“Shrinkflation”: a lack of transparency immobilized

A fraud crackdown investigation points the finger at some forty outlets guilty of “reduplication.”

Do you know what the “inflation contraction“, or “réduflation” in French? It is a commercial practice of reducing the amount of product available to hide a price increase.

An example ? A brand that markets a drink will reduce the capacity of the bottle by a few centiliters, without lowering its price or increasing it even more. A legal practice but one that must remain transparent.

340 checks from the DGCCRF

And it is a lack of transparency that was already pointed out by Foodwatch last September. And the NGO mounted a petition asking manufacturers and distributors to commit to clearly informing consumers.

For her part, the Delegate Minister for SMEs, Commerce, Crafts and Tourism had initiated an investigation entrusted to the General Directorate of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression (DGCCRF).

10% problem checks

A several-week investigation that led to the finding announced by Olivia Grégoire on franceinfo on Friday, October 7: “10% of the establishments had not modified the price of the kilo when the quantity of the product had decreased”. Specifically, and in 6 weeks, 340 establishments had been subject to label control and 38 were in arrears.

Olivia Grégoire had warned, via Twitter: “We do not play with the portfolio of the French”.

Distribution of fines for lack of transparency

What consequence? The Minister indicated, still in front of the cameras of franceinfo :

When there is control, and it is observed that these establishments have not changed the price tags per kilo, there is a fine. They have occurred, we continue to follow that.

Once again, the practice is completely legal. But for Foodwatch, “the opacity” sometimes it is appropriate. And the petition calling for more transparency had been signed by more than 30,000 consumers.

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