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This Thursday, September 1, in an issue of “Complément d’Enquête”, the NGO Foodwatch denounces the practices of certain brands which reduce the quality or quantity of some of their products in order to limit prices, without informing the consumer. .
CONSUMPTION – Less chocolates in the box or milk in the ice cream. So as not to increase prices too much on the shelves and risk scaring away customers worried about their wallet because of inflationsome manufacturers are discreetly reducing the quantity, even the quality of their products, denounces this Thursday, September 1st the Foodwatch association.
There ” shrinkflation (from the English verb shrinkshrink), which consists of hiding product price increases by reducing their weight, is in the sights of Foodwatch, which “ campaigns for transparency in the agri-food sector “.
Revelations in “Further Investigation”
In the program “Complément d’Enquête” broadcast this Thursday evening on France 2, Foodwatch thus pinpoints six brands ” who have changed the size of their flagship products in recent years “.
In recent months, consumers have seen the amount of their till receipt increase due to inflation. M… https://t.co/DYl3j2hFq6
— Further investigation (@Cdenquete)
Lindt’s Pyrenean milk chocolate boxes have been reduced by six bites, going from 30 to 24 and reducing the overall weight by 20%. While the price per kilo, recorded at the Carrefour distributor, has jumped 30% since 2020, the increase in the price of the box has been limited to 4%…
Salvetat, owned by Danone, reduced the size of its water bottles from 1.25 liters to 1.15 liters in 2020. In the end, the price of the bottle increases little (+5%), while the price at the liter rose by 15% at Intermarché. And Foodwatch points out that the statement ” Generous format like the people of the South disappeared from the label.
To justify this, Lindt France explains that ” the price per kilogram has increased, reflecting the volatility and rising costs of (its) operations “, According to a letter sent to Foodwatch and consulted by AFP.
Consequence of soaring prices
Industrial production costs have soared in recent months (energy, transport, packaging), like those of agricultural raw materials, for example cocoa.
Regarding prices, some are discarding on supermarkets: “ We can only advise a sale price that the distributor is free to apply or not. “, writes the consumer service of Danone France. The information on the packaging is, however, their own.
[1/12] 🚨 New foodwatch #shrinkflation survey 🚨 In these times of inflation, some consumer products… https://t.co/33VEEolPfd
— foodwatch France (@foodwatch_fr)
In this period of high inflation, supermarket customers are very sensitive to the prices displayed and it can be dangerous to increase them too much, at the risk of the customer turning to the competition. Reducing the quantities makes it possible to remain competitive while preserving margins, recently commented financial analyst John Plassard, fund manager Mirabaud. According to him, about 2% of food products sold in supermarkets could be affected by the ” shrinkflation », Cereals and chocolate bars in the lead.
” This is a completely legal practice, provided that the weight of the product is clearly indicated on the packaging so as not to mislead the consumer. “, explains Guillaume Forbin, lawyer specializing in consumer law at Kramer Levin. Foodwatch still regrets ” opacity of the process and calls for better transparency in consumer information, via a petition.
Also a drop in quality
“Shrinkflation” is not confined to France. Many users of the TikTok social network in the United States have pinpointed a tendency to pack more vacuum in the same container.
In his study, John Plassard also puts his finger on another phenomenon, the ” cheapflation ” (from English cheap, cheap). It consists of ” replace certain products or foods with cheaper substitutes (food or not) “. He gives the example, in the United States, of an ice cream that has become frozen dessert “, because ” it has been stripped of so many dairy products (…) that it can no longer be legally called ice cream “.
If it can pose an image problem “, in the case where “ the list of ingredients on the packaging has been changed “, nothing illegal there either, comments Guillaume Forbin. Anyone who does not respect the law very strict of consumption is liable to “very high fines”.
Another process: the consumer specialist Olivier Dauvers points on his blog to the example of a box of baby food from the giant Nestlé, whose size has increased, from 400 to 415 grams. It is sold much more expensive than the previous model (+23% of the price per kilo). But the pill passes thanks to the new packaging touting a mixture now containing ” 5 cereals », a supposedly better quality product.
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