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Hungary to introduce warnings about ‘shrinkflation’ effect on prices

Hungary to introduce warnings about 'shrinkflation' effect on prices confectionery, Dairy & Soy Food, dairy alternatives, Frozen, Macro, meat, Pan-industry, Pet Food, Refrigerated, Savoury Snacks, Shelf-stable Food and Beverage Business

Hungary’s government is taking action to combat “shrinkflation” by requiring larger food retailers to label products affected by this practice. According to a statement from the country’s government, food retailers with sales revenue exceeding Ft1bn ($2.9m) will have to display warnings on products that have undergone size reductions while maintaining or increasing their prices.

Manufacturers will need to notify retailers of any changes in product size. This information is crucial for retailers to comply with the new regulations, as they will be required to signal any changes in weight or volume compared to the same product between 1 January 2020 and 1 July 2023. Additionally, retailers must provide the information for two months from the date they started selling the product in the reduced size.

The scheme is set to be implemented in the first half of February, as the government aims to protect consumers from deceptive practices. The country’s consumer protection authority will take action in cases of non-compliance. Moreover, consumers will have access to a public database recording the changes on the National Food Chain Safety Authority’s (NEBIH) website.

The Hungarian government stated, “In parallel with stagnant or rising prices of some produce, the size of packaging has been shrinking in many countries. The result of this deceptive practice is that consumers get less for their money from the purchased products than before.” The government further expressed its commitment to protecting families and combating consumer deception amid challenging economic circumstances.

In a similar move, France also submitted plans to the EU for new rules to require the country’s retailers to alert shoppers about shrinkflation. Paris has asked the European Commission to clear a move that would oblige grocers to inform consumers if a product has been reduced in size but its price has remained the same.

These regulatory developments reflect global efforts to address the issue of “shrinkflation” and protect consumer interests in the food and beverage industry. Stay updated on the latest food and beverage industry trends and consumer insights to ensure your business maintains a competitive edge. Sign up for our daily news round-up and gain access to leading industry insights.

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