February 2010


Market Test?

I was at my local Lidl when I made a quick double take – sitting side by side on the shelf were two boxes of Fritt, a candy that’s “enhanced” with vitamin C—so it’s theoretically good for you, or at least not as bad for you as other options.

What made me do a double take was one box was filled with Fritt packages labeled “mit” (German for “with”) while the other box was filled with Fritt packages labeled “ohne” (German for “without”).

Clearly a market test is underway: Are people more likely to buy goods

Ohne künstliche aromen
Ohne künstliche farbstoffe


Mit natürlichen aromen
Mit natürlichen farbstoffe

Or as we might say in English: “No artificial flavors, No artificial dyes” versus “With Natural flavors, With natural dyes” (not that we would probably talk about artificial or natural dyes in English in our food, but they are there).

11 comments to Market Test?

  • I think they’re trying to double their sales among the curious blogger demographic. 🙂

  • Did one box contain more than the other?

    • Each package contains 6 strips.

      Mit: Fritt – Wildberry flavoured chewy candy with vitamin C. Ingredients: glucose syrup, sugar, vegetable fat, gelatine, acidulant (citric acid), fruit powder mixture (1%), colouring (beetroot red), vitamin C, natural flavouring. Made in the EU.

      Ohne: Fritt – Wildberry flavoured chewy candy with vitamin C. Ingredients: glucose syrup, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, gelatine, acidulant (citric acid), extracts from plants as natural colouring matter (red beet juice), flavouring, fruit powder (1%), vitamin C. Made in the EU.

      There are some differences in the nutritional contents, but nothing I would say is dramatically different.

      • G

        Since I assume that any foodstuff in Germany with gelatin that is not listed as vegetarian uses rendered swinefeet, I wouldn’t eat either.
        In the US, where gelatin is generally vegetarian, I would go for ohne, because “with natural” does not preclude also with non-natural, whereas “without non-natural” does.

        • Jul

          Gelatin, by definition, is not vegetarian. There are vegetarian alternatives to it, such as agar agar, but they are definitely not in mainstream use in the US.

    • oh my! I just realized, I misunderstood your question.

      Assuming the “mit” and “ohne” box were put on display at the same time, the “mit” box was selling somewhat faster than the “ohne” box.

  • Interesting. Are there expiry dates on the packages?

    As for the gelatin in the U.S., I’ve heard of kosher gelatin (made of beef or fish bones) but not vegetarian.

    • Good question! Yes: there are different expiration dates. Ohne expires 04/11, whilst Mit expires 05/11. (Production codes of L494442 and L394743, respectively.)

      As for the gelatin, I didn’t know how it was made and that it’s inherently made of animal products–so I’ve learned something here. I would presume that, for G, it would be easiest to look for Kosher products — which I think are, generally speaking, easy to find in the US (at least in my experience, I’m always surprised by how much is Kosher). It might bit a bit different in Germany.

  • Michele J

    I have a slight preference for the “ohne” version, although I can’t say why exactly. Maybe because the “mit” one seems to emphasize all the crap that’s in there, even if it’s natural, and “ohne” makes it sound like this pristine, natural product.

    • Strange, I had the opposite gut reaction — I liked the positive message that it included goodness as opposed to excluding badness, even though the negative message is actually more positive…

  • Urs

    This brought back the memory of Pepsi Retro, which was sold in Mexico and advertised with containing “no artificial sweetener”.