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Lesser-than-announced promotions, “shrinkflation”: new techniques for cheating customers and how to avoid being cheated

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:3 mins read

The prices of several everyday consumer goods are rising, following the recurring rise in energy prices. To lighten the bill for their customers, supermarkets are increasing their promotions, but does the consumer really come out a winner? The Test Achats association conducted the survey. And his spokesperson Julie Frère detailed his conclusions this Tuesday in the RTL info Welcome.

Test Achats tracks the prices of 3,000 products in supermarkets and every month you can see the evolution. An increase of more than 12% is noted compared to last year, with certain peaks, for example mustard, toilet paper, butter or the packet of spaghetti, there these are increases of more than 30%.

In this context, it is interesting to be able to benefit from promotions but are they really advantageous?

All supermarkets offer promotions. For example, Carrefour promises more than 1,000 products for less than one euro. Test Achats identified, on the distributor’s site, only 374 products at less than one euro and more than 100 are already unavailable. The association also found that out of 36 prices, examined with more attention, none decreased. On the other hand, there are eleven that have increased since the Purchasing Power action.

If we take the other action: the 100 prices blocked for 100 days. There, we are not at 100 products but 58 products online and 28 are unavailable. There is a big difference between the figures announced by Carrefour and those that can be checked online.

Another example from Albert Heijn, the group promises on 1,000 products, to have the second item free. The association checked their website and found 260 free 1+1 promotions. “Between 260 and 1,000 products, there is still a large margin”points out Julie Frère.

So should we be wary of promotions?

There are interesting promotions but you must not lose your reflexes. Do not rush on it, without thinking. “You have to keep the reflex of comparing prices per unit, per kilo or per litre” to find out if it is really a case, believes Julie Frère.

Beware also of the phenomenon of “shrinkflation”

This phenomenon consists in selling a product at the same price, by reducing the quantity present in the packaging. This is a somewhat misleading way of passing on a price increase to the consumer. He thinks of buying the same product that he has always bought and at the end of the year, he will realize that he will have paid more, because he will have had to buy this same product more often.

With this significant inflation, Test Achats advises more than ever to compare different stores, different priceseven products that we are used to buying, because we are not immune to a price increase that might have gone unnoticed.