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  #61  
Old 21.04.2008, 13:58
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

It may seem like a rather stupid question Mr Happy, but where are you storing your fruit and veg?

I can't comment on Migros (as I hate the place) but I find the quality of Coops fruit and veg to be superiour to that in the UK. Storing it in the fridge, or cool cupboard keeps it fresh for 1 week, possibly more. I have never had a problem with mould.

Maybe you should have a look at other branches to see if its just your local store that has the problem.;-)
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Old 21.04.2008, 14:16
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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It may seem like a rather stupid question Mr Happy, but where are you storing your fruit and veg?

I can't comment on Migros (as I hate the place) but I find the quality of Coops fruit and veg to be superiour to that in the UK. Storing it in the fridge, or cool cupboard keeps it fresh for 1 week, possibly more. I have never had a problem with mould.

Maybe you should have a look at other branches to see if its just your local store that has the problem.;-)
Also, you should take it out of the plastic bag.

My mum found with supermarket fruit in the UK that if you wash it just before you eat it, it doesn't go off as quick. If it's washed then put into a fruit bowl for a few days it seems to accelerate the "going off" process.

I've started doing this with fruit from CH supermarkets and found the same.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 21.04.2008 at 14:18. Reason: Making a pig's ear of the formatting
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  #63  
Old 21.04.2008, 14:17
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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Mr Happy: I suppose your handle/id was chosen before you moved to CH? It makes me sort of sad that so many aspects of Switzerland make you so disgruntled (and you're even shouting now) and there doesn't seem to be much to do about it except wait for another relocation.
Yes, for someone who claims to be happy he seems to be very vexed.

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No need to shout, we can hear you.

If you don't like the quality speak with your wallet and shop somewhere else. We buy fresh produce from the local sources and never had a problem with it going off after "10 minutes".
Me neither. Look, I have seen the occasional punnit of raspberries that seemed well past their best and do come across some wilted unpackaged salad leaves from time to time especially in winter so I just move on. Nobody is saying CH is perfect. Just overall the standard of produce where I shop is pretty good. The Valais is the biggest fruit and veg growing region in CH and is 15 minutes from where I live. All our local stores source food from Valais producers. When fruit and veg are in season they couldn't be fresher. Righ now the asparagus is magnificent.

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I totally agree. The blind assumption that a product must be of a higher quality purely because of the Swiss flag seems to be embedded within the culture.
Not really. I always keep my eyes open and check the fruit and veg. for freshness. I only select the best and more often than not pick the bags of with the latest sell by date. It's those who pick food that goes off quickly that are buying blind. As Smitty says if you are not getting what you want vote with your wallet.

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I suspect, if you are talking about food, you are not talking about ZH?[/FONT]
Well I live near Montreux now but lived in ZH for 5 years. I had excellent food there and I find you can eat really well there. I think Zurischnitzels with rosti is one of my favourite all time meals and I've lived in a lot of countries.

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You cannot be serious with this one - fresh Swiss bread generally is amongst the best you will find anywhere (Aldi bread doesn't count as Swiss IMHO). Just had a family of Scots staying and the last thing they did was to raid Migros for 3 or 4 Kg of the stuff to take back with them.
Agreed. Anyone who is critical of the range or quality of bread in Switzerland doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.
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  #64  
Old 21.04.2008, 14:18
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

Hi,

We rarely buy fruit and vegetables from the big chains - instead we visit Basel market on a Saturday morning. We also try to stick to what is in season and local. The quality of produce is generally a lot better than at the chains and we find it lasts longer.

If you store fruit and vegetables properly - in a cool, dark place and not in airtight bags - they will last quite a long time. Also, if you can try to purchase fruit and vegetables with their "greens" still attached as they will last longer.

I notice the OP states Oerlikon as his location - have you tried the market there? Jack (who does the "what's in season posts) has given Oerlikon Market the thumbs-up a few times on this forum.

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  #65  
Old 21.04.2008, 14:26
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

The short shelf life of the fruit and veg here used to bother me, but I've not got used to shopping every couple of days. Of course it helps that I live right above a supermarket...

The lack of variety was a bit disconcerting at first, but I'm getting used to that, picking up the more seasonal stuff, instead of the same fruit and veg I used to get all year round back in the UK. It means I'm now trying out more stuff, even though there's less variety at any one time.

