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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure HU-2023-22/3222 Updated – measures in Hungary

Mandatory special offers for food products in shops to counter inflation

Bolti kötelező árcsökkentési akciók

Country Hungary , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 June 2023 – 30 June 2024
Context War in Ukraine, Cost of Living Crisis
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Support for other basic items (e.g., food, housing, public transport, medicines)
Author Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound
Measure added 07 June 2023 (updated 25 April 2024)

Background information

Government decree 162/2023 regulate special offers for food items that last for a week, from Thursday to the following Wednesday. The government expects the scheme to slow down inflation by increasing competition and stopping 'speculation'.

The Competition Office is setting up an online price-monitoring system from 1 July 2023, where shops with revenue of HUF 100 billion (€263.2 million) or more are expected to enter daily prices. Fines for breaking the rules range from HUF 500,000 to HUF 2 million and shops that disobey may be shut down for a length ranging from one day to 6 months.

Content of measure

Shops categorised under NACE 47.11 with revenue exceeding HUF 1 billion (€2.63 million) in 2021 must organise special offers of at least 10% off the reference price. The reference price is the lowest gross price of an item in the 30 days prior to the first day of the offer. The offers have to be for one of the 20 predetermined food categories (poultry; pork, beef, veal, other meat; milk, cream and substitutes; cheese; bread; pastry; dry pasta, rice and other cereals; fresh fruit; fresh vegetables; ready meals, spices, condiments).

The law applies to online grocery shops, as well as in-person grocery shops.

On three occasions shops may defer from this week-long period, and make the offer last two weeks instead. Shops must notify the relevant ministry two days before the offer starts and they must make sure the item on offer is stocked at least to the average daily amount sold in 2022. The offers cannot include food items already sold at a capped price due to another scheme (See related case Price cap on basic food items ). Item categories in which the store sells less than five items are exempt from the special offer scheme.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

09 January 2024

Under govt decree 1/2024 retailers are obligated to put up warning signs next to products whose size has shrunk in a way that raises the product’s unit price. The measure is in place until the end of the state of war emergency (25 May 2024).

23 November 2023

With a new amendment of govt decree 162/2023 the measure was extended until 30 June 2024.

26 September 2023

With an amendment of govt decree 162/2023 the measure was extended until 31 December 2023.

Use of measure

Public media reported that the special offer scheme had positive impacts so far, with demand for the items on sale rising by up to 30%.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Informed
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only trade unions
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


Minister for Economic Development Márton Nagy met with representatives of the largest food chains on two separate occasions, where they were briefed about the details of the special offers scheme, reported. Social partners, the Hungarian Federation of Consumer Co-operative Societies and Trade Associations ÁFEOSZ-COOP, the Hungarian National Trade Association MNKSZ, as well as the National Association for Commerce OKSZ were also present. György Vámos, secretary general of the National Association for Commerce (OKSZ) told there were some elements of the scheme on which the OKSZ’s opinion was incorporated, but refused to say which ones.

Views and reactions

György Vámos, head of the National Association for Commerce (OKSZ) said when there is a mandatory price cut, retailers lose revenue, for which they try to compensate by postponing investments or by raising the prices of some other items, he told He added that in the current inflationary environment, raising prices is impossible. The MNKSZ expressed disagreement with the scheme, saying it would not bring positive change, and will only increase inflation further, reported. However, Katalin Neubauer, general secretary of the MNKSZ told that a lot depended on how Hungarian wholesalers would respond, “if they were good partners, it could prevent shops from raising imports to fulfil the special offer requirement”.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 20 April 2023: Shops puzzled by special offers law (
  • 02 May 2023: Quiet briefing on special offer scheme (
  • 05 May 2023: Details of special offer law (
  • 05 May 2023: Govt decree 162/2023 (
  • 10 May 2023: Government:Online price monitoring database starts July 1 (
  • 22 May 2023: to find special offer scheme confusing (
  • 03 June 2023: scheme off to a good start (


Eurofound (2023), Mandatory special offers for food products in shops to counter inflation, measure HU-2023-22/3222 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.