Shopping is getting more and more expensive: deceptive packages on supermarket shelves – watch out here
Created: 07/05/2022Updated: 07/05/2022 07:44
By: Lisa Klein
Food manufacturers use nasty tricks to suggest more content.
Many customers fall for "deceptive packages" when shopping.
The prices in Germany are rising - not only for fuel, gas and electricity.
Food prices are also skyrocketing, as
There are many reasons for this, which are currently coming together and are partly mutually dependent: bad harvests, delivery problems, the war in Ukraine, rising minimum wages and general inflation are making shopping more and more expensive.
But that's not all: Manufacturers also use nasty tricks to deceive consumers.
The consumer center warns of deceptive packaging.
Deceptive packaging: Food manufacturers use these nasty tricks to fool customers
Who doesn't know it: The huge chip bag is torn open - and is actually only half full.
A lot more tea bags or candy bars would actually fit in the carton, but there is more air in the packaging than anything else.
No, that's not because the production of smaller packaging is more complex, expensive or even impossible - that's exactly what many manufacturers want.
Because for the customer in the supermarket or discounter at Kaufland, Aldi, Lidl and Co., the large packaging naturally looks attractive at first glance.
Many want to get the purchase over with as quickly as possible - and fail to take a close look.
And the food manufacturers gamble on this, because a closer look at the weight or the number of pieces can often quickly provide information as to whether it is a case of deceptive packaging.
Deceptive packaging on the supermarket shelf: manufacturers use these tricks
"In order to pretend to have more content, food manufacturers often surround their products with a disproportionate amount of air, operate with false floors, large lids, thick walls or simply oversized outer boxes," writes the consumer advice center.
According to the Measurement and Calibration Act, such consumer deception is prohibited in principle, but there are often no specific provisions as to when a deceptive package is considered such.
At least one guideline states that there should be no more than 30 percent air in the pack.
Anyone who comes across a deceptive package can report it to the consumer advice center in their state or to the local calibration offices.
“Packaging trouble”: Fraudulent packaging is denounced at Stiftung Warentest
Stiftung Warentest even has a complete page on which the latest deceptive packaging is regularly presented.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the deceptive packaging before you go shopping - in order to be able to identify products that have been tricked out more quickly in the supermarket or discounter - you can take a look at the deceptive packaging from the comfort of your sofa before you go shopping.
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Deceptive packaging: Food manufacturers use nasty tricks to suggest more content.
Many customers fall for it when shopping.
© picture alliance / Zoonar |
Some producers also take a stand in the “Packaging Trouble” category at Stiftung Warentest.
In some cases, the large packaging is actually intended to serve a purpose - at least according to the manufacturer's own statements.
"Technical background", "product protection" and "quality assurance" are often given as reasons for packs that are too large.
Everyone has to judge for themselves how much truth there is in it.
Nasty tricks from food manufacturers: Lower filling quantity, same price
It gets really nasty when the packaging stays the same size, but manufacturers quietly and secretly fill in less content.
The number of grams or number of pieces must be stated on the packaging, but many consumers quickly miss it when there are 10, 50 or 100 grams less in the package than before.
The consumer advice center therefore advises: Look closely at the filling quantity, especially for products that have been bought for years and are now thrown “blindly” into the shopping basket.
In addition, you can of course save by comparing products in the supermarket.
As of this year, it is also easier to compare the base price of branded products with "no-name" products.
Because: Since May 28, 2022, the price per kilo has to be indicated on the price tag.
Above all, customers should know common shopping tricks.
If you don't fall for the tricks of supermarkets, discounters and food manufacturers that easily, you can save a lot of money in the end - despite generally rising prices.
These 7 tips will help when shopping.
Deceptive packaging: Consumer advice centers are demanding stricter guidelines
The consumer advice centers demand, among other things, that every package should be “filled to the brim or to the seam, unless there are demonstrable technical reasons not to do so”.
Especially since unnecessarily large packs are not exactly environmentally friendly.
In September 2021, the results of a study commissioned by the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv) were published.
The result should be particularly annoying for environmentalists: every year up to three million garbage cans could be saved in Germany if manufacturers would do without deceptive packaging and unnecessary additional packaging.
"Stricter legal rules could shrink some packaging by up to 27 percent," writes the consumer advice center.
Incidentally, the topic of deceptive packaging does not only apply to packaged food products, but also to cosmetics, cleaning supplies and much more.