Consumers should be aware of product packaging on supermarket shelves | Economy

Brands reduce the size of products without increasing the price to disguise inflationBrazil Agency

Published 09/11/2021 08:00

Rio – In addition to paying attention to product values, consumers should also be aware of packaging on supermarket shelves. That’s because companies in the food sector use a strategy called “shrinkflation” to disguise inflation, which has accumulated an increase of 9.68% in the last 12 months. The practice is to reduce the size of the goods without increasing prices, which means that the customer will buy a smaller quantity for the same amount that he previously purchased a larger product.

“The practice of reduflation is not illegal, but the company must present all changes explicitly to the consumer in a clear, precise and conspicuous way on the packaging. Companies that do not follow the rules are subject to fines, according to each case”, he clarifies the lawyer specializing in Consumer Law Everson Piovesan, from Piovesan & Fogaça Advocacia.

According to retail consultant Marco Quintarelli, the main categories impacted by the phenomenon are the sweet and dry groceries, that is, biscuits, jams, yogurts, dairy products and some commodities such as rice. “The consumer has been buying that item with a certain frequency and, all of a sudden, the product has to have a price increase due to labor or raw material. So, the option would be to offer the product with a smaller volume, but with the same value”, he explains.

Economist and professor at Ibmec RJ, Tiago Sayão exemplifies other foods that may suffer redulation in supermarkets: “Products such as olive oil (500 ml to 400 ml), frozen chicken meat packaging (reduction from 1 kg to 800 g), eggs (30 units to 20 units), washing powder packages (reduced from 2 kilos to one kilo and 600 grams) and liquid yoghurt (1000 ml to 900 ml)”.

Consumer rights

Attorney Everson Piovesan indicates that consumers should always pay attention to what is being offered to them. “The quantity of the product must be explicit and also appear on the price tag, if this is the case for those shelves that have price tags below the product. Also check if the price shown is for that product displayed ahead,” he recommends.

Adriano Fonseca, an expert at Proteste, states that the Consumer Defense Code established information as a basic consumer right. “In view of this, in a case of redoubling, whereby the consumer is induced to believe that he is buying a product with a greater quantity – through the lowercase letters, or even the lack of an indication on the packaging – the company may be held responsible for abusive practice”.

The lawyer adds that the client can complain whenever he feels cheated. “Most common cases of complaints are those where the consumer thinks he is buying a quantity for a price, when, in fact, he is taking a smaller quantity for an equal or greater price. The consumer who finds that the reduction in the quantity of the product does not is expressed on the packaging, you can complain”.

“It is important to recognize that the CDC establishes that it is the duty of companies to comply with the offers indicated at the time of the product announcement. Therefore, it is important to first recognize if what is being sold is exactly what the consumer will receive. change of significant amount with charging for the same price, the consumer can seek the bodies of the National Consumer Defense System, such as Protest”, concludes the specialist of the association.