Unfair commercial practices: investigations in Italy into the “shrinkflation” phenomenon

The Italian judiciary and antitrust authorities will investigate the phenomenon of “shrinkflation”, reducing the portion sizes of consumer goods or filling a smaller quantity to hide inflation. Italian consumer protection group Codacons has filed a complaint with antitrust authorities and prosecutors in several cities, calling for investigations into producers who are selling fewer goods at the same price.

According to the consumer protection association, the practice introduced by manufacturers of reducing the quantities of products sold to consumers without lowering the price of the packaging is a criminal offence. He warned of fraud and unfair business practices.

“Essentially, the price remains the same while the product packaging is slightly smaller or contains fewer product units. This trick continues to make manufacturers huge profits while consumers’ pockets empty. This creates a kind of ‘hidden inflation’,” criticized Codacons. The association called on the competition authority and the judiciary to consult the president of the statistical office Istat, which publishes the monthly statistics on inflation in Italy, the Ministry of Economy, the Italian Food Industry Federation Federalimentare and the main Italian multinationals for information on the phenomenon of shrinkflation.

“Shrinkflation” is made up of the English verb “shrink” and the technical term inflation. The widespread shopping baskets used to determine consumer price indices are based on specifically defined products. However, inflation cannot be measured if the product changes unexpectedly and not visibly.

By Editor

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