Loblaws is facing heat after a TikToker questioned why a bag of their No Name brand chips appeared to weigh half of what it was meant to.
The post in question, by user @joceforce, shows a 200-gram bag of No Name ripple cut chips being placed on a scale. It initially clocks in at 113 grams, before the user moves it up the scale, to reveal that it’s 103 grams. The user then shows that the bag is sealed.
“Shopping at the cheapest store, buying the cheapest brand so I can keep living indoors … And you’re stealing half my damn chips,” the user, who shopped at No Frills, a Loblaw-operated brand, wrote on the clip.
In the comments, people lamented similar stories of being short-changed on products.
“I noticed 2L Pepsi aren't filled to the same level as previous,” one user wrote. “This week I marked the bottle when I bought it and sure enough only 1.8L”
“This happened to my lime tortilla chip too,” another wrote.
Others in the comments complained about the impact of shrinkflation, which is when a product's package is reduced in quantity, but sold for the same price. But one expert cautioned that probably isn’t the case here — the whole ordeal was likely a manufacturing error.
Manish Kacker is an associate professor of marketing at the DeGroote School of Business with McMaster University. He says the incident likely isn’t widespread, and doesn’t appear to be part of shrinkflation.
“It could be an anecdotal production failure, or it could be a broader product quality problem,” he tells Yahoo Canada. “In this case the actual weight is different than what’s shown on the packaging, so that suggests it’s more of a quality control failure rather than a conscious strategy.”
He adds it’s unlikely the company is trying to sell less chips than stated on the package, because the liabilities for doing that wouldn’t seem worth any gains.
For their part, Loblaw acknowledges there might be a discrepancy with the quality of the product packaging.
“The product as pictured absolutely does not live up to our standards,” a company representative wrote in an email to Yahoo Canada. “We’ve reached out to the customer for more information so that we can look into it and figure out what happened. Our no name satisfaction guarantee allows customers to return or exchange (if they don’t have the receipt) any products that don’t meet their expectations.”
On their website, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s states:” In general, it is not acceptable to under-fill a container with a product. For example, it is not acceptable to package 200 millilitres of a beverage in a container having a capacity of 250 millilitres. This would result in a head-space of at least 24%, often referred to as "slack-fill", and would be misleading with respect to the quantity of the product.”