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Plan for '2-for-1' deals in French supermarkets axed after backlash

Producers reacted negatively to a suggestion from the Economy Ministry that the deals could help with rising costs

A label saying ‘promo’ on food products on a supermarket shelf

Food promotions will remain capped at 34% (with no ‘buy one, get one free’) after producers rejected the idea Pic: monticello / Shutterstock

Offers and promotions on food in France are to remain capped at 34% after farmers and food producers rejected a proposal to allow ‘buy one, get one free’ deals in supermarkets.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had suggested on July 4 that the measure could be introduced within the context of rising fuel and food prices but this idea has now been abandoned after criticism from industry stakeholders.

Due to the ‘Egalim law’ that was passed in 2018 discounts in supermarkets are capped at 34%. The most supermarkets can currently offer is a ‘buy two, get one free’ deal. 

Read more: French supermarkets banned from super-low promotions 

Read more: 11 tips to save money on your food shopping in France 

After Mr Le Maire’s suggestion, representatives from the farming union FNSEA (Fédération nationale des syndicats d'exploitants agricoles) and the union for young farmers (Jeunes Agriculteurs) were heard at the ministry to discuss the issue.

They called the idea a ‘step backwards’.

To avoid further conflict, Mr Le Maire said that the suggestion has been revoked. As a result, promotions up to 50% will not be allowed in shops and supermarkets in France.

Read more: What is Macron's 'food cheque' plan to boost healthier local produce? 

The government is still set to help the lowest-income households with food costs, and plan to transfer a one-off €100 aid into eligible bank accounts automatically in Autumn with a view to the money being used on healthier food. 

This was previously described as a ‘food cheque’ and was pledged as part of President Macron’s re-election campaign.

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French government issues warning over new food price battle

Leclerc boss wants to end 10% profit margin on supermarket foods 

Inflation in France: what is under review to help households?

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