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  #21  
Old 18.04.2008, 16:25
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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I think that the biggest problem here is that when a Swiss product is available, no other product can enter the country. See for example tomatoes or apricots when they're in season. They are pretty much tasteless and far worse than other countries', but it's all you can get.
It's all part of the protection offered to swiss farmers. If swiss products were to compete in the EU market against Spanish, Italian or French products, they'd be crushed in seconds.

Same applies to artificial milk prices, and thank the lord that wheat is not extensively grown in switzerland.
nice tomatoes were one of the first things i noticed

whilst buying local is generally a good thing for taste i couldn't agree more on not artificially propping up the farmers/enforcing through legislation (and i'm from a farming family).
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  #22  
Old 18.04.2008, 16:30
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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I did too. I wondered how I was going to deal with being forced to go to the shops every 2 to 3 days.

When we moved out of our old place (crap fridge) to our new place (good fridge) the veg and salad gained between 2 days and 2 weeks extra life before it went bad, so this definitely has a big influence on it.
Fortunately the shops here open later in an evening than they did 10 years ago, so regular shopping isn't so difficult.

I had been used to a cold kitchen in the UK and wasn't used to winding the fridge up to full power in the summer months. With a south facing kitchen here I soon learnt to do that.
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  #23  
Old 18.04.2008, 16:34
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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Fortunately the shops here open later in an evening than they did 10 years ago, so regular shopping isn't so difficult
It must've been bloody difficult back then because when you have work plus a commute it is a rush to the store in the evening and god forbid if you're busy at work or have something else to do on a Saturday.
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  #24  
Old 18.04.2008, 16:52
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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It must've been bloody difficult back then because when you have work plus a commute it is a rush to the store in the evening and god forbid if you're busy at work or have something else to do on a Saturday.
It was indeed difficult. Until I got a car I never bought a six pack of bottled water, as it was a waste of a hand which could carry a full shopping bag.

It was even worse in previous years apparently. A friend who came here ~30 years ago had to turn down Saturday morning work (no he wasn't allowed to work on Saturday afternoons instead) so that he could do his shopping.

Mind you, in Munich just 11 years ago, my local supermarket closed at 11:30 on a Saturday morning. If you stayed long enough, for your next apartment you chose one near a 24 hour petrol station.
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  #25  
Old 18.04.2008, 16:58
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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Mr Happy, you seem to have issues with COOP. Personallly they are my supermarket of choice mainly because not everything is Mbrand. Migros really get my back up and you can get useful things from COOP catalogue by cashing in your points
You can also use the Coop points to buy any non-food item in Coop City. Just incase you didn't know Enjoy spending them!
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  #26  
Old 18.04.2008, 17:06
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

Fresh food produced abroad will have huge refridgerated trucks waiting to collect and drive to the nearest airport. Israeli fruit, for the export market,
arrives in Amsterdam or London within 24 hours of being picked.

It tastes mega fresh, but costs a fortune not only in cash but in carbon footprint etc.

Spare a thought for what 'choice' actually means.

Shop local.
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  #27  
Old 19.04.2008, 00:37
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

My gripe is not really with swiss produce. It tastes fine to me. But I'm not guilty of buying lots of swiss tomatoes.

My main gripe is with pepper. Last fall all the pepper had a foul taste. Then in winter pepper was fantastic. And now in spring it's kind of tasteless and seems to upset my stomach.

Most of this pepper comes from Spain and I doubt there's any bidding going on for it. As I've seen on TV ( Kassensturz) Coop and Migros have their inspectors on place in the local greenhouses so I guess they have long term contracts and they buy the stuff before it's even grown.
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  #28  
Old 19.04.2008, 09:20
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

I agree. I buy from the farmers market/dedicated fruit and veg shop every Saturday. Blueberries and strawberries from last weekend were still good today (7 days later). Every time I forget something and buy it at Migros or Coop it is rotten within 2 days.

