Rama margarine: According to consumer advocates, the filling quantity is 25 percent more expensive
Manfred Segerer / IMAGO
Never before has the Hamburg consumer advice center received so many complaints in such a short time about deceptive packaging as it does about new packaging from Rama manufacturer Upfield.
Recently, he has only been filling 400 grams of margarine per tub for his classic product instead of the previous 500. "The price has remained constant at many different retailers, mostly at 2.19 euros, despite shrinkage," said the consumer advocates and gave the product a negative price the »deceptive package of the month«.
The redesign corresponds to a hidden price increase of 25 percent.
It is particularly bold that the can remains the same size as the 500-gram version: "From our point of view, Upfield is pretending that there is more content, because of course you can't look at the pack before you buy it." shrinking package sizes as »shrinkflation«.
According to their own statements, the consumer advocates confronted Upfield with their research results.
They published the letter on their website.
The margarine manufacturer defended itself by saying that there were "dramatic cost increases": "That's why we have slightly reduced the grammage of some of our products.
This change is clearly visible on our packaging.« It is an extraordinary step.
Usually, the Hamburg consumer advice center receives around 2,000 to 3,000 complaints per year after its own submissions.
Recently, however, significantly more reports have been received than is usual for this period.
"The reports from consumers have increased enormously in the last two weeks: we have never had around a hundred reports about hidden price increases in recent years," says Armin Valet, who is responsible for the food and nutrition department at the Hamburg Consumer Center , the MIRROR.
More hidden price hikes expected
"That could have something to do with inflation and the crisis," Valet said.
However, he also expects at least half a year's notice for companies planning hidden price increases.
»Selling old packs, planning, producing, delivering new ones« all of this takes time.
He therefore assumes numerous other hidden or visible price increases.
“We estimate that the shrinkflation scam will continue to be heavily deployed during the fall, winter and early next year.”
What is also striking about the phenomenon of shrinkflation is that the retail chains' own brands are now also attracting more and more attention.
So far, this has been more of a problem with branded products.