Deceptive pack of multi-brands
Knorr uses this packaging trick to cover up its price increase
If the package is larger, there is more in it. But beware: this is not always the case. Manufacturers are adapting their packaging so that price increases are less noticeable, as the example of Knorr shows.
The packaging of the Knorr breadcrumbs is significantly larger.
Milena KalinEditor Economics
Bigger, more expensive, but with the same content: This is how the new packaging for the breading mix from Knorr comes along, a well-known brand of the multinational Unilever. «I find it very cheeky. Consumers are being fooled, and it’s also a waste of resources,” report readers to Blick zu Sprach.
It’s no secret that prices are rising at the moment. Inflation in Switzerland was 3.0 percent in November. Many groceries are likely to have become more expensive in December. Manufacturers and traders are therefore raising their prices in order to cover their costs – higher energy prices, freight costs, etc. This can be made transparent to customers – or not.
Of course, manufacturers know that consumers don’t like price increases. They reach into their bag of tricks – and to hidden price increases. For example, they are trying, like Knorr in this case, to make the rising prices palatable to consumers with larger packaging.
It’s easy to be deceived in the store. Because the customer assumes that there is more content in the larger packaging. You only notice the trick when you read the small print. The scam is legal, but causes irritation.
The larger Knorr packaging is also surprising because manufacturers are currently working to keep packaging waste as low as possible. You know: Customers pay attention to sustainability.
In the fall, the buzzword “shrinkflation” made the rounds. As prices rose, retailers and manufacturers tried to hide the price increases by using smaller packaging with less content. Example of such “shrinkage treatments”: The manufacturer Haribo, for example, reduced its “Goldbären” pack in German supermarkets from 200 to 175 grams. The recommended price of 0.99 cents remained the same, despite 12.5 percent less content.
More effort for logistics and retail
Changes in packaging size not only annoy consumers, but also retailers and logisticians. Because the space on the shelves is limited, as is that in the trucks.
In the case of the Knorr breadcrumbs, Coop refers to the brand multinational. This left a request from Blick unanswered. As far as own brands are concerned, Coop basically does not use a practice like Knorr, Coop said when asked.
The German consumer advice center repeatedly warns that “tricks” such as hidden price increases are “hardly noticeable to consumers in normal shopping”. A transparency platform would help, for example, where manufacturers would have to report reductions in filling quantities in advance.