French grocery chain adds ‘shrinkflation’ labels to products

French grocery chain adds ‘shrinkflation’ labels to products

Shopping cart in a department of a Carrefour supermarket, in front of pastas and sauces.

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French grocery chain Carrefour has taken the unusual step of adding labels to its products that have recently shrunk in size but have ramped up in price.

The move — both in stores and on its website — looks to pile pressure on its suppliers that have increased prices for the chain, despite raw material prices having recently eased.

Carrefour added the “shrinkflation” warning stickers to a range of products, from Lipton Iced Tea and Pepsi, to boxes of Lindt chocolates and baby milk powder.

“Obviously, the aim in stigmatizing these products is to be able to tell manufacturers to rethink their pricing policy,” Stefen Bompais, a director of client communications at Carrefour, said in an interview with Reuters.

Carrefour did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Carrefour marked 26 products, according to Reuters, with a label reading: “This product has seen its volume or weight fall and the effective price by the supplier rise,” as translated by the news agency.

The move was taken as brands are soon to negotiate their place with certain retailers, Reuters said.

Carrefour announced a new strategic plan to tackle the current macroeconomic, geopolitical and climate challenges in November 2022, which is based around the idea of making its products accessible to its customer base.

Cases of shrinkflation tend to increase in high inflation environments, Edgar Dworsky, founder of Mouse Print, a website that tracks instances of shrinkflation in groceries, told CNBC in April. But these changes don’t tend to be announced by manufacturers, making it difficult for consumers to notice the changes, he said.

— CNBC’s Mike Winters contributed to this report.

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