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ArticlesMay 23, 20240

The “Shrinkflation” phenomenon – countermeasures proposed by ANPC

Amid numerous public criticisms regarding the recent practice of merchants offering pre-packaged products for sale, ANPC has put forward a draft order containing rules for informing consumers about the sale of these products, whose quantities have been modified (reduced) while keeping the same selling price. The phenomenon, which significantly disadvantages consumers, stems from the combination of the words “shrink” and “inflation,” concretely consisting of economic operators reducing the quantity of a product without changing its shelf price.

Consequently, the Authority has decided that it is necessary to counteract this practice and propose a draft order with the ultimate goal of properly informing consumers so that they are not misled about the quantity of product purchased. Essentially, the new regulation establishes the obligation for merchants to clearly and visibly display both the reduction in product quantity and the change in price per unit of measure. This obligation will allow consumers to purchase a desired product with full information and easily compare the prices of products offered for sale. Moreover, proper consumer information must also be provided in situations where the product quantity has been modified, but the same selling price is maintained.

Additionally, the ANPC order seeks to apply this measure non-discriminatorily to all products, both food and non-food alike. Furthermore, economic operators in the supply chain are required to declare the period during which they intend to sell products with reduced quantities.

The actual informing of consumers must be done within the same visual field in a visible, legible form and in the same size, using the following phrases by merchants: “for the entire period of sale of products with modified quantity” or “sale is valid within the limit of available stock.” Also, the weight or volume indicated on the product packaging must correspond to the actual quantity inside.

However, it is important to note that the requirements established by the ANPC order will not apply to distance sales.

These requirements serve as measures to protect consumers both directly and indirectly against market dysfunctions, which arise from the constant practices of merchants perceived as unfair and misleading. Thus, with the adoption and entry into force of the order, 30 days after its publication in the Official Gazette of Romania, merchants will be liable for sanctions in case of non-compliance with the new regulations.

For further information or any additional inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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Mihaela Balau – Attorney at Law

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