Deceptive packages in June 2022: hidden price increases at Aldi, Lidl, Netto, Penny & Co.

Aldi, Lidl, Netto, Penny …
These are the cheat packs of the month

Less included, equal price – or even more expensive. So far, the phenomenon of deceptive packaging has mainly occurred with well-known branded products. In the meantime, however, supermarket and discount own brands are also increasingly affected, as the consumer advice center in Hamburg reveals.

Reducing the portion size of consumables, or filling a smaller amount to hide inflation, is called shrinkage inflation. So far, well-known branded products have been particularly affected by hidden price increases based on the “less in it, equal price” principle. But given the current situation, so-called “shrinkage” is also increasingly being used by supermarkets and discounters to covertly raise the prices of their own brands’ products, explains the Hamburg Consumer Center (VZHH).

Increase in the number of double price increases

And so consumer advocates have recently received far more complaints about private labels. Some of the many examples of the scam list that customers have reported. The significantly increased number of double price increases on the negative list also shows that the retail trade is transforming prices more strongly. This means products in which not only the amount of filling has been reduced, but the price has also been increased by the retailers. While this has affected 18% of included items on average over the past two years, it will already be around 35% in the first half of 2022.

“The rising costs of raw materials and energy for private label production should be passed on to customers without completely alienating them. After all, many supermarkets and discounters advertise the low prices of their brands,” explains Armin Valet of consultancy. Hamburg consumers center. “Content reduction is therefore the method of choice.” This mainly affects customers who, for economic reasons, choose cheaper unnamed products.

And as a result, several products will receive VZHH’s Negative Month Cheat Pack this month. Here you are:

  • Aldi Nord and Süd’s “Jack’s Farm lamb steaks” now contain only 300 grams instead of 400. The price of 6.99 euros remains unchanged. The hidden price increase is 33%.
  • Penny’s “Naturgut organic wood-fired pizza with mozzarella, spinach and feta” costs € 2.99 instead of € 2.49. At the same time, the weight of the pizza dropped from 460 to 410 grams, so consumers pay 35 percent more for the product.
  • Netto Marken-Discount’s “Spicy Olivano Lentil Bulgur Salad” has been sold in a 200 gram can instead of the 250 gram can since February. A short time later, the price went up from 89 to 99 cents. The hidden price increase is 39%.
  • Lidl customers have reported a special case. With the XXL “Floralys toilet paper” pack sold as part of a campaign, the number of sheets per roll of toilet paper remained unchanged at 200 pieces, but the single sheet was actually reduced compared to the normal Floralys pack. This means around three meters less paper per roll.

Consumers often have to be bothered by hidden price increases. Assuming they discover them too. The VZHH offers the opportunity to draw attention to products with which customers are fooled in this way (less content for the same price). He then makes these products public and chooses them in the deceptive month and year package.

(This article was first published on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.)

Leave a Comment