Hidden inflation on shop shelves
New improved product claims are just a cover for price rises, says consumer magazine 60 Millions
IT MAY say New!! Improved!! Softer!! on the packet but a consumer magazine has found that what the supermarket labels really mean is "hidden price rise!!"
The magazine highlighted a series of hidden inflation deals where the biggest "improvement" is that the product is smaller for the same price.
And 60 Millions de Consommateurs said that even where the product is bigger - as companies were "repositioning products in the market" - they slapped on a price rise that more than matched the size increase.
Elsewhere, companies put their products in the same size boxes as their rivals, but reduced the quantities inside.
Here are some varied examples from the magazine:
Teisseire fruit cordials - popular flavours such as strawberry, raspberry, peach and grapefruit were now 60cl instead of the previous 75cl. The company said the cost of sugar, fruit concentrate and the steel for the can had risen. However, one reader told 60 Millions her local store had cut the price for the new can from €3.12 to €3.07 ... which hides a real price rise of 23%.
Buitoni's pizza Regina La Grandiosa has a "New tastier recipe, with softer dough" - but also a drop in size from 600g to 570g. Although the price mostly stayed the same, some shops had increased it.
Mousline's packet of potato mash has increased from 500g to 520g - a 4% rise in quantity - but the price had also risen... by 21%.
Nestlé's Chocapic breakfast cereal has increased from 375g to 450g - up 15% in quantity - but the average shop price had risen by 35%.
Herta's Le Bon Paris ham with "25% less salt" comes in a packet that is just 120g where the non-improved version is 180g.
Graphic: © iQoncept - Fotolia.com