I have seen furry strawberries and pumpkin still for sale in the Migros in Zug. That's plain disgusting. I have also had milk that was bad when I got it home. Luckily I put in in my coffee before my son's bottle. I go out of my way to shop elsewhere.
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  #29  
Old 19.04.2008, 09:28
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

It is the shelf like of the bread in the Coop and Migros and Volg which really annoys me.
Now I go to Aldi or the Turkish shops- the bread is maybe full of preservatives, but is cheaper, tastes better (to our family) and is still edible and a bit soft, 5 days later.
At least I can buy a weeks supply at one shopping session.
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  #30  
Old 19.04.2008, 10:04
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

I have to agree with Mr. Happy, Im lucky if I can get fruit or veg from our Coop without mould already on it.... Even then it doesnt last more than 24hrs... It wasnt always like this, but it has been particularly bad for the last 18months
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  #31  
Old 19.04.2008, 10:36
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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I assumed the fruit and veg went off quicker here simply because it wasn't irradiated.
That was my assumption as well and why I adjusted my shopping habits after moving here (e.g., shop more frequently, buy smaller quantities). There are a couple of local family-run shops nearby and, of course, the market at Bürkliplatz on Tues and Fri which all offer great produce.

Overall, I have no real complaints about the produce I buy here -- except for the prices of some things.

Last edited by latigresse; 19.04.2008 at 10:56.
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  #32  
Old 19.04.2008, 10:44
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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Although the quality is not bad here, its nothing to rave about. If you spend the same in the US, you would be shopping at whole foods where the quality in my opinion is much higher.
{*Misses Whole Foods and its friendly, helpful service*}

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  #33  
Old 19.04.2008, 11:28
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

The food is way is way btter in australia, and even better than that in Uganda, but we're living in switzerland, and if we're not english, whats the point in whinging.
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  #34  
Old 19.04.2008, 16:06
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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I worked for a food producer many years ago and I can tell you that many times there is not much difference between branded products and unbranded. Of course this depends on retailer who is buying. But difference was only packaging. Pack the product in branded packaging and it will be 30% more expensive. In unbranded packs (like M-Budget or any other) price is lower, but the product is the same.
As a supplier we do not care who is selling the product, we get the same price from everyone. It is the retalier or the brand company who has the higher margin on the product. For the original producer margin and production cost is always the same .
I am only a consumer, not in the food industry, but my impression is a bit different! Have to add that I am one of those reading all product ingredients on the labels very carefully - AND ... I cannot really confirm that the majority of the non-branded goods matches the branded ones. Some might be identical, but I doubt that it is a large number.

Try to find cornichons (Pickles) or Olives without artificial sweeteners and preservatives from the non-branded shelf - impossible ... The same applies for almost the whole cake and cookie shelf when you look for cookies without partially hydrogenated fat, etc. or Fruit-Yoghurt without flavoring .... the list is endless .... However, doesn't mean that the branded ones are all of high quality.

Its not that I need to buy branded goods, but when I read the list of ingredients I often end up buying the premium line.

Referring to the original thread: Cannot really agree that COOP or Migros fruit and vegetables are bad in quality. When fresh produce lasts for weeks fresh (like I experienced it in other countries like US) I always have the feeling it is somehow treated. Fresh fruit and vegi should be allowed to get "old" after some days - otherwise buy canned food, that lasts for years .
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  #35  
Old 19.04.2008, 17:22
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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It doesn't matter apparently because the consumer is so "sure-in-their-own-minds" that because they are in Switzerland, it has to be the best..
]
I guess the key reason is that, you do NOT have a choice here...It's either Migro or COOP as a general...and the companies know their edge very well. Why bother to give you the top-notch quality if you have to take whatever available...If you groan me, that would be emotional cause I got a rational support basing on my experience for 18 months.

1. there's only a very low % of overlapping items found in these 2 chains. In short, they're monopoly even on famous brand items!!!
e.g. COOP sells coke, Head & Shoulder, Pampers, evian..; Migro sells Pepsi, Huggies, Cortex ...etc and they're not vice versa.

e.g for the rare overlapping items, they sell them at exactly SAME price, not 10cents more or less. e.g. Kleenex =2.9Sfr.

