Deceptive packaging

Oehler’s world of procurement – Joe’s column

The negative prize for “Deceptive Packaging of the Year” is awarded annually. In 2019 it went to a well-known producer of potato crisps for reducing the contents from 170 g to 100 g and increasing the size of the package by 25% while leaving the design identical and the selling price unchanged. The actual price increase was 70% Is it legal what the producer did in this case? Yes, it is.

friends using smartphones to take photos of food with instagram style filter at restaurant

We hoteliers do something similar to this every day by e.g. reducing elements of the breakfast buffet or doing without tablecloths and no longer setting tables with cutlery and serviettes. Not because it might be cooler but because it saves us money and increases our margins. And the same or even a higher price is charged.


Are we therefore guilty of deceptive packaging, too?


Of course not. Every company is allowed to change its packages, products or services in any way it wishes. The minimum requirement is that legal regulations are met, because at the end of the day the market will decide whether a product is bought or sinks without a trace. Watch out – “Deceptive Packaging of the Year” conceals two messages for us hoteliers and restaurant owners.


First: the purchase price doesn’t say anything at all.

Second: compare – in detail – so that we don’t fall into the “deceptive packaging trap” and buy worse than we need to: content quantity and pack size, price per unit / litre / weight, branded or no-name product, quality, shelf life, terms of delivery, size of order value and a whole lot more. Compare and test everything that can be compared and tested. Of course, all this takes time. But it also builds trust. Trust in your suppliers and the products that you purchase.


And trust is important, as trust is the most valuable currency in the world.

Jochen Oehler, progros-CEO

Questions, suggestions, discussion points?