• 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
Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine
Hamburg's UKE has helped lead the fight against Ebola. Photo: DPA

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine

Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening. READ  

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend
Jacob Lew and Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said. READ  

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning. READ  

North braces for storms and floods
Cars waiting to be loaded onto the ferry at Bremerhaven, Lower Saxony, were caught in flooding on Wendnesday. Photo: DPA

North braces for storms and floods

UPDATE: The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. The news followed a night of accidents caused by heavy winds in southern Germany. READ  

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall
US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Berlin Wall. Photo: DPA

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited remnants of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and warned that East-West tensions again threaten freedom in Europe, 25 years after its collapse. READ  

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Sonneborn in the EU Parliament. Photo: DPA

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train

Martin Sonneborn can’t believe his luck. The German comedian, leader of the political party “Die Partei”, managed to get elected to the European Parliament in May, and has found himself overwhelmed with fresh material. READ  

The Local List
Which high school cliche is your city?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock

Which high school cliche is your city?

This week's Local List takes a leap of imagination and finds German cities fit perfectly into high school cliche categories. Who's the class clown? Who's the nerd? READ  

'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria
A screen grab from a jihadist video showing the grenades. Photo: DPA

'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria

The German military was on Wednesday investigating reports that Bundeswehr hand grenades have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State (Isis) terrorist group after a video appearing to show captured weapons surfaced on the Internet. READ  

Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt
A passenger plane landing at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt

Three teenage girls from Colorado were arrested by German police at Frankfurt airport after running away from home, reportedly on their way to join Isis in Syria. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
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

3,510
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd