Products Sold in Croatia Below Western European Standards

By 1 September 2017

Products which some foreign companies sell in Croatia are of much lower quality than the same products in Germany.

Biljana Borzan, Croatia’s Member of the European Parliament, and Andrea Gross-Bošković, the director of the Croatian Food Agency, presented the results of an analysis of the quality of same products in Croatia and Germany. The study showed that, in the case of more than half of the products examined, there was a difference in quality. Also, for many products, the price in Croatia was higher than in Germany, reports on September 1, 2017.

“From the beginning of the project, we were aware of the fact that it was a very sensitive and remarkably important research, which is why it was our responsibility to give a scientific aspect to the whole initiative, in order for the results to be credible. The analysis has been conducted by accredited laboratories and the Croatian Food Agency has formed a working group of experts, and we have jointly come to these conclusions,” said Gross-Bošković.

The research showed that in 4 of the 26 products tested (15%) there was no difference in either quality or price. In 54% of the products, there was a difference in quality, while more than 60% of the products were more expensive in the Croatian market at the time of purchase.

Borzan mentioned the example of the Hipp baby food, with the product intended for the Croatian market, contained a significantly lower share of vegetables and a higher proportion of rice than the German product. The difference is also that the product in the Croatian market did not contain potatoes, but just carrots and rice, and had less omega 3 fatty acids. Despite all the differences, the products were placed in both markets under the same item code. “Also, the product for the Croatian market was more expensive by over 50%,” said Borzan.

This research is the first in the EU which included non-food products as well. Of the five such products tested, substantial differences were found in the quality of Ariel Vollwaschmittel laundry detergent. The German product, which unlike the Croatian one has the “compact” label, had a much higher efficiency of washing at lower temperatures, while at 60 degrees the difference was smaller. Nevertheless, detergent for the German market was about 25% cheaper than the one for the Croatian market.

Significant differences were also found in Nutella and the Activia strawberry fruit yoghurt.

“This research, just like previous European studies, has confirmed the position of more than 80% of our citizens who believe they are being treated as second-tier citizens by multinational companies. These results are a significant contribution to solving the problem at the EU level. The results have already been sent to European Commissioner for Consumer Protection Very Jourova,” Borzan said.

“Although product quality is often viewed as an economic category, it is important to provide criteria that will ensure that quality differences are not discriminatory, but that they really reflect consumers’ preferences, differences in eating habits, or the specifics of the geographical area,” Gross-Bošković concluded.

Translated from

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