What is shrinkflation and how France is fighting to reduce it

Sep 20 2023, 17:04
In France, an anti-inflation law is on the way, and meanwhile Carrefour is working to expose products subject to shrinkflation: less quantity and higher prices anger government and citizens.

Packs of pasta in Italy are a prime example of shrinkflation, as are the Algida ice creams, Mangum and a bit of all snacks. This all happened in front of consumers' eyes but without any announcement or complaint: Carrefour in France, on the other hand, wants to declare things by adding new labels, and asking manufacturers to retract their prices.

Carrefour in France against shrinkflation

From next week, all foodstuffs that Carrefour claims have been subject to shrinkflation will be labelled as such. In a highly visible way, with a bright orange label informing consumers not only of the change, but also of the establishment's commitment to renegotiate the price. Among the products subject to shrinkflation are Nestlé's Dolce Gusto coffee capsules, which have increased in price by 8% while reducing volume, Lay's potato crisps and Lipton brand iced tea, both part of the PepsiCo group, and Unilever's Amorea mayonnaise. An 'unacceptable' practice, as labeled by Carrefour CEO Alexandre Bompard, whose aim is to provide his customers with “information that is as clear as possible”. The supermarket then solicited the three multinationals behind the aforementioned products, but none made any comment (and we are talking about three giants of the global food industry).

The law against inflation in France

Already Finance Minister Bruno le Maire had announced the arrival of a new law forcing manufacturers to mark products reduced in weight, commenting “we are not here to line the pockets of the food industry giants”. Bompard accelerated the process, giving a clear signal to consumers. The phenomenon of shrinkflation is rampant, despite the fact that it is one of the hottest topics in France at the moment, a cause for debate and discouragement among the population. And despite the fact that the government imposed price limits on supermarkets at the beginning of the year, “big industries continue to refuse to renegotiate prices”. The launch of the new law is scheduled for spring 2024, but Le Maire stated that the government is prepared to bring the date forward and thus impose a price ceiling on manufacturers as early as next month. According to 60 Millions de Consommateurs, a French magazine specialising in surveys, comparative tests and supermarket product tests, Carrefour's is a pure marketing stunt to win back the hearts of consumers, after the have long complained protest about the chain's excessive prices. It may be, but in the meantime the premises for a change on French soil are in place.




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