Surrounded by reporters the day after the NBA announced a blockbuster new television deal in October, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant contemplated the maximum-salary rule that governs his compensation and that of his superstar peers.“Look at it like this,” Durant said. “Kobe Bryant brings in a lot of money to Los Angeles, that downtown area. People go to watch the Lakers. Clippers are getting up there — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and those guys are bringing in a lot of money as well. Look at Cleveland, look at Miami when LeBron [James] was there. These guys are worth more than what they are making because of the amount of money they bring to that area.”NBA players do not get paid what they’re actually worth. Really young? Really good? Sorry — for you, the market isn’t truly an open one. Analysts — and increasingly players such as Durant and Bryant — can tell you that the maximum-contract rule suppresses the salaries of superstars, that inexperienced players are paid less than their contributions warrant, and that as a result, the NBA’s middle class is paid far too much.In recent years, however, that popular notion appears to have been wrong. I built a model measuring how much NBA teams paid for their players’ wins above replacement (WAR), and it shows that the league has changed. During the 2014-15 season, the middle class was, in fact, paid far less for its production than max-contract players, accelerating a trend that began two seasons earlier. In other words, the role players were suddenly steals.But if this offseason is any indication, max players are the bargains once again. Forgive me for sounding like a bad Internet headline — but you are not going to believe how underpaid Kawhi Leonard is, despite his new max contract. The same salary cap spike that’s made this free-agency period so wacky is shifting what the league’s players are worth yet again.But before we dwell on the future, let’s rummage through the past.For most of the past decade, the hoary aphorisms about which players were relatively cheap (and which were relatively exorbitant) held true. From the 1999-2000 season through the 2010-11 one,1That’s the span between the league’s two season–shortening lockouts. players on rookie contracts (think Derrick Rose when he won the MVP award in 2010-11) generated 23 percent of the league’s WAR but were paid only 12 percent of the league’s money.2Beyond minimum salaries, that is. Throughout this article, I’m adjusting the money teams paid players to account for the fact that the monetary equivalent of “wins above replacement” is “salary above the minimum.” This is because a team should expect a minimum-salary player to produce, by definition, zero WAR. Players on maximum contracts (such as James and Bryant) were also shortchanged, generating 24 percent of the wins but making 22 percent of the money.And the rest of the league — the players I’m calling “middle-class” because they’re neither rookies nor max players (and therefore their earning power isn’t systematically capped) — gobbled up the surplus, making 65 percent of the money despite generating 52 percent of the wins.If the market were truly efficient, all the players would be paid the same for each win; there wouldn’t be a difference between any of the curves in the chart above — they’d just be one big, fat, overlapping line, ebbing and flowing in unison. Instead, the prices per win for players are clearly stratified by type of contract, particularly during the period before the league installed a new collective bargaining agreement for the 2011-12 season.Recently, though, a shift has taken place. Young players are still drastically underpaid, of course; the numbers in the chart aren’t adjusted for increases to the NBA’s salary cap, making the young players’ relatively flat line striking, given that the cap nearly doubled between 1999-2000 and 2014-15. But the price of a middle-class win took a downward turn sometime around the 2008-09 or 2009-10 seasons after years of shadowing the max-salary line.Since then, buying a win from a max-salary player has become more expensive than ever before. While the salary cap rose by 8.7 percent between 2011-12 and 2014-15, the cost of a max player’s wins rose by 39 percent. The per-win price of a middle-class player in that time fell by 15 percent. The middle-class players were the hidden gems.Max deals have always come with risk: Between the 1999 and 2005 offseasons, 57 percent of max contracts weren’t worth it, failing to deliver more value than the teams paid for. But during that era, enough max players succeeded — and tended to be home runs when they did — that on balance, they represented a better deal than middle-class players. After 2005, though, max players became more dangerous to invest in: Only 14 percent of all max deals3Of those that