The inflation that fuels shrinkflation
The generalised rise in prices and fall in the purchasing power of the general population is complicating the accounts of many households and businesses. This economic downturn has led some companies to use unseemly business practices to camouflage the rising prices of their products. In this episode of Territori 17 we talk about this and much more with Xavi Viñolas, Content Manager of 11Onze, and Gemma Vallet, Director of 11Onze District.
Shrinkflation is the name given to the technique used by some brands to subtly raise the price of their products without you noticing. This practice consists of charging the same price for a given product, despite the fact that the usual amount of product contained in the packaging has been slightly reduced.
As Viñolas explains, “this is not a new practice, it is something that has already been done in the past, but it is more evident now that manufacturers want to reduce costs, and that consumers are looking more closely at prices“. Faced with the avalanche of complaints received from consumers, the OCU was forced to report six companies to the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) for unfair and non-transparent practices.
Legal but misleading practice
Although this is not an illegal practice, since the information on product labelling complies with current legislation, it is, at the very least, questionable and unethical when it aims to mask a price increase by subtly reducing the quantity of the product to mislead consumers. This has led to a debate on whether this practice should be regulated or banned.
Vallet argues that perhaps it should be banned, “because in the end you give messages that mislead the consumer, and advertising law makes this very clear. Despite the fact that by applying the technique of shrinkflation, companies make more profit, perhaps the time has come to modify a law that, in principle, is designed to protect consumers.
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