• Germany edition
 
Study: same package, same price, less food
Photo: DPA

Study: same package, same price, less food

Published: 29 Mar 2012 17:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Mar 2012 17:46 GMT+02:00

Sweets were the biggest culprit when it came to misleading pricing, said experts at the Hamburg consumer watchdog (VZHH) in a report released this week.

Investigators found a 300 gram bag of Haribo gummi bears on sale for 89 cents in supermarkets Aldi Nord, Kaufland, Lidl, Netto, Penny and Real.

Yet in the more up-market Rewe and Edeka shops, the same price was being charged for 200 gram bags of the sweets – amounting to a 50 percent price difference per bear.

The watchdog compared 18 branded products being sold at 10 different outlets.

“The retail and food industry are deliberately making it difficult for customers to get a clear picture of the price of a product,” said the watchdog’s food expert Armin Valet.

He said that big-name manufactures were putting different amounts of food in the same size packet – and simply changing the printed weight; often ending in big profits for the company and lighter wallet for the customer.

The dairy aisle was not safe either as investigators found some shops had €1.99 nets of Babybel cheeses which contained six cheeses, while other shops had nets with seven cheeses for the same price. This amounts to a price difference of 17 percent.

“Price difference is hard to figure out,” said Valet. “As there is often very little difference in the way a product looks, carrying out direct checks between retailers isn’t possible for most customers.”

To confuse things further, some supermarkets even chose to change the price slightly, so it seems like the customer is getting a better deal.

For instance, a 345 gram bag of “Nimm 2” sweets was priced at €1.99 at Aldi Nord. At the smaller retailer, Sky, a 240 gram bag was on sale for €1.95 – a lower price, despite the sweets being 40 percent more expensive.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

22:25 March 29, 2012 by Larry Thrash
Kind of like government, same package, more taxes, less services.
01:36 March 30, 2012 by hanskarl
This is typical retail. The key operand in the article is "up-market". To have extra services and meet a certain level of customers demands "up-markets" employ more worker. This compared to an Aldi and you have to make up the difference somewhere and this is how the markets handle it. You pay more for more and better services. "Let the buyer beware" along with personal responsibility.
07:26 March 30, 2012 by wood artist
Although it wouldn't change this issue, I'm curious.

Does Germany require unit pricing on the shelf? In the US, the shelf displays the package price...say $2.00, and then it must also say the unit price...such as $ .12 per ounce. The point is that you can compare the unit price to see if the bigger package is a better buy. Often times it isn't, although people usually assume the bigger package should be a lower unit price. It also allows you to easily compare different brands.

Later, however, retailers are carrying different sizes. The old, common "half gallon" of ice cream still appears to be the same price, but it's not a full "half gallon." The container appears similar enough that a lot of people don't notice...so it's similar to the situation described here.

wa
11:09 March 30, 2012 by elboertjie
@wood artist,

I am not sure if it officially required to have unit pricing, but a lot of shops provide this.

Another thing that companies do is to hide inflation rises by manipulating their products. For example, they reduce the quality of the product, lesser quality ingredients, less cookies in package or smaller packages.

This is part and parcel as to why governments state (lie) that CPI is so low, because it is manipulated and of course, most of us follow their lies and thus keep supporting their inflationary actions such as printing more money.
15:32 March 30, 2012 by catjones
I think everything in germany should never change. Architecture, gas prices, cookies/per box, ingredients, you name it...no change. Oh, and I did a comparison of McDonalds fries. One box had 33 and another had 35 and they charged the same price! What's with that?
08:58 March 31, 2012 by HerLinder
What is your point, catjones?

are you making a mockery of legitimate concerns that people have?

why do you feel the need to mock others?
Today's headlines
UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn
Photo: DPA

UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn

Concern was high at a perceived lack of urgency as UN climate negotiations shuffled towards a close in Bonn on Saturday with just 14 months left to finalise a new, global pact. READ  

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,532
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd