French supermarket chain Carrefour puts "shrinkflation" warnings on price-gouging brands

Originally published at: French supermarket chain Carrefour puts "shrinkflation" warnings on price-gouging brands | Boing Boing


Unfortunately, the cost of the label adds .05€ to the price.


Not just Carrefour… other chain groceries and even small shops are using the stickers here. I doubt it will make much difference, but I applaud them anyway.


While, at the same time, some supermarkets are not prepared to pay the manufacturers a viable price for their goods. Doubtless the label is too small to fit that information.

TBF I don’t know if Carrefour is guilty of this.

A .05 euro sticker charge is IMO worth it to warn me about gouging.


The larger manufacturers are fine, it’s the small farmers and niche producers who get the strongarm.

I’d be happy if everyone just standardized labeling price per kg for all products so I could identify shrinkflation myself and figure out what other product to buy.

In the US, grocery stores (and Amazon) seem to label everything in price per random unit - per fl oz, per lb, per gram, per count, per sheet, etc. that’s not even standardized across a product category.


Supermarkets are a start, but where we really need these warnings is at retail clothing stores, noting that the pants they’re getting from suppliers have apparently shrunk over time. It’s a surprisingly universal phenomenon that seems to have happened across all brands at the same time…

As far as soda goes I saw that writing on the wall almost 15 years ago. Back in the early 2000’s Pepsi had the 1L “big slam”, which was a 1L bottle fitted with the old school 3L extra large cap. Obviously with a name like the big slam it was marketed as a single person drink. Somewhere along the way in the mid 2000’s the whole sugar / diet thing got going and that’s when you started to see different taxation on things like soda. Things like the big slam disappeared and by 2010 or so you saw the 1.25-1.5L show up in grocery stores. Now those haven’t displaced the classic 2L yet, but I feel like it was a trial run to determine where the consumer really was at in terms of price per bottle. At some point the 2L will disappear and be replaced by the 1.25 or 1.5L just to keep cost per bottle reasonable.

I do find the per unit pricing a bit weird from time to time. Eggs really got me when they spiked in priced. I finally figured out that the per oz cost was typically better for “jumbo” than anything else, but per egg it isn’t. At the same time shrinkflation is shrinkflation…I don’t really change brands based on cost.

And what about quality? I’ve found I cannot find a Mexican or USian bag 'o pasta that doesn’t foam over when I cook it. The Italian brands don’t do that, in the same cooker. :man_shrugging:

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You can get one of these to prevent boil overs for about $3.

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Not necessarily. As an example, remember the tomato shortage in the UK earlier this year? That was due to all manufacturers struggling to match their costs with the amounts they were being paid under restrictive contracts, so instead of losing money on their crop the producers just didn’t grow tomatoes or didn’t bother exporting to UK (Brexit played its part but was not entirely to blame).

No, just the turnip surplus due to taking back control.
Yet another Brexit success story!

Yeah, but they’re still there, and still fine. They grow tomatoes for UK distribution about 3 miles from me, and they still do.

All well and good, but I’m wondering what they’re adulterating pasta with to make it less expensive to make but likely less nutritious, too.

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It might not be adulterated. Quality Italian pasta is extruded with brass fittings, which create larger pores in the surface of the pasta. The smaller pores that result from steel extrusion fittings are going to be more prone to microbubbles.

ETA: the word I was looking for earlier was “dies.” Brass extrusion die, steel extrusion die.


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It’s just that they release more starch into the water when cooking due to differences in processing methods and wheat. The higher the concentration of starch near the water surface, the more starch molecules will bond with each other to form weak networks that can temporarily trap vapor that can lead to boil overs.

A milk/pot watcher will create larger bubbles that can more easily break through the network, though with pasta you can also just use a wider pot or reduce the temperature to prevent boil overs as well.

Actually, you don’t actually need to bring water to a boil to cook pasta at all. It’ll cook just fine at 185°F/85°C, though it’ll take longer to rehydrate. Or, for energy efficiency, you can rehydrate pasta first in room temperature water for a couple hours (or use fresh pasta), then it’ll only take a minute to cook even at the lower temperature.

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