Fleury Michon, Milka, Bordeau Chesnel accused of “cheapflation” on food products

The consumer defense association Foodwatch declared on Tuesday February 7, six major brand products whose composition was altered while their prices increased, often without the knowledge of consumers during periods of inflation. This practice of reducing ingredients, removing them or replacing them with cheaper or lower quality substitutes is called “cheap inflation”contraction of ” cheap “ (cheap) and ” inflation “.

Foodwatch thus points to Fleury Michon surimi sticks, which include 11% less fish meat while the price per kilo has increased by 40% between 2021 and 2023. The association also cites Maille mayonnaise (Unilever group brand) , Milka chocolate (Mondelez), Bordeau Chesnel rillettes, After Eight chocolates (Nestlé) or fish from the Findus brand (Nomad Foods).

“We have identified examples dating back to 2016, well before the start of the rise in food prices. The phenomenon is therefore not recent, but inflation could have encouraged manufacturers to use these practices.explained Foodwatch on its website, as part of an investigation carried out with the show “Large format France” on France 2.

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“Opacity on recipe changes”

“We have challenged manufacturers, who generally justify these changes by an increase in the price of raw materials during periods of inflation. For Foodwatch, this in no way excuses the opacity regarding recipe or format changes, nor the related price increases”added the association, also denouncing the “Retractionflation”.

About the “Retractionflation”Or “reduction”the government is working on a proposed ban requiring supermarkets by March to further explain this practice of manufacturers of consumer products, agro-industrialists or distributors, consisting of reducing the quantities of products sold rather than significantly increasing the price.

Food prices, the main driver of inflation in 2023 with a peak of almost 16% in the spring, have softened since a slowdown, with an increase of 5.7% year-on-year in January 2024.

“We have won this battle against inflation”said the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, on France 2, assuring that“a quarter of the price” were going “lower on pasta, on oils, on coffee”. “In the coming weeks, perhaps in the coming months, we will be below 2%”he added about the price rise in France.

The World with AFP