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Study: Where do Germans prefer to buy their Groceries?

Study: Where Germans prefer to buy their Groceries - Did you think Aldi would win? Or did you put money down on Saveway? Link to report here: http://ow.ly/2Yc7B

Posted by
12040 posts

#5, Real, is essentially the German version of Wal-Mart.

Of those I recognize on the list, Aldi, Lidl, Real, Penny, Netto and Karstadt make most grocery store chains in the US look like WholeFoods. Rewe seems to have a better variety and quality.

This survey is one more stake into the heart of that persistent myth that Europeans prefer to buy their groceries at local boutique stores...

Posted by
14 posts

I'm not sure that I agree that the survey is sounding the deathknell of the bakeries, butcher shops and the like. THe survey doesn't state how it was conducted and may well have been limited to grocery outlets. Every time I'm in Germany, the butchers and bakers seem to be doing just fine.

Posted by
9041 posts

I tend to spread my shopping around, sometimes Aldi, most often Penny, sometimes Rewe, or Tegut, mostly it depends on what I am looking for. I do go to the Farmers market that is held twice a week in my neighborhood for fresh produce, I visit bakeries all the time, and I go to my local Turkish Market for fresh meat, spices, olives and cheeses. Occasionally specialty Asian or Indian stores too.

Many of the Rewe stores are staying open until midnight, which is a great plus.

Posted by
12040 posts

"I'm not sure that I agree that the survey is sounding the deathknell of the bakeries, butcher shops and the like." No, there will always be a place for those. Even though the bread at Rewe is pretty good, I prefer the local bakery (which is actually a chain as well...). The survey is just further evidence against the American perception that the European norm is shopping exclusively at small markets.

Posted by
1504 posts

There is now an Aldi's in my hometown of Flint, Michigan. My Mother goes shopping there the day before she goes shopping at Kroger's. She figures anything that she finds at Aldi's will be cheaper. She is amazed to learn that they have them in Germany as well;)

When my wife and I pass a Norma's in our travels of Germany, we have to go in an find something to buy. My wife shopped at a Norma's when she was a college student in Munich. Humans can be sentimental about almost anything.

Posted by
2297 posts

Anything but Aldi in first place would have really surprised me. When I'm in Germany my grocery shopping is usually done in a very similar way to what the study reports as price is a big consideration here:

  1. Aldi

  2. Lidl

  3. Real

But in addition, I'd also go to a local bakery regularly. And I wouldn't miss the local market day to load up on Dutch licorice. And if in season, the local fish monger would be my first address for Matjes. Depending on the design of the study those little local shops probably won't show up in the results as the total number of people shopping in A particular local store is of course smaller than all the Aldis put together.

Posted by
2193 posts

I suppose every once in awhile, even socialists must acknowledge the few positive contributions of capitalism...like extended shopping hours. One caveat...extended hours must be coupled with good stuff. The DDR had better hours, but the stuff sucked.

:)

Posted by
9041 posts

Socialists????? I believe we are talking about Germany here on this thread. A democratic nation. It certainly is not socialist.

Now back to grocery shopping. I too love to shop in stores in other countries. I also enjoy their farmers markets, what kind of produce is offered, what are the price comparisons. Do they have specialty items that we don't have?

I do remember seeing my first Aldi in Ohio back in '89. Shocked me as I had no idea they were in the States. Anyway, they have a good concept, it works well and today, they are offering tons of organic products cause that is what Germans want most of all. Except it is called "Bio".

Posted by
331 posts

I don't agree with James's argument that Germany would be a better place if the stores were open on Sundays. People will shop if the shops are open it's as simple as that, but we do not need 24/7 consumerism. Can people not think of anything else to do but shop? The checkout staff and shelfstackers are amongst the lowest paid workers and feel pressurised to work the extra day. If the store is shut on Sundays this at least gives them one day home with their family at the weekend. In Britain, as the store workers are generally from the poorer backgrounds and living in housing estates with social problems their children are left alone unsupervised all weekend with little input from the parents and many are single parent families. Offer someone double pay for Sundays and they will take it so they too can go shopping for things that they do not really need. I am pleased to see German families out and about together on Sundays, on their bikes or kicking a ball around, picnicing in Summer, something seldom seen in Britian.I think this has a lot to do with the breakdown of respect and family values in British society compared to the respect shown to elders amongst the German youth. Obviously this is a generalisation and may not be the case so much in the cities, but in rural communities it is very much in evidence. Sunday is a day we spend in Germany doing things with our friends and family.

Posted by
9041 posts

Well, not everyone gets to spend Sundays off with their families. Restaurants, bars, museums, public transportation, police, hospitals, retirement homes, tourist attractions, airports, etc. employees, all have to work on Sundays. The only ones who have free are store, school, construction, bank, Drs. and office workers. Plus, they even get Sat. free. I sort of wish I could do banking or go to the Dr. on Sat.

I can remember back in the old days in the US when stores first started opening later and later and then on Sundays. We all thought it was grand and the same excuses were used that are still being used in Germany. I also remember what it used to be like here, when the stores, banks, post, etc. all closed for lunch from 13:00-15:00 and then closed down at 18:00. Sat. they closed at 14:30. Shopping was an absolute madhouse. All the time!!! When they changed the closing times, everyone said it wouldn't work. Same thing for bakeries being open on Sundays. hmm, seems to be going pretty well so far. No businesses have wanted to close again for lunch or close on Sat. downtown at 16:00.

Considering Germany is supposed to have seperation of church and state, this seems a bit lopsided to have the church control the Sunday shopping. Why not pick some other random day of the week to close everything down?

