• 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

Tricks which make it difficult to compare food prices have been revealed by a German consumer watchdog, showing people can pay up to 50 percent more for the same product depending on which shop they use.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

UPDATE: A major producer of ethically certifified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the brand said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,115
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd