Marmite toast Getty

Source: Getty Images

As many as 79% of shoppers believe brands are involved in ‘greedflation’

We all know about the impact influencers can have on product sales, with Prime Hydration merely the latest example. But what about deinfluencers? There’s a worrying movement on social media against brands, with views of the #deinfluencing hashtag on TikTok reaching 488 million in April [Exolyt].

Some of this is about challenging overconsumption, a sign of the times vs the showy consumerism of the past, but it’s now extending into protest against so-called ‘greedflation’, as shoppers are encouraged to cancel brands for profiteering.

This week Unilever and Sainsbury’s were both forced to defend themselves against such accusations as they announced their latest results. And it’s not just anti-capitalists who are making the accusations. On a TV news programme last week a senior lecturer in finance at Kingston University was actively telling viewers not to buy products from Unilever, not to shop at Sainsbury’s (she also mentioned Heinz and Tesco). Meanwhile shoppers themselves are cancelling brands in their own quiet way, switching to own-label and to rival discounters in increasing numbers.

Worryingly for brands, new research from Attest shows as many as 79% of shoppers believe brands are involved in ‘greedflation’. Not only that, 66% of those polled believe the highest price rises were on groceries, versus only 63% on energy. And 75% think more needs to be done, either by government or the media.

In the US a global strategist from Societe Generale fears “the end of capitalism” due to “astonishing” levels of corporate greed, and believes the case for price controls is becoming more compelling by the day. If bankers are finding it hard to separate out deserving cases from profiteering is it any wonder that shoppers are too?