There might be (as the song goes) an awful lot of coffee in Brazil, but rather less, it would seem, by the time it ends up on a Waitrose shelf.

My wife bought four packets of coffee beans from the Monmouth store the other day, and noted that the packaging of our usual brand had changed.

She returned with one packet, in the old familiar packaging, and three in the new. The familiar one contained the usual 250 grams, and the other three 227 grams, but interestingly, the price charged (£3.29p) was the same for all four.

Is this a case of deliberately misleading the customer into believing that he or she is getting the same value? Whereas the reality, of course, is that they are not.

And do all supermarkets indulge in what can at best be described as failing to make the customer aware that they are getting less for their money, or is this exclusive to Waitrose?

Martin Johnson