In France, many retailers have taken steps to combat food inflation. This is particularly the case of Système U, which has drawn up a list of 155 daily items "at cost price" to relieve the purchasing power of its customers. Problem: according to the UFC-Que Choisir, some of these products are poorly chosen or missing.

Since February 1, 2023, 155 items are actually resold not at cost price but at a minimum margin rate of 10% which corresponds to the resale at a loss threshold imposed by the Egalim law. And their price is indeed down sharply compared to last January (-14% on twenty items analyzed by the association).

System U reacts

The problem, according to UFC-Que Choisir, is that many of these products leave something to be desired. Eight different spirits (vodka, rum, whisky, beer...), 20 boxes of biscuits, canned vegetables, sweets... The association deplores the absence of fresh fruits and vegetables and regrets that these items do not always comply with the recommendations of public health authorities.

"To put together this list, we relied on U-brand products with high turnover. We have tried to offer a wide range, even if we can always find material to question. Offering fresh fruits and vegetables was too complex to set up, because their purchase is not centralized, but managed locally by the stores, "justified Thierry Desouches, the spokesperson of Système U.

Products that are not essential

However, the consumer association notes that 39% of the selected products have a Nutri-Score D or E, a poor or even poor nutritional rating. 28% of items are A, 10% are B and 14% are C. The UFC-Que Choisir, however, welcomes the presence of several organic products in the list, while deploring that of items that are not essential according to it, such as hair sprays or oven cleaner.

Finally, the association indicates that several products are missing. But the brand had specified: the offer is valid "within the limits of available stocks". Between January 2022 and January 2023, FMCG prices increased by 15.4% in France.

  • Economy
  • UFC What to Choose
  • Inflation
  • Mass distribution
  • Feeding