The end of year celebrations are the opportunity to put the small dishes in the big ones. And some of the agri-food industry does not deprive itself to make a profit. Fortunately, some associations are keeping an eye on the grain: after the “Calendrier du Vent” in 2020 and the “Casserole d’or” in 2021, food watch just revealed his “Christmas table of scams”. The association, which defends “affordable and risk-free” food, pin 10 products that are best avoided during the holidays (source 1).
Behind the bling-bling of the packaging, the marketing of the holidays can however hide beautiful scams on the label, she warns.
The association denounces in the first place the over-packaging, which misleads the consumer and conceals the real quantity of product. Its experts have notably identified minced from smoked salmon with dill and lemon zest of the brand Auchan sold in 55% empty packaging. Same observation for duchess potatoes with truffles from the brand findus, sold in a 48% empty package.
And the greediest among us are not left out, since in the dessert department, the association points the finger: chocolate snowballs marketed by Milka and Oreobut also and Signature Grand chocolate iced log from Nestle.
Some packaging, not content to hide nothingness, also oversell their capacitye. food watch particularly pinned roast turkey with morel mushroom stuffing Master CoQ. The packaging suggests that there is a large amount of mushrooms in the stuffing. In reality, it only contains 0.9%. “That the morel is present in small quantities is not a problem”, clarifies the association. The problem is the large morels highlighted on the packaging so as to influence the consumer.
The association also warns against the prices of the “special holiday” shelves. At the house of Crossroadshis teams notably spotted a small jar of fleur de sel from Guérande from the brand Larnaudie at €2.99 for 25 grams, or €120 per kilo. Said jar was “thoughtfully placed next to the salmon” in the special holiday display. But a few shelves further, in the spice section, there are jars and sachets of fleur de sel “up to 6 times cheaper per kilo depending on the brand for the same compositionShe therefore recommends checking the price per kilo and comparing it with that of similar products before making a choice.
Beyond the shelves, “holiday” packaging can mask the presence of controversial health ingredients and additives. food watch focused in particular on branded lumpfish roe Crossroads Extra. She found “five food additives, including colorants – including the ammonium sulphite caramel E150d which may contain substances classified as possible carcinogens, – preservatives and thickeners”.
In the aperitif department, the association also pinpoints branded foie gras macaroons Labeyrie containing nitrites, which pose a health hazard, and small puff pastries in the shape of a Christmas tree from the brand Blini, made from palm oil.
Another practice condemned by the association: shrinkflation, or “masked inflation” in French. As its name suggests, this technique involves reduce the weight or volume of a product while maintaining or increasing its price!
On the scam table, in the shrinkflation category, we unfortunately find Pyreneans with milk from Lindt. “The brand has quietly removed six bites from the box which now contains 24 instead of 30. For 20% less chocolate, you will pay 18% more per kilo at Carrefour”, alert food watch.
Foodwatch denounces the fact that manufacturers and distributors often believe that everything is permitted. The regulations in force prohibit however to mislead consumers and consumers but, in fact, the sanctions against these abuses are rare and the dishonest practices continue, since impunity is in order…
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