Cost of living crisis 'new low' as Tesco locks £2 chocolate in security boxes

A Tesco superstore has reportedly placed chocolate bars in security boxes to avoid theft
-Credit: (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Supermarket shoppers have expressed dismay at what they're calling a "new low" in the ongoing cost of living crisis, following the emergence of an image showing chocolate bars secured in protective boxes.

The photograph, which has been making rounds on social media, was taken at a Tesco superstore in London and shows Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Nestle's Milky Bar, and Galaxy chocolates under lock and key.

The image was first shared by London and UK Street News on X (formerly known as Twitter), with the caption: "Chocolate bars locked in security boxes in Tesco superstore in London," pinpointing the Newham store as the location for this heightened security measure.

This move follows similar actions where everyday items like toilet paper, Lurpak butter, and cheese were placed under increased security due to theft concerns amidst rising prices.

Social media users on X swiftly reacted to the post, with one user commenting: "This is a whole another level of low." Another chimed in with disbelief, stating: "I can't even comprehend how embarrassing this makes us look to other countries."

Others were left bemused by the situation, with one person musing: "This is wild.. imagine asking staff for a bar of chocolate."

Meanwhile, another individual expressed their incredulity: "I struggle to believe that this isn't all just a fever dream and that I'm going to wake up any moment now and the world will be normal."

Some defended the supermarket's decision, suggesting it was a "sign of the times."

One user on social media questioned: "What else can shop owners do? The laws in this country favor shoplifters and encourage shoplifting. The police won't take any action, leaving shop owners with no choice but to resort to measures like these."

Another commented on the state of law enforcement, saying: "It's a reflection on the standard of law and order in London. Almost like the criminal know they won't get arrested for the crime and now Tesco has to take matters into their own hands."

The move comes after security tags were spotted on toilet roll packs in some Tesco stores last year, following which the Office of National Statistics (ONS) noted a 24% increase in reported shoplifting offences across England and Wales over the previous 12 months.

Images that emerged on social media at the time highlighted various anti-theft strategies employed by supermarkets, with security tags or stickers on items being among the most visible.

Tesco has been approached by Reach for a statement.