were signed in 2006 or later and have finished since then. since then have delivered a positive return. By the late 2000s, when those contracts were in full swing, max players were collectively providing less bang for the buck than the middle class — a first since the max salary was instituted in 1999.This was a significant development because it suggested a path to contention that didn’t involve superstars (a rarity in NBA history). Traditionally, the market for mid-level players has been a place for also-rans looking for scraps after the hyenas have had their way with the max-contract types. That dynamic reinforced the NBA’s competitive balance problem by effectively forcing smaller-market teams to spend more for their talent, on a per-win basis, than the league did overall. Any mechanism that made it cheaper for those types of teams to buy talent, though, stood to give the NBA a much-needed injection of parity.But an unprecedented rise in the salary cap might end all this. The early indications are that how much a million bucks can buy in each salary class will be upended once again. Just when the guidelines of a player’s worth were beginning to shift in an interesting (and more competitive) direction, the rising cap may bring the old wisdom all the way back around to being right again.To help model this and other matters of NBA interest, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver and I have been skunkworking a little model around here that will (theoretically, hopefully, god-willing) begin to do for basketball what PECOTA did for baseball. Using a player’s advanced metrics4Namely, Real Plus-Minus, Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating. and his statistical tendencies, it can project a player’s development into the future by comparing him to similar players from the past. We call it CARMELO.5 We spent a long time backronym-ing this in the office. What we came up with: “Career Arc Regression Model Estimator (with) Local Optimization.”Using the beta version of CARMELO to analyze this summer’s free-agent signings, I found that 10 of the 16 maximum-contract signees (as of July 12) project to bring a team a positive return on investment.6Assuming the value of a non-cost-controlled win scales upward with the cap in future seasons. As a group, it looks like they’ll be underpaid by an average of $5.6 million per year. (Leonard lords above them all: He’s projected to bring $26.9 million of extra value to the Spurs every year.7Whoa — how does that math work out? CARMELO thinks Leonard will generate 54.6 WAR over the life of his five-year deal, which would make his “fair salary” about $45 million per season (remember, the cap increases dramatically over that span). Since he’ll only make about $18 million a year, he projects to generate nearly $27 million in surplus value per season.) That’s quite a bit bigger than the average non-max signee of the summer, who thus far projects to bring his team just $850,000 of extra value per season.In other words, the max player is once again a far better deal than his middle-class peers.The cheapest way to build a great team in today’s NBA remains to concentrate on young players still on their rookie contracts. And it’s worth noting that the long-range implications of the league’s sudden salary cap explosion won’t be fully understood for years. But although basketball’s long-understood rules of value seemed on the verge of disruption in recent seasons, this summer offered an early peek into how teams and players will behave during the coming boom years, and it suggests that everything old is new again. See all the free-agent signings (through July 12), and whether the players will be underpaid or overpaid here:
Fresh off the distraction of Metta World Peace’s suspension, the Los Angeles Lakers are now dealing with forward Jordan Hill’s charge of third-degree felony assault for an alleged February altercation with his girlfriend in Houston.Jordan faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He had a court date today in Texas, but did not have to appear and will be in uniform tonight when the Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of their first-round series.“I’d like to apologize to the Lakers organization and to all of their fans for the un-timeliness of these accusations,” Hill said in a release. “I promise to keep my focus and attention on the playoffs during this time and to helping my team win another championship.”It is alleged that Hill began shoving and choking 28-year-old Darlene Luna during an altercation at Hill’s apartment. Luna claims that Hill hit her in the legs and threw her against a wall and then put her in a chokehold.Hill’s role with the Lakers increased with strong play and the absence of World Peace, who is serving a seven-game suspension for elbowing James Harden, causing a concussion.
