Once again, the alert came from consumers who pointed out several products and sent messages to the Foodwatch association, supporting photos.
The object of their anger, after other fights?
All these tempting products at first glance, which we love, but which when opened are in fact full… of emptiness!
“This is not a new phenomenon, but we noticed that they concerned a lot of new products because organic in particular, such as soybean steaks or quinoa-based products, which are generally a little more expensive than the average ”, summarizes Camille Dorioz, Foodwatch campaign manager.
This is something to have clearly the feeling of having been had!
The association launched a petition on September 17 that will be sent to seven pinned brands, asking them to reduce their packaging, which would be good for the planet, but also more honest with respect to consumers - Carrefour having replied quickly, the brand will ultimately not be the recipient of this petition.
Brands maintain ambiguity
Among the pinned products, we find tea, tabbouleh, vacuum-packed salmon, but also soy tomato and basil steaks from the Sojasun brand (34% empty according to Foodwatch), basil from Monoprix (35% empty) , the Crunchy intense dark chocolate cereals from Carrefour (50% empty), or the Cereali e Quinoa packet from Barilla (60% empty).
Each time, it is the same thing: the customer has the feeling of an article rather bulky and full, but disillusioned when opened.
And the brands compete in imagination to maintain the ambiguity.
The Monoprix packaging for its basil is pinned down by the NGO.￼Foodwatch
“What is fashionable is to have a small transparent window that shows the product, decrypts Camille Dorioz, but when we open the packaging, above this window, there is often no product!
»And also to cite, in the case of Monoprix basil, a label judiciously placed on the front side, which prevents seeing that the small box is not full.
The comparisons with other similar products are also very telling.
"Carrefour's Crunchy cereals are therefore 50% empty, while in the organic section, the chocolate muesli cereals, still from Carrefour, fill the product to the top, which proves that manufacturers know how to do it", concludes the campaign manager.
Some brands like Carrefour will review their packaging
Of course, answer some of the brands questioned, the consumer can always look at the price per kilo, in order to compare prices.
Thus, if it seems less expensive per unit than its Ducros counterpart because it is sold in a smaller packaging, Monoprix basil is in fact much more expensive if we look at its price per kilo: "198 euros per kilo, against 160 euros for Ducros basil, ”according to Foodwatch.
"Of course, everyone should think about looking at the prices per kilo, but they are often marked in very small", regrets Camille Dorioz.
Asked, the Sojasun brand does not wish to comment.
About its basil, Monoprix explains that "for herbs, the density of a plant (
Editor's note: its volume
) can vary from one harvest to another".
As proof of its good faith, the brand recalls that the basil "is part of a range of 10 references, and that the other nine jars are well filled".
The Barilla group explains to us that “the size of the packaging of Cereali & Quinoa ensures the quality of the product and is mainly explained by technical elements […].
The volatility of the grains, which can move a lot during their packaging and the preservation of the freshness of the product, requires to inflate the bag in which the grains are packed, making it necessary to use a larger cardboard pack ”.
As soon as the petition was announced, the Carrefour brand finally undertook to work with the supplier of its cereals in order to "reduce the width of the packaging".