Shrinkflation grips France: A battle between sellers, suppliers and shoppers
John Bevir in Paris

WATCH: John Bevir reports on the latest cost of living issues to hit France 

Across Europe the rising cost of living has hit people hard when they do their weekly shop.

‌Prices for many household staples still remain stubbornly high, driven up by inflation.‌ But there's another problem as well - the issue of so called 'shrinkflation' - where the size of some items being sold is reduced.

‌One French supermarket chain has decided to highlight the issue in a bid to keep customers informed.

‌In Carrefour, signs have been put up next to a range of products - warning if a product has got smaller, and if the price has changed.

‌Stefen Bompais, Communication Director for Carrefour, told CGTN: "In a period of inflation where it is extremely restrictive for customers, they have an expectation from the brands they frequent, which is to demonstrate very high transparency and above all to support their purchasing power. 

"But when there are manufacturers carrying out 'shrinkflation', in other words they carry out hidden inflation, we consider that there is a lack of honesty towards customers and that the customer can be deceived because the product appears to be exactly identical to the previous products they used to buy."

‌The warning signs were first put up next to more than 25 products in September. It's the latest battle in France between sellers and their suppliers.

‌Some of the major supermarket chains have accused food manufacturers of keeping prices higher than they should be, claiming prices have risen faster than the costs.


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Consumer rights groups in France have long been concerned by changing weights and labels, and what they see as efforts to deliberately confuse shoppers.‌ They're urging caution - and encouraging people to shop around.

‌Grégory Caret, who works for the consumer group UFC - Que Choisir, told CGTN:‌ "As always, it's up to the consumer to be vigilant - the same as with inflation. It's the consumer themselves who is making the decisions. 

"It is up to them to be truly vigilant, to check that they can monitor price developments. Knowing that shops do not all have the same pricing policies and that you can always go to another shop, perhaps you will find the same products cheaper."

‌Food manufacturers have said costs have risen for everything, from raw ingredients to transport, and claim they are doing all they can to keep prices down.

‌With inflation in France expected to be around 5.5 percent for 2023 as a whole, food prices are unlikely to drop anytime soon… but some packages might keep getting smaller.

Shrinkflation grips France: A battle between sellers, suppliers and shoppers

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