Professional women’s tennis players make as much as the men do at all four Grand Slams. And the most successful American players are women: Serena Williams has 22 career major titles while her sister, Venus, has seven; no American man in this year’s U.S. Open draw has reached a major semifinal. At this year’s Open, like last year’s, by far the biggest story to watch is Serena Williams’s. Last year she was looking to tie the Open-era record for major titles and win all four in the same year; this year she’s looking to break the record.And yet the people who are telling the story of this tournament to the world are mostly men. Among the nearly 1,500 people who received media accreditation for the tournament, including broadcast staff, and who indicated whether they prefer to be referred to as “Mr.” or “Ms.,” 73 percent chose “Mr.,” according to Chris Widmaier, spokesman for the U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the tournament. And a count I did in the media work spaces and stadium seats on Thursday afternoon showed that about 78 percent of the people present were men. Freelance tennis writer Ana Mitric, who contributes to the Serbian media outlet B92 and has written about sexism in tennis, provided a second pair of eyes, reviewing video of nine player press conferences on Saturday and counting men and women among the media in attendance. At women players’ press conferences, 67 percent of media were men; the figure was 82 percent at men’s. 1Widmaier said he couldn’t say how many people didn’t indicate which honorific they prefer; media members aren’t obligated to choose one. His count includes people accredited as media, photographers and broadcast staff — but not people accredited as part of broadcasters who hold rights to the tournament, which includes ESPN, owner of FiveThirtyEight. I counted 231 people in the photographers’ pit, the photo facility, the two media work rooms, the media dining room, media-center patio and the main media seats during Venus Williams’s second-round match. The estimate is imprecise: I didn’t ask people for their gender identity, nor whether they were members of the media. I also may have counted some people who weren’t part of the tournament’s media coverage. I counted people who I knew worked in the tournament’s media operations but not other tournament staff.“Our goal is to make tennis look like America,” Widmaier said — including by gender and race. He put the onus on media to achieve that: “I hope media organizations are following recruitment protocols to ensure their people look like America.” It’s a point well taken. I’m a white man and the only reporter in Flushing for FiveThirtyEight; producer Jorge Estrada, a Latino man, is also accredited for FiveThirtyEight. 20131,10239226 Source: USTA 20161,01037227% 20141,14241827 20151,18345728 201299332525 Number of U.S. Open credentialed members of the media YEARMR.MS.SHARE MS. Women make up a larger share of the tennis media at the U.S. Open than they do of people covering some other sports — a 2014 report found that just 13 percent of sports staffers for U.S. newspapers and websites in the U.S. are women. And women fill an even smaller share of executive positions with major international sports bodies. Carole Bouchard, a French freelance writer who has covered 20 majors on site, said the gender gap has narrowed in her 12 years covering tennis, but that it “would be ridiculous to say that there aren’t consequences.”The ways in which having far more men than women in tennis media threatens the coherence of coverage are all around. Take, for instance, the continued attention paid to debates about equal prize money, or the casual discussion of women players’ looks. How the sport is covered by the people who tell its story affects how much of the total interest and revenue paid to tennis goes to women’s tennis, and when men so outnumber women in the telling of the sport’s story, it can put a thumb on the scale in the consuming.Women I spoke with who cover mixed-gender tennis tournaments said the share of men among the media at other tournaments they’ve covered is at least as big as at the U.S. Open — roughly 80 to 85 percent, they estimated.2My own observation of media rooms at Wimbledon and the French Open in recent years suggests that if anything the gender gap was bigger in those, though I never counted. “I am used to it,” said Bouchard.“This is a topic I hadn’t thought about much before you asked, and now I can’t help but look around and notice this,” said Bobby Chintapalli, a freelance writer who covers primarily women’s tennis for USA Today and other publications, over email. “Which is why when it comes to topics like this, I think awareness is key; it’s often a first step to improving a situation naturally.”Lindsay Gibbs, sports reporter at ThinkProgress and contributing tennis editor at Excelle Sports who has written about sexism in tennis, wrote in an email, “Sports culture is not the most welcoming for women, and that bleeds into the media, which has always been seen as a ‘boys’ club.’ It’s a global issue.”The gender gap also might make some men think the press room is an appropriate venue for sexism or harassment. “There can be a very ‘boys’ club’ vibe,” Mitric said, “including banter & other behavior that verges on, if not crosses over into, the inappropriate.”Bouchard also said media members who are parents might be put off by the travel demanded by covering a global sport — and because of cultural expectations of mothers, that might dissuade more moms than dads.“Another gendered split I’ve noticed — and one that is just as important — is that more men are in positions of power, whether that’s in terms of seniority or status,” said Mitric.Mitric doesn’t believe in quotas but echoes Widmaier’s call for outlets to step up recruitment of women, as well as the mentoring and promoting of them. She also said it’s up to men covering the sport to learn its history, which includes the rise of the WTA, the long fight for equal prize money and sexism in advertising and coverage of the sport; while she sees a rise in women’s voices around the sport, including on Twitter, she worries some men now see gender issues as covered and don’t bother with them themselves. “I think tennis media often fall short in connecting the sport to the larger world around it — and not only when it comes to gender,” Mitric said by email.ESPN, which owns FiveThirtyEight and which broadcasts the tournament in the U.S., has five women and nine men on air during the Open, according to ESPN spokesman Dave Nagle, plus a woman, Prim Siripipat, appearing in videos reporting on the tournament for ESPN.com. Nagle added that two match producers, managing producer, senior highlights producer, the lead producer on features and the production coordinator are women, as are many associate producers, graphic coordinators, social media producers and production assistants. (Of the 35 people accredited through ESPN.com — writers, editors and others not involved with the TV side, and not counting Estrada, Siripipat or me — 16 are women.) “ESPN has a long history of being a leader in providing opportunities to women both in front of or behind the camera,” Nagle said. (Widmaier declined to provide the number of journalists accredited from specific news organizations, but said that ESPN is the biggest “by far,” with The New York Times a distant second.)The frequent flaring of debate about whether women should continue to earn as much prize money as men might be less frequent with more women in the press room, Bouchard said. “Not a lot of men journalists have a huge love for women’s tennis,” she said.There are some notable exceptions, including several American men who write frequently about the WTA, the overseer of the women’s game worldwide. Also, women covering tennis often write about the men’s game. But even where there isn’t a firewall around gender, the old lines are often assumed to be in place. For instance, Bouchard says she’s had several conversations in which editors express interest in her contributing to their publications, but ask, “Oh, but also you are covering men’s tennis?” To which she replies, “I haven’t told you I am covering women’s tennis.”Men covering tennis may also discuss women athletes’ bodies differently, for instance talking about their looks. “I’m not sure women journalists would go at it the way men would,” Bouchard said. “Maybe I’m wrong.” To know, there would need to be more women tennis writers, she said.The media gender gap may help contribute to the growing gap in revenue between the men’s tour and the WTA. (For instance, broadcasters influence scheduling of tournaments, including which matches are featured on show courts, which skews male at some mixed-gender tournaments, notably Wimbledon.)“Men are still the ones making broadcasting decisions, writing the stories and controlling the narratives,” Gibbs said. “That leads to less coverage of women, which then leads to less people knowing about women’s tennis, which then directly impacts interest. Then, they cite less interest for the reason they don’t broadcast it more or write about it more. It’s a self-defeating cycle.”It’s a tough cycle to break, and far from the only one tennis is staring down. The vast majority of U.S. Open journalists are white, too. Trying to divine a person’s race at a glance is obviously fraught — as is divining their gender, it should be said — but it’s clear that the media rooms at the U.S. Open are a long way from looking like America. “You could count the number of black people here,” Bouchard said while looking around the workroom where we talked. She added, “The more diversity the better.”
