Lindt, Danone and Kiri accused of “shrinkflation” in food products

Lindt, Danone and Kiri accused of “shrinkflation” in food products

Nestlé, Lindt & Sprüngli or even Danone have found a solution to avoid raising prices too much on the shelves and running the risk of scaring away pocket-conscious customers: they discreetly reduce the quantity, even the quality, of some of their products, denounces Foodwatch association in a study taken up by the “Complément d’Enquête” program, broadcast on Thursday 1Ahem September in France 2.

Foodwatch involves six brands: Kiri, St Hubert, Saint Louis, La Salvetat, Lindt and Teisseire. “that have changed the size of their flagship products in recent years”. The association, which “fight for transparency in the agri-food sector”, denounce the inflation contraction (from the English verb reduce“reduce”, translated as “reduplication”), commercial strategy by which, while the amount of product contained in a good decreases, the price of the good stabilizes or increases.

In detail, the Lindt Pyrenees milk chocolate boxes have been reduced by six bites, from thirty to twenty-four and reducing the total weight by 20%. While the price per kilo, registered at the Carrefour distributor, has risen 30% since 2020, the increase in the price of the box has been limited to 4%… To justify this, Lindt France explains that “The price per kilogram has increased, reflecting the volatility and rising costs of [ses] operations “according to a letter to Foodwatch. Industrial production costs have skyrocketed in recent months (energy, transport, packaging), as have those of agricultural raw materials, for example cocoa.

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La Salvetat, owned by Danone, reduced the size of its water bottles from 1.25 liters to 1.15 liters in 2020. Finally, the price of the bottle increased slightly (+5%), while the price per liter rose 15% at Intermarche. Foodwatch notes that the mention “Generous format like the people of the South” has disappeared from the label.

On twitter, olivia gregoryDelegate Minister of Commerce, reacted by asking the General Directorate of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) “Immediately carry out a series of checks in order to determine if there are deceptive commercial practices”.

The phenomenon would affect 2% of food products sold in supermarkets

As for prices, some are discarding in supermarkets: “We can only recommend a sale price that the distributor is free to apply or not”, writes the customer service of Danone France. The information on the packaging is, however, its own.

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 quantities allows you to stay ” competitive “ preserving margins, financial analyst John Plassard, a Mirabaud fund manager, recently commented. According to him, about 2% of food products sold in supermarkets could be affected by the inflation contractioncereals and chocolate bars in the lead.

“It is a completely legal practice, as long as the weight of the product is clearly indicated on the packaging so as not to mislead the consumer”explains Guillaume Forbin, attorney specializing in consumer law at Kramer Levin.

Foodwatch regrets “the opacity” of the process and calls for greater transparency in consumer information, through a petition. the inflation contraction not limited to France. Many users of the social network TikTok in the United States have pointed out a trend to vacuum pack more in the same container.

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In his study, Mr. Plassard also points to another phenomenon, the cheap inflation (Of English cheap, ” cheap “). Consists in “replacing 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 “We take so many dairy products (…) that can no longer be legally called ice cream”.

yes you can “pose an image problem”in case that “the list of ingredients on the packaging has been changed”Nothing illegal there either, says Mr. Forbin. The one who does not respect the law “very strict” of consumption is exposed to “very high fines”.

Another process: consumer specialist Olivier Dauvers notes on his blog the example of a Nestlé baby food box, the size of which 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 that has a mixture that now contains “five grains”a supposedly higher quality product.

The world with AFP


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