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France to Require Warnings on Downsized Products

In a major move, France is requiring stores to flag products on store shelves that have been subject to shrinkflation where the quantity decreases without a commensurate price drop. Until now, Brazil was believed to be the only country with a disclosure requirement.

In particular, according to a press release from the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention, the requirement covers:

*MOUSE PRINT:

… from July 1, 2024 , for consumer products which have undergone a downward change in weight or volume leading to an increase in price per unit of measurement. specific obligation to inform consumers, relating to these developments. This information must be provided by distributors in large and medium-sized stores, in the immediate vicinity of the products concerned. It must appear in these physical stores during the two months following the marketing date of the industrial food and non-food products concerned (bottles of soda, packets of rice, laundry detergent or cans, for example), and this, whether national brand or private label products. Not affected by these provisions are prepackaged foodstuffs, the quantity of which may vary during preparation (deli section for example) and foodstuffs sold in bulk.

In other words, shoppers can expect to see signs on product displays whenever a product has been downsized but the price has stayed the same unit price or has been increaesed. The signs will have to be posted for two months. And some exemptions apply. (See NY Times story for additional background.)

What a great step forward for shoppers in France. Would something like this ever become law here on a national scale? Not a chance.

(Next week, we’ll resume our two-part series spotlighting products recently subject to shrinkflation.)

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7 thoughts on “France to Require Warnings on Downsized Products”

  1. Hmmm I see a big loophole.

    1. Reduce size by 10%. Add text: “10% off sale!” (unit price the same)
    2. wait 2 months. Enjoy increase sales from “sale”
    3. raise price 10%, remove text.

    Reply
  2. I like the idea of a law like this for sure, but the problem with regulation is that it just increases the barrier of entry for new businesses in the industry. Would every gas station or bodega in the US need to follow these signs? That seems like an incredibly large increase in work for a smaller company.

    Reply
    • Yes we don’t want to burden our small businessess . The audacity of warning consumers of such as thing is just plain anti captitalism. And Lord do we love our capitalism. I wonder how much longer that charade last.

      Reply
  3. Brazil’s disclosure requirement is even better because the companies have to put this pretty big on the label and they have to indicate what changed: weight, size, amount, etc. Even if weight and volume is the same, but they change it to worse ingredients, they have to say the recipe changed.

    Reply