The Ohio State women’s golf team didn’t finish as well as it was hoping to in this year’s Lady Buckeye Invitational. The near-40 mph gusts of wind didn’t help it in the weekend tournament, but it might have been a blessing in disguise as the Buckeyes head to Chicago next week for the Big Ten Tournament. “We haven’t won a tournament yet this year. I was hoping to get this one under our belts,” coach Therese Hession said. “The wind is good to practice in because we’re going to be right off Lake Michigan next week.” The wind couldn’t stop Michigan State’s Caroline Powers, who shot a 226 in the three-round tournament. Powers had the best individual performance of the weekend and also led her teammates to a first-place finish in the event, with a total score of 918 — 17 strokes better than Kent State, which came in second with a final score of 935. Wisconsin’s Lindsay Danielson had the second-best individual performance, leading her team to a third-place finish in the tournament with a score of 939. OSU finished fourth with a final score of 941. Rachel Rohanna and Vicky Villanueva led the Buckeyes, both scoring 235 for the weekend, tying for 13th overall in the individual scores. Susana Benavides, who shot a 238 over the weekend, said she had never played in such severe conditions. “It was probably the hardest round I’ve ever played,” Benavides said. “You can’t really focus on what you want; you just have to play for the wind. Try to make pars and be happy with it.” In Hong Lim agreed. “It was real interesting to see all my balls going thirty yards left and right, but everyone was in the same situation,” said Lim, the team’s lone senior, who was playing in her final home tournament. Lim scored 245 for the weekend, a score she wasn’t satisfied with. But she’ll have a chance to finish her Big Ten career strong in next week’s tournament. “I think next week’s going to be windy again, so it was a good preview for us,” she said. “I was hoping to do a lot better than what I did. But oh well, next week.” Regardless of the conditions next weekend, Hession says starting strong is what the team needs to do for a chance to finish atop the leader board. “We just have to get out there and try to really get off to a really good start because that’s one thing we haven’t done so well,” she said. “I think that first day will be critical.” One thing Hession doesn’t need to worry about is her team’s confidence. “I would expect us all to give all of our effort to next weekend,” Rohanna said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we go out there and win by 10 shots.” Benavides was equally clear about her confidence in her team. “A win, that’s for sure,” she said. “No doubt about that.”
For an Ohio State first-year in physics, Tori Boggs knows a lot about jumping rope.Boggs is a nine-time world rope skipping champion and a two-time world record holder, the current captain of both Jump Company USA and the U.S. National Jump Rope team, and a member of the USA All-Star Ambassador Jump Rope team.“It’s one of those things where you absolutely have to see jump rope to believe it and you just get hooked at the first sight,” Boggs said.Jumping rope is nothing new to Boggs, a Parkersburg, W.Va., native. The 20-year-old has been involved in the sport since she was 5 when she walked into a jump roping event at the Junior Olympic tournament where her brother was participating in a Tae Kwon Do competition.“She went into a gym where they were jumping rope and saw it and didn’t want to leave,” said her mother and jump rope coach, Rochelle Boggs. The mother-daughter pair stumbled upon an advertisement in their local newspaper the following week for tryouts and have never looked back.“She’s my coach now, so we’ve grown in the sport together,” Tori Boggs said.But Tori Boggs is the only person to her knowledge on OSU’s campus who participates in competitive rope skipping, something that means she spends many weekends traveling to perform and compete with her various teams. OSU does not provide any resources for her jump roping, but she said she is “working on” getting jump roping to the point where it is associated with the university.Last year, Tori Boggs spent the summer as part of a circus. She said she might want to pursue performing as a career.“I did a holiday tour with “Cirque Dreams” so it was a national tour, so I toured for a few months and we went around and I jumped rope in the circus,” she said. “I’m (also) employed by Cirque de Soleil for special events.“Ultimately I want to be on a Cirque de Soleil tour.”Until that point, Tori Boggs said she has dreams of bettering the sport of rope skipping.“I’m going to switch to engineering so I can actually apply physics, but basically my motivation for (pursuing a degree) is that I love jump rope so much, my body knows exactly what I’m doing, my muscles know what they’re doing, but I don’t know how to explain it,” Boggs said. “So I want to look at the forces that jump rope places on our body. I want to be able to design a better handle for jumpers, I want to be able to design better shoes and understanding the surfaces that we jump on, like how does that affect our body?”She said currently she is involved with the biomechanics lab at the Wexner Medical Center where she does tricks and uses technology to show her where the forces on her joints are located.