Shrinkflation: Supermarkets charging same or more for smaller products
Consumers’ association Consumentenbond received 900 complaints from consumers about “shrinkflation” - supermarkets charging the same or more for a product that is smaller than it used to be. The association called on manufacturers and supermarkets to be transparent about these “disguised price increases.”
Consumentenbond received the most complaints about Karvan Cevitam’s syrup. The bottle went from 750 ml to 600 ml, but the price dropped only 10 cents. Gouda’s Glorie Volle Pond shrank from 600 to 500 grams, and the price increased from 1.85 to 2.49 euros. Hema Coffee pods now cost 3.50 euros per pack of 40, while it used to be 3.00 euros per pack of 46 pods.
The association also listed several products that shrank in size but cost the same. Lay’s Chips went from 225 to 200 grams per pack, Verkade Nobb spirits went from 200 to 150 grams, and Swiffer floor wipes now only have 34 wipes in a box instead of 40.
“The hundreds of reports show that consumers find the secret price increases unfair,” said Consumentenbond director Sandra Molenaar. She called on the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to investigate.
“If there is extra content in a package, manufacturers will indicate this in large letters on the packaging. So manufacturers should also put something on the packaging with reduced content. At least then consumers have been warned,” Molenaar said.
According to the association, manufacturers blamed rising energy, transport, and raw material costs for the smaller products. In order to not increase the price too much, they put less content in the packaging, they said to the Consumentenbond. Other reasons given were a new recipe and waste prevention. When asked about the prices, they all referred to the supermarkets.