Shrinkflation is a process by which manufacturers reduce the contents of a package while keeping the price the same. In recent years, strange markings on familiar products have become quite common. For example, a one-liter carton of milk might say that it contains only 900 ml.
Another form of shrinkflation is to increase the size of a package while maintaining its volume. Visually it appears larger, the price tag matches the impression, and this trap worked almost without fail until the French and Germans began to openly protest.
Outrage and anger peaked when the famous Big Tasty sandwich at McDonald's in France suddenly became the Lil' Tasty: instead of nearly 900 calories, it had only 663. Last week, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also spoke out about the phenomenon, calling the situation outrageous and promising to protect consumers.
Almost the same policy is being followed in Germany, where a law is already being prepared that would introduce mandatory labeling of decreasing volume or increasing packaging. This was announced by the Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, Steffi Lemke. Perhaps the law will simply prohibit the use of large boxes for inappropriately sized goods, as it goes against the concept of waste reduction.
We will soon find out if the initiatives will come soon enough and if they will help to fight against misleading consumers. Some supermarkets have decided not to wait for the authorities' decision and have taken action. The Carrefour and Intermarché chains have started to mark producers who have decided to cheat with special stickers.