As expected, inflation is bumping up food prices in the Czech Republic, forcing manufacturers to get creative so consumers don’t notice, Yookie reports.
According to Lukáš Kovanda, chief economist at Trinity Bank, food and non-alcoholic beverages went up by 4.5% last year, and companies have inconspicuously reduced the volume of their products in an attempt to hide what’s going on.
“There is now a lot of concern among Czechs that inflation will keep on intensifying. The leading representatives of the Czech National Bank are therefore going on a media offensive in which they try and assure the public that they’ll curb inflation.”
“Food producers know this. Therefore, recently they’ve had to intensify the practice of inconspicuously reducing the volume or weight of their products.”
The effect of prices staying the same but the actual value going down is known as “invisible inflation,” or “shrinkflation and is not unique to the Czech Republic. It has manifested in many ways, including the epidemic of the disappearing toilet paper.
“The customer just doesn’t notice it, but he would certainly notice a rise in prices which would discourage him from buying,” Kovanda says.
Kovanda uses some popular snack bars in the Czech Republic as an example.
“The KitKat Chunky bar originally weight 50 grams, and after the first trimming, it decreased to 48 grams, and today only weighs 40 grams. Figaro, Student Seal, Milka and Margot chocolates have lost more than 20 grams in just a few years.”
“At a time of significant food price inflation, customers should be more careful than ever when reading the packaging, looking for composition, volume or weight of the product,” Kovanda said.