“I want to be able to develop better products and improve training methods, and then I’m pre-med, too, so maybe I can go to med school and use that. I don’t know, there’s a lot of options,” Tori Boggs said.With the inaugural 2013 Arnold Classic jump rope competition happening this weekend, she has been working overtime to recruit novice jumpers to register.“I’ve seen people just playing around with the ropes so I always give them Arnold papers and talk to them about jump rope,” she said.The competition is being co-chaired by Rochelle Boggs, and it will have three different competitive categories, encompassing all age groups and skill levels from those who have never jumped before to professionals like Tori Boggs. Other professional jump ropers are excited about the opportunities the weekend may bring.“Any sort of way that we can get the public to view the sport is really exciting,” said Jen Evans, a grand national champion and three-time world medalist who will be attending OSU next year to work on a doctorate of physical therapy. Evans is a Strongville, Ohio, native and currently attends Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.“It’s really cool because I know that people from Columbus will be there and I’m hoping that it increases the awareness of jump rope,” Evans said. Rochelle Boggs said the new competition will fit in at the Arnold well.“The cool thing is it’s kind of like a natural progression to see jump rope get to the Arnold because Arnold is all about fitness and movement,” she said.The Arnold Jump Rope Fitness Competition will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
J.T. Barrett points up to a crowd of Buckeye fans prior to the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett has one final collegiate game against USC in the Cotton Bowl on Friday, but he has already begun to consider his professional football career.Barrett accepted an invitation to showcase his talents in the East-West Shrine Game, the game announced Tuesday. The game, which features players looking to impress scouts ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft held in April, will take place Jan. 20 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and will be shown on NFL Network.The quarterback will be joined by Ohio State teammates, linebacker Chris Worley and left tackle Jamarco Jones in the Shrine Game.Barrett completed 229-of-354 passes (64.7 completion percentage) for 2,939 yards, including 35 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions in the 2017 season. He holds dozens of program and Big Ten records, including the school passing yard record, the program’s single-season passing touchdown record and the Big Ten career touchdown passes.
Ohio State redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro (10) goes up for a shot in the game against Penn State on Feb 6. Ohio State won 78-73. Credit: Cori Wade | Lantern PhotographerThe Ohio State women’s basketball team (11-12, 7-7 Big Ten) came away with a commanding victory on the road against No. 23 Rutgers (17-7, 9-4 Big Ten) by a score of 59-39 on Thursday.The 39 points are the least Ohio State has allowed to a ranked team in program history.After losing by more than 20 points at home to No. 14 Iowa, the Buckeyes came out with a vengeance and controlled the game from the get go. A 21-1 run in the latter half of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter gave Ohio State a 20-point lead that was never seriously threatened for the rest of the game. Redshirt senior forward Adreana Miller came off the bench led the way for the Buckeyes during the run, scoring nine of the 21 points. Miller ended up with 14 points on the night, was 3-of-5 from the 3-point line and tallied three rebounds. All of Ohio State’s scoring came from six players.Other contributors on the offensive side came in the form of redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro and freshman forward Dorkha Juhasz. Santoro scored 12 points with five rebounds and Juhasz was just one-point shy of a double double with nine points and 13 rebounds. Freshman guard Janai Crooms also added 10 points of her own with five assists and five rebounds, and redshirt senior guard Carmen Grande scored eight points, led the team in assists with eight and also had five rebounds. In total, Ohio State shot 46 percent from the field while the Buckeyes’ defense limited the Scarlet Knights as Rutgers was a lowly 16-61 on the night. Ohio State outrebounded the Scarlet Knights 44-35, and did that without the help of redshirt senior forward Makayla Waterman, the No. 2 rebounder on the team, who did not play in the game. Ohio State will attempt to build off this victory at home when it takes on Wisconsin at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
