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Store prices have risen sharply in recent years, and both retailers and food producers have been trying to figure out how much they can raise the price of their products without too much of a dent in customer demand. While some manufacturers decided to increase the price of their goods directly, which customers then immediately felt when paying, some chose a much more stealthy tactic and instead of a noticeable increase in price, they decided to fool less observant customers by slightly reducing the weight of their product – if people in they don’t notice the hustle and bustle in the store and only look at the prices, they choose a product that is less expensive in the supermarket. Thanks to this trick, people will not save money even when buying a seemingly cheaper product, but for manufacturers it is an opportunity to raise prices without losing as many shoppers.
Savings can be made from the perspective of producers in many places, and some producers have reduced quality instead of raising prices, which in the case of many foods can be done simply by changing the composition – in well-known chocolates, a certain percentage of cocoa disappears every few years, in alcoholic drinks the amount of alcohol contained decreases and in confectionery products, the amount of flour will be slightly reduced. Such changes, however, carry the risk that sooner or later customers will notice them, and the negative feedback will hardly be dampened by the widely used phrase about the “specific tastes” of the Czechs, and the third option in the form of the not very visible and not so noticeable weight reduction is therefore very popular increase in price (although of course there are also examples of products that have increased in price in recent years and reduced weight and quality at the same time).
In addition, with hidden pricing, manufacturers can choose an interesting tactic to fool their customers so that they are not aware of the shrinking of the products, even if on the shelf in the store these impoverished ones stand next to the older “full-size” lot or if they have the rest of the older packaging at home – where it can, the same packaging is kept, but more air is placed inside. For example, in the case of chips or cans of loose products, the customer has absolutely no chance of guessing anything, unless he directly compares the weight information on the package – but apparently not many people do this in a hurry in the store, when at first glance everything looks perfectly fine…
Photogallery: – Czech and German food prices
We’ve looked at several examples of products where packaging has shrunk in this way over the last ten years, and when comparing supermarket leaflets, it’s clear that this trend hasn’t escaped even products that rely on how ‘traditional’ they are in our country and don’t change decade.
The first example can be the popular cocoa drink Granko. “Still as you like him,” he claims the manufacturer about it, which, as you can guess, is not entirely true – within the package size. Granko is no longer “still the way you like him”, but considerably smaller and slowly shrinking more and more. Ten years ago, it was sold in half-kilo packages, but already in 2015, the content of the loose mixture was suddenly reduced to 450 grams.
You could wave your hand at it, saying that it is “only” 50 grams. But that was just the beginning. This year, the packaging of Granka has shrunk again and is now usually 400 grams. Two-tenths of the original packaging is suddenly gone, and the popular cocoa drink is no longer “still the same”, as its manufacturer Orion, which today belongs to the Swiss Nestlé, claims.
Photogallery: – Purchases in Poland
In addition, ten years ago Granko (then still 100 grams larger) was also sold much cheaper. In February 2013, it could be bought in the BILLA supermarket for CZK 59.90 in a promotion, while without the promotion it normally cost CZK 84.90. Today, the “lightweight” Granko is available in the same supermarket for CZK 154.90.
While a kilogram of Granka cost 119.8 CZK without discounts in 2013, today it is suddenly 387.25 CZK due to the increase in price and the reduction of the contents of the package.
Photogallery: – Prices on the Czech-Polish border
Even Hellman’s tartares were not spared the reduction in volume, which shrunk from 225 milliliters to 210 ml. And while at that time 100 ml of this tartare cost 13.70 CZK, today you can buy it without a promotion for 23.76 CZK per 100 ml.
The traditional Slovak Figaro chocolate is also “traditionally” shrinking. The original 100-gram packaged Figaro milk chocolate is now only a thing of nostalgia, and after its reduction to 90 grams a year ago, this too has shrunk to the current 80 grams.
Even in 2015, a 90-gram package without discount was 28.90, today it is 10 grams cheaper for 35.90 CZK.
And similarly to the previous products, the “Iconic bar with the popular rum-coconut flavor” Margot also turned out well. Back in 2015, it cost 16.90 per 100 grams without discount.
Today, it is available in a “lightweight” 80-gram package for as little as CZK 23.90, and even though prices are rising, here too it is true that you get “less for more”.
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author: Radek Kotas