Retail experts told the newspaper they expect the first shots to be fired in September, with the combatants to include the Aldi, Lidl, Netto/Plus, Penny Markt and Norma discount chains.
The stores are hoping to steal away market share both from one another and from non-discount chains as German consumers, who have yet to show signs of being affected by the recession, become tighter with their euros as unemployment increases.
In addition to German staples cheese and sausage, prices for yogurt, some alcoholic drinks and non-food items, such as blank CDs, could also see big price cuts.
The price war comes as the recession slows demand for many goods, which has lowered wholesale prices, Welt reported. Since 2007, grocery prices have risen quickly in Germany as high prices for inputs such as corn and fuel drove the cost of groceries higher.
Consumer watchdog Gabriele Francke warned that shoppers may not really be getting a deal from the coming price wars.
“Customers should pay attention to quality, watch the movement of prices and only buy what they really need,” Francke told the newspaper. She warned stores may even offer misleading deals that seem cheaper than they actually are.