Cheapflation, how to communicate it on the label?

Given the rise in prices of raw materials used in food production, the sector’s ingenuity has been sharpened to contain the costs of the final product. One of the options being considered is the so-called “cheap inflation”. That is, replacing certain ingredients or food products with cheaper ones.

This strategy aims to maintain and even increase the supply of products in different food categories without significantly increasing the final price.

In view of this situation, it is worth bearing in mind two aspects from the point of view of food legislation. On the one hand, what is related to consumer information and labeling. On the other hand, order in matters of food and substitution,” he points out. José María Ferrer, head of the Food Law Department AINIA.

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cheap inflation
The practice of substitution is feasible, as long as the information is provided in an appropriate manner.

Inform the consumer of cheap inflation on the label

It is crucial to consider how the consumer is informed, as provided by Regulation 1169/2011. Of the possibilities for The replacement of any component or ingredient is provided for in Appendix VI.:

  • In the case of food in which a component or ingredient that consumers expect to be commonly used has been replaced by another component or ingredient, the labeling must clearly indicate the component or ingredient used in that partial replacement. or in total:
    • a) very close to the name of the product, i
    • b) using a size with an x-height corresponding to at least 75% of the x-height of the product name and not smaller than the minimum size prescribed in Article 13, paragraph 2 of this Regulation.

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Against fraud

The practice of substitution is feasible, as long as the information is provided in an appropriate manner. And, furthermore, this is done in accordance with fair information practice, which is based on the fact that food information will be accurate, clear and easy to understand for the consumer,” says Ferrer.

According to AINIA experts, it is the food operator’s responsibility to find an appropriate name for it substitute food. This is in accordance with the regulations relating to the name of the food.

Behind the concept of cheap inflation, what is meant to be portrayed in a euphemistic way is the return of substitutes. As conceived by Spanish Food Codexit is a product that, without a misleading or fraudulent purpose, and with an explicit declaration of the desired purpose, seeks to replace food in whole or in part.

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