short time as part of a promotion.
Freddo was originally an Australian chocolate bar, invented by a teenager in 1930.
They were first sold in the UK in 1973, withdrawn in 1979, then brought back in 1994.