Joe Biden has criticized food companies for alleged “counterinflation”, reducing the size of products while maintaining the same prices, in a video to commemorate the Super Bowl.
The American president criticized big consumer brands for an inflationary contraction “scam” on Sunday night and said that “the American public is tired of being taken for a fool.”
He added: “Some companies are trying to act quickly by reducing products little by little and hoping you don’t notice.”
The American football event attracts a huge audience in the richest country in the world, and advertisers flock to market their products. Sunday’s game was won by the Kansas City Chiefs, who beat the San Francisco 49ers in a dramatic comeback on the last play.
Biden had refused to participate in a television interview, which is normally conducted with the president before the Super Bowl. However, the video would have been uncomfortable for some of the world’s largest food companies, including PepsiCo, Mondelēz and Unilever.
The president did not name any products or companies directly, but the video, posted on the official presidential account
Biden said: “Sports drink bottles are smaller, a bag of chips has fewer chips, but they still charge the same. As an ice cream lover, what annoys me the most is that the ice cream cartons have shrunk in size.”
PepsiCo, whose brands include Gatorade, Doritos and Tostitos, was contacted for comment, as was the owner of Oreo. mondelēz and Breyers owner Unilever.
US consumer price index inflation soared above 8% in 2022. Some economists believe this was partly due to several factors, including monetary policy stimulus in response to the Covid pandemic , the huge rise in global energy prices as a result of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and heavy government spending driven by Biden and other countries.
Inflation fell to 3.1% in December But some companies are believed to have responded to rising costs by marginally reducing the size of products (inflationary contraction), as well as changing recipes to reduce the amount of more expensive ingredients, sometimes known as “scrimping.”