2. there's always a coop or migro around you or few mins drive but within the next 10km or so, you won't be able to find an alternative

3. I shopped in Pully Coop every other day--mould or rotten fruit could be found easily during every visit; and yes, even good quality fruits moulds 2-3 days after purchase too. Similar things happen in Migros in Pully too.

4. I love orange a lot that I have to have at least one/day so I tried all kinds of orange in coops & migro. Put aside the expensive price/piece (~1.5sfr), their quality varies-sometimes sour, sometimes sweet....

the list goes on....

anyway, like what I say, I don't have a choice if I don't plan to take a long drive to Globus, Manor....

I'm not upset though as it's a simple philosophy of economic ---supply & demand and simple marketing --time utility (It's available when I need it) I won't kid myself that it's a top-notch quality !
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  #36  
Old 19.04.2008, 18:18
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

I guess you all have your answer. Buy your produce in the local farmers markets and forget Migros and Coop for produce. Even meats and cheese are available from farmers markets. Bakerys for breads and other pasteries. I can't imagine going to Coop or Migros except for staples like canned foods and cereals.

The cheese market in Bern was the most fantastic market I've been to in a long time. But I'm sure everyone has their favorites.
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  #37  
Old 19.04.2008, 20:39
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

From my experience, it really depends on when you shop during the week and the size of the store you visit. Small Coops and Migros seem to have lower quality produce than larger ones IMO. Not sure if this is due to lower turnover, but it just seems to be the case to me.

I also try to avoid buying fresh produce on Sun-Mon (even Tues can be hit or miss) in Coops and Migros since they haven't had deliveries in the last few days or are still trying to offload the stuff that was sitting there all weekend.

I find I shop every day or two and try to keep my purchases limited to what we can consume in the next 1-2 days, that way spoilage is minimized. Sure, it's not the most convenient way to do it, but I've adapted to it.
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  #38  
Old 19.04.2008, 21:14
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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Small Coops and Migros seem to have lower quality produce than larger ones IMO. Not sure if this is due to lower turnover, but it just seems to be the case to me.
I think you may be on to something here with turnover vs freshness. We use Manor Supermarché a lot in Vevey. Huge selection of fresh veg and meat and we hardly ever get stuff with mould and freshness is excellent. But one thing I've noticed with this and other Manor stores in the Canton is that they have big self service restaurants in the store which offer good quality lunches at reasonable prices. The restaurant is packed at lunch time. I reckon they use up the produce for the restaurants as it approaches the end of it's shelf life and top up the supermarket with fresh stuff. Win win strategy. We have a big coop superstore nearby which does the same. Its produce is much fresher than the smaller local coops.
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Old 19.04.2008, 21:25
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

One other thing. I don't think Swiss tolerate low quality or necessarily poor choice. One of the things I like about life here is people seem to care about food. Walk around a big supermarket in CH and compare the UK. One huge difference you'll notice here is the absence of pre-prepared "ready meals" that fill whole sections of Uk stores. It seems to me people here are still into real food - made from scratch with simple ingredients of pretty good quality. I was back in the UK recently and called into the local ASDA. On offer were two chickens for GBP 5.00. How and where they were produced for that price beats me but I can live without that kind of choice.
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Old 19.04.2008, 21:51
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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One other thing. I don't think Swiss tolerate low quality or necessarily poor choice. One of the things I like about life here is people seem to care about food. Walk around a big supermarket in CH and compare the UK. One huge difference you'll notice here is the absence of pre-prepared "ready meals" that fill whole sections of Uk stores. It seems to me people here are still into real food - made from scratch with simple ingredients of pretty good quality. I was back in the UK recently and called into the local ASDA. On offer were two chickens for GBP 5.00. How and where they were produced for that price beats me but I can live without that kind of choice.

Yes, I agree. My local Tesco in London had fresh fish, meat, deli, etc, counters when I first moved into the area. Two years later, all the fresh counters had gone to be replaced by rows and rows of ready-meals. According to Tesco, the demographics of the area (Kennington) told them that no one cooked from scratch any longer.
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