Almost 200,000 employees, almost 12,000 branches and an annual turnover of over 100 billion euros – Lidl counts as the largest discounter in the world. As the most important brand in the Schwarz Group, to which Kaufland also belongs, Lidl should shed the “stinginess is awesome” image. Instead, Lidl would like to present itself as ecologically sustainable supermarket Establish: Here you not only buy cheap, but also organic and healthy.
That ZDF in the program “Lidl: Die Insider” gave people the chance to speak who work or have worked at Lidl. One of them is “Ina”, a former marketing manager who accuses Lidl of deliberately deceiving its customers. “I had the feeling that I was kidding people a bit,” says the woman, who remains anonymous in the documentary. But what exactly does she accuse the discounter of?
“Bio-Washing” at Lidl: This is how the company makes higher profits with organic
It’s about Bioland products – and how the high-quality food is used to make one’s own products look better and to polish one’s own image. Lidl aggressively advertises Bioland products. Because they have a good reputation. Anyone who receives the Bioland seal has to apply keep guidelineswhich are much stricter than the general EU requirements in the field of “organic production”.
But of the nearly 4,200 products in an average Lidl, there are only 85 Bioland productsaccording to a sample in the ZDF documentation. 320 products are, however, through that “Bio-Organic” label marked – a seal that Lidl introduced itself and uses to identify its own organic brands. But this is also shown directly on the Bioland products.
According to the ex-marketing manager, it is no coincidence that this “Bio-Organic” label looks very similar to the Bioland label. And it is by no means a coincidence that Bioland products stand closely alongside these “Bio-Organic” products. On the contrary: a connection between the two seals should be established in people’s minds. If you don’t look closely, you will quickly reach for the “organic” product, believing that you are buying high-quality and regional Bioland products. In reality, however, the bio-organic products are often products from all corners of the world that just about meet the not particularly high minimum standards of the EU on the subject of organic.
For Lidl, according to “Ina”, Lidl is about two things: On the one hand, the company wants to present itself as a sustainable food retailer that relies on regional and organic products. The former marketing manager calls this “bio-washing”. On the other hand, it is of course about the profit: Because while Bioland products are very expensive to buy, “Bio-Organic” products can often be bought cheaply and the profit margin is correspondingly high.