It hasn’t been a year for good news, and chocolate-lovers are in for even more of a blow. Brands have been quietly shrinking the size of bars and packets because the ingredients to make chocolate are getting more expensive.This has become known as ‘shrinkflation’, and even though chocolate bars may not be more expensive, brands are compensating for the rise in ingredient prices by shrinking the sweet treats.Here is a look at some recent examples of chocolate shrinkage.1. Terry’s Chocolate OrangeMany of us are used to tapping and unwrapping these at Christmas, ready to get our hands on the plump segments of orange-flavoured chocolate. However, consumers are now met with a sad sight — the segments have been “hollowed-out” and are but a shadow of what they used to be.The treat, first manufactured in York in 1932, has been reduced from 175g to 157g in weight — a cut of 10 per cent — prompting outrage among its fans.Mondelez took over production of Terry’s Chocolate Orange in 2012, moving its production to processing plants in Poland.It has not commented on the “shrinkage” of Terry’s Chocolate Orange.2. TobleroneIf you haven’t heard of the shocking new change to the Toblerone bar, you’ve probably been living under a rock.Mondelez International has increased the gap between the peaks as a UK-only cost-saving measure to reduce the weight of its bars. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The new #Toblerone.Wrong on so many levels. It now looks like a bicycle stand.#WeWantOurTobleroneBack. pic.twitter.com/C71KeNUWF1— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 8, 2016 The company, which also owns Cadbury, said the move was down to the rise in the cost of ingredients, and denied it was a result of Brexit.In a statement on the Toblerone Facebook page, the company said: “We had to make a decision between changing the shape of the bar, and raising the price.”We chose to change the shape to keep the product affordable for our customers, and it enables us to keep offering a great value product. it had to make a decision between changing the look of the bars or raising their price.”3. Maltesers Bags of the chocolates appear to be 15 per cent lighter, and sold for the same price. Thnx to the #Toblerone scandal- these new hollowed Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments have slipped under the radar. Is any chocolate safe? 😩 pic.twitter.com/BTjRzgvbhT— DylaN s© (@stew_sc) November 21, 2016 Credit:Cadbury Quality StreetCredit:whiteboxmedia limited / Alamy In a statement, Burton’s said that the new, smaller packs were rolled out last year “responding to consumer demand”, along with a larger, 171g “sharing pack”. The company said that the recommended price of the packs had been reduced from £1.99 to £1.79 – though it remains up to supermarkets if they adopt new pricing.“We firmly believe that the variety of pack sizes for different occasions offer consumers the best value for money for a great quality product. Whilst we can’t comment on retailer pricing, our data shows that the price has significantly fallen since the introduction of the new sizes”, a spokesperson said.6. Creme Eggs Mars told The Telegraph: “Like all chocolate manufacturers, we have seen the cost of raw materials rise and, while we try to absorb these pressures as much as possible, sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to reduce the size of some of our products so our consumers can continue to enjoy an affordable treat.”Our focus is always on offering consumers our great tasting, high quality chocolate brands at the best value for money.”4. Quality Street Nestlé cut the standard tin from 1kg to 820g, while keeping the price at £5, in 2012.Then, in 2014, consumers got just 780g (wrapped weight) for £5.Last year, in 2015, customers accused Quality Street of shrinking the tin yet again, a claim the company denied.A Nestlé spokesman said: “This image does not compare like for like.”As well as the 780g tub pictured, we also have a 1.3kg tin available which lovers of Quality Street might like to try this Christmas.”We want to give the best possible value for money and we believe that this product is still extremely competitive.”5. Cadbury FingersIn 2015, the size of packs of Cadbury Fingers shrank by 11g, which equates to around two fingers, to a new weight of 114g, the Daily Mail reported.Although labelled as a Cadbury product, Fingers are made under license by a Saint Albans-based company, Burton’s Biscuit Company. Over a billion of the biscuits, which were launched in 1951, are consumed in the UK every year. Forget #Marmitegate, it’s #maltesersgate as Mars are reducing pack sizes again(!) 