As someone who has almost always had to work on Sundays, I can tell you, it is great to have a weekday off rather than a Sunday. I went on school outings with my kids, went to the Dr. when I wanted and was able to do my banking when I wanted.

Posted by
19169 posts

In order to bring this thread into the realm of European travel, which is the purpose of this site, I find it interesting when traveling in Germany to drop into a grocery store and see how the products the locals buy differ from those at home, and how the prices differ.

Posted by
331 posts

With regard to what Jo said I agree that many others work on Sundays, but my problem is that it tends to be those in socially deprived areas that work in the lower paid jobs in supermarkets and that they are the very ones who need to be home when their children are not in school to keep them off the streets. Those in better paid jobs will employ nannies or have someone in authority to look after them.

Posted by
2193 posts

The church doesn't really control shopping hours, does it? I mean, I'm sure some state lawmakers prefer the Father Knows Best conservative society of yesteryear, but I don't see how expanding shopping hours could somehow have any adverse side effects on society. I'm with Lee, it is fun (for an American on vacation) to browse the supermarkets and check out the differences. We've had ALDI here in Des Moines since the 1970s, but the products in Germany are different. The signage and logos are exactly the same (minus the Süd).

Posted by
2193 posts

That was to illustrate James' observation that there are a lot of left-leaning (yes, even socialist) members on the Helpline...has nothing to do with Germany. Yeah, I sorta remember learning something about Germany's system of government...something about a federal republic.

Posted by
9109 posts

"Socialists????? I believe we are talking about Germany here on this thread. A democratic nation. It certainly is not socialist."

Socialism and Democracy are not incompatible with each other. Most Political Scientists would agree that Germany (and most other countries in the EU) is a Democratic Socialist government. Any country that redistributes wealth by levying taxes is practicing a form of socialism. Thus even the US is practicing a form of Socialism.

Back to Sunday shopping hours, the last hold out on Blue Laws in the US in Bergen County NJ (home of the the shopping mecca Paramus). To this day all stores except gas stations and grocery stores are closed on Sundays. Every ten years or so business groups get a referendum on the ballet to repeal the Blue Laws, and every ten years the population of Bergen County resoundingly votes down the referendum and keep the stores closed. They want a day without traffic, air pollution, and noise. Good for them. When I become emperor of the world everything will be closed on Sundays...so watch out!

Posted by
12040 posts

So James' thread about the grass not always being greener over here caused barely a peep from our resident Left colleagues, but a thread referencing a survey of German shopping habits sparks a political debate?

By the way, the Europeans have their own term to describe their combination of market capitalism and government social programs: the "Social Market". And I'm not sure if the Social Market is open on Sundays...

Posted by
12040 posts

"The only ones who have free are store, school, construction, bank, Drs. and office workers."

Physicians don't have the weekend completely off either. Although they usually don't keep regular office hours on the weekend, they can usually expect to be on call for at least one 24 hour period every other weekend... and inevitably, they end up working the majority of that 24 hour period.

Posted by
337 posts

Michael Schneider: "... Any country that redistributes wealth by levying taxes is practicing a form of socialism. ..."

Karl Marx defined socialism as "the collective ownership of the means of production." And any serious political scientist continues to use it that way.

Taxes, health care, social security, subsidized public transport, free education, or indeed any other form of redistributing non-means-of-production-wealth is irrelevant to the question "socialist or not?" because socialism is only concerned with who owns the fabrics, mines, and farms.

Michael: "... The church doesn't really control shopping hours, does it? ..."

No, the state legislators do. But both the churches and the unions strongly support the sunday protections, so it would be a very risky political move to try to change it.

And there is really no one who is strongly in favor of sunday shopping, because even the retailers know that the consumers can not spend more euros in seven days then they can spend in six.

Posted by
2779 posts

Shopping hours in the larger Rewe grocery stores are Monday thru Saturday from 7am until midnight. I honestly doubt they had better opening hours in the GDR. But I am aware you've got even better shopping hours in the US and Canada.<br><br>Last night I had to do my grocery shopping at a "Real" simply because it was the only one in the area I was. The stores are way to big for effective shopping and in combination with their "no service provided" attitude (i.e. if you can't find a certain item there is nobody you can ask where it is. They want to you wander around and pick more than you initially intened) it proved to be yet another unpleasant, Real-typical experience. I prefer Aldi and Rewe (pronouced: Rave-ah)!

Posted by
2193 posts

I think I recall at least one "radical" voice over on that other thread last week. Socialism's a funny word. It's a dirty word for business, until they're taking a trillion in taxpayer-funded bailouts. Talk about redistribution of wealth! It's a dirty word for half the population, until they cash their Social Security checks or use Medicare to pay for health services. But talk about expanding early childhood education programs, funding programs for housing assistance for families trying to move from homelessness to economic self-sufficiency, public beautification projects in your city, or any other number of good programs designed to help people, and you're a Marxist!

Back to supermarkets...I shopped at a Coop in Switzerland back in 2006 and thought the labels were quite interesting, even though the bag of pretzels, six-pack of cheap beer, and chocolate bars were basically identical to what you get here.

Posted by
12040 posts

"Rewe (pronouced: Rave-ah)!" Thanks for clearing that up. I didn't know if it was a single word or an acronym.

Posted by
4 posts

A sizeable majority of lower paid workers are single parents unfortunately and are under pressure to work longer hours to provide for their families the things that we believe everyone aspires to but no one really needs such as computer games, designer trainers, plasma TV, annual foreign holidays, 2nd homes, gymn subscriptions, credit cards, fitted kitchens and central heating, designer dogs, and shrinks. How did our ancestors manage?