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French Supermarket to Place Warning Labels on Shrinking Products

In a first of its kind move, Carrefour, the second largest retail chain in France, just announced that starting today (September 11) it is going to warn shoppers about products that have been downsized.

How are they going to do it? They are planning to place five-inch by five-inch warning labels on products that they believe have been subject to shrinkflation (where the product has gotten smaller without there being changes to it and the customer is paying more).


Carrefour shrinkflation warning

That roughly translates to: This product has seen its weight decrease and the price from our supplier increase.

Carrefour is initially targeting a Nestle-made coffee capsule called Dolce Gusto Grande Intenso, which has risen in price by 8% while shrinking in volume, Lay’s potato chips, Lipton ice tea, and Amora mayonnaise.

The company hopes this tactic will help them negotiate lower prices for shoppers.

In another pro-consumer move, the French parliament is set to debate a proposed law soon that would require manufacturers to clearly label products that been reduced in size but the packaging has remained the same.

We salute Carrefour for being the first retail chain to stand up to product manufacturers who try to pass on these sneaky price increases to consumers. Will any US supermarket chain have the guts to do the same thing?

Next week: We’ll have a new round of products where shrinkflation has taken its toll.

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16 thoughts on “French Supermarket to Place Warning Labels on Shrinking Products”

    • Now you’re talking! We talk about rising crime in this country. How about the guys in expensive suits that work on the top floor? They have done more to empty out our checkbooks than any street thug could ever do.

  1. Have that in the US, not a chance due to politians being in bed with businesses and high paid lobbyists. Would be fitting since manufactures do label products when they add more to their items but are silent when they make it smaller. This would help the not so smart consumers who don’t look at per unit cost.

    • I would like to be able to judge contents by visuals of the box. I DO NOT WANT a large box with a window showing three chocolates, only to open it and find out that’s all there are. I shouldn’t have to read the small print to go by weight only.

    • Politics has nothing to do with this. It isn’t the French government doing it, it’s a customer focused business. The only reason I can’t see US companies doing it as well, as they profit from shrinkflation just like the manufacturer… and they may have private labels that do the same thing.

      Anyone else find it interesting that “#shrinkflation” is an English term yet the rest of the notice is French?

  2. I would love to see this in the USA. The companies do it and never really want to say they are doing it.

    At least with the Smart Balance Butter the consumer was king and forced the company behind the product to bring back the old recipe.

    I would love new labeling laws forcing new and old sizes of a product to be listed on the packaging for a few months after shrinkflation has occurred.

  3. I would be shocked if this could happen in the US.

    Our political leaders themselves have been struck by shrinkflation: taxpayer-funded salaries for them have been increasing, and what we get in return for our dollar has been decreasing.

  4. Carrefour is our favorite store in France. Their prices are reasonable, and they have a huge selection. You can put together a good breakfast and lunch for cheap and save some money to go to a restaurant for dinner.

  5. If anyone would in the U.S., it would have to be “don’t mess with” Walmart. If this is their way to get the message across for companies to take the hint, that should be one small victory for the consumer. Now for Walmart to take the hint and start some action.

  6. I hope they flag Poise Pads if they sell those. Not only have they reduced the size of the pads since Covid hit, they’ve doubled the price and now offer 20 pads in the package that previously held 24! That’s just gouging plain and simple.

  7. The EU is light years ahead of us in consumer protections. Amazing what happens when the politicians aren’t corporate owned and the electorate bright and not brainwashed

  8. Great initiative from Carrefour. They should also make sure that their customers can also easily notice, read, understand and use all unit prices they,like most other supermarkets in France, are required to provide.

  9. We all know it’s happening. Greed is King in our country and the manufacturers think nothing of gouging us at every turn.

    My solution to this is to not buy anything that’s been monkeyed with, like a cheapification of ingredients, downsized while keeping the price the same or higher, or dishonesty of any kind.

    Don’t give them this kind of power over you.

    • I agree in spirit with your suggestion, but this going to include everything that comes in a bottle, bag or can – which is probably 70% of the total food items in the store.

  10. The U.S. consumer protection agency and the federal trade commission are useless, so don’t expect anything that is good for the consumer to come from them.

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