Lindt, Danone or Kiri accused of “undermining” the “Further investigation”

Tom Werner/Getty Images This Thursday, September 1, in an issue of “Complément d’Enquête”, the NGO Foodwatch criticized the practices of some brands that reduce the quality or quantity of some of their products in order to limit prices, without inform consumers. .

Tom Werner/Getty Images

This Thursday, September 1, in an issue of “Complément d’Enquête”, the NGO Foodwatch criticized the practices of some brands that reduce the quality or quantity of some of their products in order to limit prices, without inform consumers. .

CONSUMPTION – A little chocolate in the box or milk in the ice cream. In order not to significantly increase the prices on the shelves and risk scaring customers who are worried about their wallets due to inflation, some manufacturers carefully reduce the quantity, even the quality of their products, criticized this Thursday, September 1, the Foodwatch association. .

there” shrinkflation (from the English verb decreasereduction), which consists of hiding product price increases by reducing their weight, is in the sights of Foodwatch, which ” campaign for transparency in the agri-food sector “.

Revelations of “Further Investigation”

In the program “Complément d’Enquête” broadcast this Thursday night on France 2, Foodwatch thus focuses on six brands ” which have changed the size of their flagship products in recent years “.

Lindt’s Pyrenean milk chocolate boxes have been reduced by six bites, from 30 to 24 and reduced the total weight by 20%. While the price per kilogram, recorded by the distributor Carrefour, has increased by 30% since 2020, the increase in the price of the box is limited to 4%…

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 of a liter increased by 15% in Intermarché. And Foodwatch points out that the statement ” Generous shape like the people of the South missing from the label.

To justify this, Lindt France explained that ” the price per kilo has increased, reflecting the volatility and increased cost of its operation(s). “, according to a letter sent to Foodwatch and consulted by AFP.

Result of price increase

Industrial production costs have increased in recent months (energy, transport, packaging), as have agricultural raw materials, for example cocoa.

Regarding the prices, some are thrown in the supermarkets: ” We can only advise on the selling price that the distributor is free to apply or not. “, wrote the customer service of Danone France. The information on the packaging, however, their 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 returning to the competition. The reduction in volume makes it possible to stay competition while preserving margins, recently commented financial analyst John Plassard, fund manager Mirabaud. According to him, about 2% of food products sold in supermarkets can be affected by ” shrinkflation », Cereals and chocolate bars leading the way.

This is a perfectly legal practice, as long as the weight of the product is clearly indicated on the packaging so as not to mislead the consumer. “, explained Guillaume Forbin, lawyer specializing in consumer law at Kramer Levin. Foodwatch still regrets ” opacity in the process and called for better transparency of consumer information, through a petition.

Also a reduction in quality

“Shrinkflation” is not limited to France. Many users of the TikTok social network in the United States point to a tendency to pack more vacuum in the same container.

In his study, John Plassard also put his finger on another phenomenon, the ” cheap inflation “(from English AFFORDABLE, cheap). It consists of ” replace certain products or foods with cheaper substitutes (food or not) “. He gave an example, in the United States, of an ice cream made frozen dessert “, because ” it has been stripped of so many milk products (…) that it can no longer legally be called ice cream “.

If possible poses an image problem “, in which case” the list of packaging ingredients has been changed “, there is nothing illegal there, commented Guillaume Forbin. Anyone who does not respect the law very strict to consume is liable to “very high fines”.

Another process: the consumer specialist Olivier Dauvers points in 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 more expensive than the previous model (+23% of the price per kilo). But the pill passed thanks to the new packaging that says an ingredient that now has ” 5 cereals », a better quality product.

See also at the HuffPost : In Japan, these penguins refuse to lower the quality of their fish

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