Planned for the beginning of March by the government, the anti-inflation basket should consist of around fifty food and non-food products, excluding alcohol and confectionery, at reduced prices. But the vagueness still persists around the terms of this government measure.
An anti-inflation basket of around fifty products! It is the government’s response to this inflation which continues to erode the purchasing power of the French.
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But this initiative is far from unanimous. Considered as a scoop or a “bandage on a fracture”, this basket, supposed to last three months, is not at all to the taste of the associations, nor of the large distributors who believe that they did not wait for the government’s approval to relieve the consumer wallet.
A 15% increase over one year
It must be said that in one year, the shopping bill has experienced a heat stroke of nearly 15%, analyzes the firm NielsenIQ. And it’s not about to stop.
The government is counting on a month of “red March”, with an additional increase of 10%. “How could 50 products meet the diversity of needs depending on the type of consumer?”, protested last week Olivier Andrault, agriculture/food project manager for the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir. The latter believes that this basket is a “gadget” and the solution to food inflation is “not on such a small and ill-defined basket”.
A volunteer base
Based on the voluntary work of the brands, a vagueness nevertheless persists on the categories of products contained in this famous basket and especially their price. But last week, the Minister Delegate for Trade, Olivia Grégoire tried to provide some clarification on the terms of this decision.
Asked by the Parisian, Olivia Grégoire explains that it should be made up of five fruits and vegetables, three of which are organic, two starchy foods, red or white meat, including at least one labeled, fish, but also dental hygiene products. However, no alcohol or sweets.
The exact list under arbitration
But the exact list of categories concerned is still in the arbitration phase. “It’s not a discount basket with products sold at bargain prices […] it’s a quality basket, with a real interest in health, which the distributor must highlight to its customers”, made a point of specifying the firm of Olivia Grégoire at the Parisian.
The objective of the executive, is therefore to constitute a basket of distributor and national brands, all at a reasonable price and above all stable over time.
But distributors are far from convinced. Like the anti-inflation basket set up by U stores which contains 150 products at cost price, some distributors claim that they did not wait for the government to take measures in favor of the purchasing power of the French.
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The Lidl brand launches its anti-inflation basket made up of “about fifty products”
The discontent of distributors
This is the case for example of Franprix with these twenty products for twenty euros, or Carrefour which ensures that 130 prices will not change until May. “We set up fruits and vegetables every week at the lowest price, explained Pascale Cartier, purchasing director at Auchan, to our colleagues from France info.
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The Système U brand launches an anti-inflation basket, before that of the government
Enough to make Bruno Le Maire jump, the Minister of the Economy who called on the big brands on Monday, February 13 to do more. “The rise in food prices is for me a subject of major concern (…) It is a priority but we will provide solutions only if everyone gets involved, not only the State but also the distributors, who must take their responsibilities, must do more and must do better”, launched Bruno Le Maire at the microphone of RTL.
In concrete terms, only Système U and Lidl said yes today to the government’s safe haven basket. A flop long before its launch? The answer in a few days…