Strinkflation: the scam of certain food brands – Image

It’s a trickster response. Old as the world. Cheating. Reduce the size of products “on the sly” without lowering their prices. Foodwatch, the association that campaigns for more transparency in the agri-food sector, denounces this masked inflation or strinkflation. She investigated * and challenges six brands that have changed the size of their flagship products in recent years: Kiri, St Hubert, Saint Louis, Salvetat, Lindt and Teisseire. “None drew consumers’ attention to this format change.” specifies foodwatch. They often justify this shrinkflation by the increase in the price of raw materials at the time of the change. The prices of the latter flaming at the moment, foodwatch warns that this phenomenon of shrinkflation is likely to “go on increasing”. and denounces this opacity and asks through a petition to manufacturers and distributors that they commit to clearly informing consumers. “Hidden inflation is hard to document“, explains Camille Dorioz, campaigns director of foodwatch, “because you can’t find both formats on the shelves at the same time. Alerted by disgruntled consumers, we therefore immersed ourselves in the old promotional catalogs of supermarkets and thus found larger and cheaper formats. A reduction in size of 10 to 20% allows, the air of nothing, to make nice savings without the knowledge of consumers when prices climb up to +37% per liter or per kilo while prices per unit increase much less. Some modifications made on the sly dated back to 2019. The phenomenon is therefore not recent but is very likely to increase because manufacturers often justify shrinkflation by the price of raw materials, which have risen sharply in recent months.“. Thus, the tub of St Hubert Omega 3 margarine has lost 4% of its weight, going from 240 to 230 grams, but its price per kilo has increased by 18% over the past three years and its unit price by 13% In its Pyrenean milk chocolate boxes, Lindt has eliminated six bites (from 30 to 24), which has reduced the weight of the product by 20%.The price per kilo at Carrefour has jumped 30% since 2020 , when the price of the box increased by 4% Saint Louis changed the packaging of its bricks of sugar by transforming the 500g and 750g format into a single 650g format three and a half years ago. A winning operation: for a weight reduction of 13%, the unit price increased by 12% while the price per kilo rose by 29% at Carrefour. Salvetat (Danone) reduced the size of its water bottles from 1.25L to 1.15L two years ago. Less 8% of product for a price per liter which increased at Intermarché by 15%, while the price per unit increased by 5%. The mention “Generous format like the people of the South” has disappeared. Teisseire reduced the volume of its grenadine syrup by 20% at the end of 2019, from 75cl to 60cl. Its sale price per liter at Carrefour has jumped by more than 37% since then, while the purchase price of a bottle has only increased by 12%. The group justifies this change by a sharp increase in the price of sugar. Kiri reduced the serving size of her processed cheese by 10% a year and a half ago. Small portions that used to weigh 20g are now 18g. At Auchan, the unit price does not seem to have changed but the price per kilo has increased by 11%.

On average, the basket made up of these six products pinned by foodwatch saw its weight decrease by 12% but its price per kilo or liter increase by 25%. INSEE noted an increase in consumer prices of 6.1%.

The demonstration in images was made in the documentary Thursday, September 1 Complément d’Enquête on France 2.

* Methodology: it is almost impossible to catch manufacturers in the act of shrinkflation. Foodwatch, alerted by disgruntled consumers, delved into supermarket promotional catalogs and thus traced the old formats. It is then enough to compare the old format and the old price of the magazine to that found today in the same brand and to weight with inflation and that’s it.

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