Less product for the same price
Although reducing the weight of packaged products to mask a price increase is not new, persistent inflation has led many brands to use this practice to subtly make their products more expensive. In this episode of La Plaça, Gemma Vallet, director of 11Onze District, and Càrol Rafales, Product Manager, talk about the current economic situation and explain what downsizing is.
When applied to products sold in supermarkets, the term downsizing refers to offering less quantity of product for the same price, subtly reducing the amount of product to mislead consumers. This practice is also known as shrinkflation, a term credited to the British economist Pippa Malmgren.
As Gemma Vallet explains, “In a situation where the CPI or inflation is getting out of hand’ brands ‘use strategies to make you pay more for products’. Although, in this case, this is not an illegal marketing practice, consumer organisations warn that it is questionable and unethical because it is done with the intention of raising prices without the consumer realising it.
A drop in inflation that is not noticeable in food prices
Luis Planas, the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, says he is “absolutely convinced” that food prices will go down, but asks consumers for “patience”, as the reduction in inflation will still take time to be reflected in the prices of supermarket products.
Given the rising cost of the shopping basket, the measures to limit the impact of inflation on consumers’ pockets have proved to be totally insufficient. The VAT reduction on foodstuffs seems to have served more to increase the commercial margins of distribution chains than to alleviate the precariousness of many families. “The situation is worrying, but despite the measures that have been taken, the market is the market, and it is difficult to foresee its impact in the short term”, stresses Càrol Rafales.
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