iFood and Extra fail to comply with Inmetro’s rule on the sale of bread to the unit

It was during breakfast with her boyfriend that cyber activist Carolline Sardá, 24, said she discovered that, until the first half of the 2000s, French bread was sold by the unit in the country. “We used to talk about how expensive bread is and he said he misses when he went to the bakery with R$2.50 and came home with 10 loaves of bread,” she told UOL.

The debate, taken by Carol to Twitter, went viral and marked yet another clash between generations on social networks. “Some people think they’re too old because I don’t remember this transition, which happened when I was 9 years old”, she jokes.

Carol is part of the so-called generation Z, of young people born between 1996 and 2012. Her boyfriend, tattoo artist Guilherme Romero, 27, is a millennial. “He was part of this group that went to the bakery as a kid and remembers this change in how bread was sold — which I didn’t witness,” he said.

To UOL, Romero said he was surprised by the repercussion of his girlfriend’s tweet. “We were raised in different states. I was born in Rio, and she, in Santa Catarina. I believe that this has influenced this perception”, says the tattoo artist.

But is it per kilo or per unit?

Through social networks, consumers report that there are cities where some physical stores sell the product with prices ranging from R$ 0.40 to R$ 1 per unit. But the practice is prohibited, according to Procon (Consumer Protection and Defense Program).

According to the agency, the sale per unit is subject to a fine, which can reach R$ 100 thousand. The determination is valid for any type of establishment. The rule was implemented to standardize how much consumers must pay for the product they take home. (read more below).

What about online sales?

O UOL consulted the supermarket website of the three largest retail groups operating in Brazil: Carrefour, Assaí and GPA (Grupo Pão de Açúcar). Of these, only Extra and Pão de Açúcar, both from the GPA chain, offer the option to purchase salt bread per unit, with prices ranging from R$0.94 to R$1 for every 50g of the product.

On iFood, the price charged for the unit of wholemeal French bread exceeds R$ 1. Inmetro does not specify whether the weighing rule applies to apps

Image: Reproduction/iFood

The report also tried to make purchases through the iFood, Zé Delivery and Rappi apps. In this case, only iFood has registered stores that sell bread with values ​​ranging from R$1 to R$1.89 per unit, without specifying the weight of the product.

In April 2021, Inmetro (National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality) defined that French bread should be marketed only by weight — not by unit value. wanted by UOLthe agency did not inform whether there is any provision in the standard that exempts online sales platforms from this obligation.

Asked about what measures they have taken to comply with Inmetro’s weighing determination, the companies mentioned also do not they had positioned until the last update of this report. The text will be updated in case of any manifestations.

Change of rules for sale by kilo

But, after all, when did the bun started to be charged by the kilo? Until 2006, French bread was sold in accordance with the regulation of an Inmetro ordinance published in 1997, which established that the product could be marketed by weight or in units of defined nominal weight, which varied from 50 g to 1 kg.

According to the norm, for units weighing less than 30 g, the sale could only be carried out by weighing, in the presence of the consumer. The problem, according to the president of Abip, Paulo Menegueli, is that, to avoid problems with inspection, the bakeries produced bread with more grams — surplus that, in general, was not passed on to the customer.

“On the other hand, some traders increased the fermentation and sold the bread at a price of 50g. So, the consumer paid dearly for a hollow product. With the update of the standard, the consumer started to pay a fair price”, he says.

To try to reduce the level of errors and cheating in the weighing of French bread sold per unit, another Inmetro ordinance defined, in 2006, that bakeries and supermarkets could only sell French bread by the kilo. It was at this time that the size of the salt bread began to dwindle — the result of an attempt by bakeries to avoid a rise in the price of the product.

The collection method was chosen through a public consultation promoted by Inmetro for two months. According to the survey, more than 70.3% of the 1,041 respondents said they prefer to buy bread by the kilo.

The change, which received the support of unions and associations in the country’s bakery sector, in practice, displeased some consumers who began to spend more on the product.

Professor at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and researcher at CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), economist André Modenesi says that it is difficult to estimate how much bread would cost today, considering inflationary adjustments, if the charge were maintained for unity.

“Bread has different shapes, weights and sizes in the same establishment. It is not comparable to a television, for example, whose price can be controlled depending on how many inches each device has. In the case of bread, the sale by the kilo aims to curb strategies that sellers of bad faith could use to make up the price. It’s a consumer protection measure.”

Conflict in Ukraine made bread more expensive

A survey by Abia (Brazilian Food Industry Association) shows that the price of wheat rose by 2.3% from March to April 2022, influenced by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February. Considering the annual variation (April 2021 to April 2022) in the domestic market, the ton of cereal rose 18.5%, reaching R$ 1,903.