121g down to 103g. pic.twitter.com/TtQoHzrtl0— Steve Dresser (@dresserman) November 17, 2016 Freddo chocolate bars, the little frog-shaped treat, are set to rise in price to 30p.Food conglomerate Mondelēz is due to hike the price by 20% as a “last resort” to “keep favourite brands on the shelf”.This comes after they controversially changed the shape of some Toblerone bars so they contain less chocolate for the same price. A spokeswoman said: “Increasing prices is always a last resort, but to ensure we can keep people’s favourite brands on shelf and look after the 4,500 people we employ in the UK, we are having to make some selective price increases across our range.” Not only were Creme Egg fans dismayed when Kraft Foods stopped using Cadbury’s Dairy Milk for the shell, and instead started using a “standard cocoa mix chocolate”, in 2015 they also reduced the number of Creme Eggs in a pack.The size went down from 6 to 5.A spokesman for Mondelez, Kraft’s confectionery division, told The Sun: “It’s no longer Dairy Milk. It’s similar, but not exactly Dairy Milk. We tested the new one with consumers. It was found to be the best one for the Creme Egg, which is why we’ve used it this year.”The Creme Egg has never been called the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Creme Egg. We have never played on the fact that Dairy Milk chocolate was used.”7. TwixIn 2012, Mars, Inc. (who make Twix) announced a 250 calorie cap on all single-serve confectionary by the end of 2013. The result is that many of their products have now been downsized to meet these requirements. Twix have been cut down from 58g to 50g, marking a 14 per cent reduction.8. SnickersAnother of Mars, Inc’s products, Snickers bars were cut down by 17 per cent, from 58g to 48g. Prices remained the same at roughly 51p, until they were raised to roughly 60p (except for Asda, who sell them for 45p).9. Dairy Milk Mondelēz restyled Cadbury Dairy Milk, and got rid of the block design in favour of ovals.This reduced the weight of each bar from 49g to 45g.10. Freddos
Kate sits in a light aircraft at RAF Wittering that cadets use each year for air experienceCredit:Joe Giddens/PA The Duchess, Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets, enters the aircraftCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Cadet Sergeant Jordan Bertolaso, a qualified aerospace instructor, talked the Duchess though the controls of the Grob tutor, a light aircraft which cadets use each year for air experience.Wearing a burgundy blazer, by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and a black ensemble of polo neck jumper, jeans and boots, the Duchess seemed to acknowledge February 14 as the most romantic day of the year by wearing a pair of heart-shaped earrings. Credit:Joe Giddens/PA The Duchess of Cambridge has shown off her flying skills during a visit to an RAF base where she sat in a plane similar to the one her husband flew while training.Sat at the controls of a flight simulator, Kate revealed she has what it takes to become a military pilot and was dubbed “a natural” by her instructor.The Duchess had come to meet air cadets taking part in a half-term skills development camp at RAF Wittering, near Peterborough, in her role as royal patron and Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets.With William an experienced flyer, both with the RAF and now as an air ambulance helicopter pilot, it should be no surprise the Duchess had the right touch to become a pilot.At first she appeared a little apprehensive when she sat in front of the flight simulator’s three screens and put her feet on some pedals and took hold of the joystick.But under the guidance of Flight Lieutenant Michael Salter, she was soon tuned into the delicate movements needed to pilot the mock motor glider.Flt Lt Salter said: “She was extremely good – she was a natural. She was very gentle on the controls, very often people are too rough. If you feel it, it’s extremely sensitive.”She said she hasn’t flown before and wanted to understand what the feeling was like in the air.” Kate took up her role with the RAF Air Cadets in December 2015, taking on the post from the Duke of Edinburgh who had been involved with the organisation for more than 60 years.The Duchess now represents 42,000 air cadets aged from 12 to 19, and 15,000 adult volunteers at more than 1,200 units across the UK and abroad. The RAF Air Cadets comprises both the Air Training Corps (ATC) and the Combined Cadet Force (RAF).Group Captain Richard Pratley, RAF Wittering Station Commander, said: “It has been an honour to welcome Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge to RAF Wittering to see some of the facilities we offer to cadets to help inspire the next generation.” Earlier, Kate sat in a light aircraft similar to the type used by her husband when he learnt to fly with the RAF.In 2008, the Duke of Cambridge was pictured in a training plane at RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire.The Duchess was given privileged access to the tutor aircraft in which generations of RAF Air Cadets have had their first experience of flying. The Duchess of Cambridge participates in a personal development training session with cadets at RAF Wittering Credit:Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.