After the outbreak of the pandemic, voices soon arrived warning of the danger of an economic crisis. The coronavirus crisis has had a direct effect on how things are made, but it has also ended up changing citizens’ consumption habits.

If other problems are added to that, such as the logistics crisis (in which the pandemic is one of the many factors that have impacted), you have a complete view of the state of things. Marketers and analysts have been warning of the implications of things for quite some time. It is feared that this whole context will act as a drag on Christmas advertising investment and even on the Christmas campaign itself, but also that it will hit the most diverse and diverse industries.

For example, the effects are already being felt in the availability of paper and the world of books . But in addition to the problems related to the availability of products, companies have already been indicating that they were going to find a problem. The things would be more expensive , something that consumers would not be willing to accept. A few months ago, the giants of consumer brands already indicated that they would either have to raise prices – and convince consumers to pay more for the same products – or take other measures.

Among the latter niche, the usual thing is that the giants eliminate or minimize promotions or that they choose to make changes in the packaging. The latter is what the big brands seem to be doing in Spain. According to the latest OCU research on supermarket products in Spain, this is what the consumer goods industry in Spain could be doing. With their price movements and quantity of products, they would be creating the illusion that things are cheaper than they really are.

OCU data
What exactly is the OCU seeing? According to their data , “some food manufacturers” have reduced the content they include in their packaging by between 5 and 10%. That is, the buyer receives less product than usual, which eventually leads to them paying more for things.

With this movement, consumers are not really aware that they have raised the price of the things they buy. The consumer organization points out that it does not only happen with food brands. Hygiene and drugstore products are also applying this trick. The consumer also feels that he is getting a great offer, because the price of the product has also fallen.

Still, the drop is not as high as the amount of actual product you buy, so it doesn’t pay off. In general, the price of 55% of the supermarket products analyzed by the OCU have risen. In the remaining 45% there were decreases, but among them are those in which the decreases are more an illusion than a reality. The quantity is also reduced and thus the price actually goes up. “This resource to reduce the weight of the product to mask a rise in price or to pretend a greater decrease has occurred with some frequency in this year 2021,” they point out on the OCU website.

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