"Shrinkflation" : the government wants to make this commercial technique more explicit, by making posters compulsory to alert consumers

“An important step in the fight (…) for transparency.” Supermarkets and hypermarkets will be required, from July 1, to put up a poster near products whose quantity has decreased without the price decreasing, promised Friday April 19 the Minister for Trade, Olivia Grégoire, in a press release. The decree, “signed on April 16”should be published in the Official Journal “in the coming days”assured the minister’s office.

The poster must contain this statement: “For this product, the quantity sold increased from X to Y and its price per kilo, gram or liter increased by X% or X euros,” explained Olivia Grégoire in an interview with West France. There “shrinkflation” (in French “réduflation”) is a word that comes from the English verb “to shrink”which means “shrink”. This mechanism, which Bruno Le Maire describes as“scam” in the press release, consists of reducing the quantities of products sold rather than increasing prices too significantly. It is increasingly denounced, in a context where food prices have already increased by 12.8% in three years.

In mid-December, distribution sector specialist Philippe Goetzmann published with the Jean-Jaurès foundation an opinion on this practice. He recalled that “the prices are free, as are the weights”, and that quantity reductions are “generally accompanied by recipe developments”. The NGO Foodwatch, which helped reveal the practice of “shrinkflation” in France, welcomed the government decree on Friday, praising “a strong signal sent to manufacturers”.

Supermarkets regret that responsibility for consumer information falls to them. “It’s up to the manufacturer to write it on their packaging”reacted Friday the representative of the supermarket leader E.Leclerc, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, on his account. This is, ultimately, the project of Olivia Grégoire, who wishes to bring this obligation of information, this time for manufacturers, to the European level, on the occasion of a “revision of the rules for consumer information on foodstuffs in Europe in 2025”.

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  • Source of information and images “francetvinfo

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