I can always make a trip to Globus or Manor if I want something more exotic.
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  #66  
Old 21.04.2008, 14:48
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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Swiss food and quality? Obviously you don't mean the cuisine, you can judge a countries cuisine by the number of foreign restaurants in its own country and the number of restaurants its successfully exported. So you can't be talking about that. Though you did say the Swiss and quality...
Well yes I was talking about the food rather the cuisine but I don't agree with what you seem to be implying in terms of yardstick. True, there aren't a lot of Swiss restaurants abroad but I can highly recommend the Swiss Cottage in the Peninsular Hotel in Hong Kong. Switzerland is small country and because of it's history it's cuisine is highly regional and influenced by France, Italy and Germany. Also as an alpine country and for most of its history, a poor one, it's traditional cuisine reflects all that. Therefore you would be hard pressed to identify one style of cuisine that could be exprted apart from say Fondue. You can't judge a cuisine by the number of restaurants in foreign countries. Italian, Indian, Chinese etc have all exported their cuisine through waves of emigration from their countries. Switzerland has never experienced a wave of emigration. When did you last run into a Dutch, a German or a Scandinavian restaurant in your local provincial high street in the UK? Does that mean by your yardstick their food sucks as well?
Like Ireland, Switzerland is not famous for it's cuisine because people were poor and survived on staples. Today, like Ireland, Switzerland is famous not for its cuisine but for it's excellent produce - Gruyre, Emmenthal and Appenzeller cheese, Viande seche (or bunderfleische) etc which is exported all round the world. It's wine, meat and lakefish are also excellent but not produced in enough quantity to export.
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  #67  
Old 21.04.2008, 15:21
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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...I think that you have this the wrong way round. Te$co and the like are ruthless when it comes to their pricing strategy. They decide on a particular product that they would like to sell and they name the price. The suppliers then have to deliver at that price. The consumer will naturally go for the cheapest option but it's the large retailers that are causing the price wars. As a result, the consumer expects things to be cheaper.
The consumer doesn't care about anything but price, then - a far off -second, the perceived added value.

If the supermarkets could, they'd charge more for their products. It's the consumer who drives the low-price mentality.

Ever heard anyone talking about the quality before the price with regard to their latest shopping trip?

Those who care about the many factors contributing to a more expensive product - and who are willing to pay - find themselves in a tiny minority. Ask anyone who regularly shops at a farmers market and they'll immediately tell you about the quality... then somewhat sheepishly about the lack of change from a CHF100 note. It sucks, but at least the quality is good!
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Old 21.04.2008, 15:56
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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I think that you have this the wrong way round. Te$co and the like are ruthless when it comes to their pricing strategy. They decide on a particular product that they would like to sell and they name the price. The suppliers then have to deliver at that price. .
There is the beginnings of a back lash against this in the U.K, at least.
I know of some food suppliers who refuse to let Te$co stock their lines.

You're right, Te$co do decide on a product that they would like to sell but they are amazed when the producer stands up and says no, we don't want you to sell our products.
(they have even done it anyway until threatened with court action).

The reason: the food producer is prepared to take the hit on profits so they can support the small, independent shops.
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Old 21.04.2008, 16:25
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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The consumer doesn't care about anything but price, then - a far off -second, the perceived added value.

If the supermarkets could, they'd charge more for their products. It's the consumer who drives the low-price mentality.

Ever heard anyone talking about the quality before the price with regard to their latest shopping trip?

Those who care about the many factors contributing to a more expensive product - and who are willing to pay - find themselves in a tiny minority. Ask anyone who regularly shops at a farmers market and they'll immediately tell you about the quality... then somewhat sheepishly about the lack of change from a CHF100 note. It sucks, but at least the quality is good!
Not quite what I meant but I understand what you are saying. I think that the advertising campaigns over the years by the big retailers have more or less driven the consumers to expect low prices. I'm not saying that it is a good thing but I think that the retailers can take most of the blame for this herding mentality on their own shoulders. The recent wave of adverts even tell the consumers how many products they have that are cheaper then the competition. I think that it is too easy for the retailers to stand up and say that they need to drive down price to be competitive but often it is them that are creating the false competition by driving the price down lower then the cost of production and they've been doing it for years.

You are right about the farmer markets and quality. But let's face it, not everyone has access to a farmer market in the neighbourhood so it often requires a special trip and once you are already in the mentality that you have to shop every two days then you are hardly likely to make a special trip. So when you say "vote with your wallet" and you realistically only have the choice of one or the other of the cartells then you're a little ****ed.
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Old 21.04.2008, 16:29
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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...So when you say "vote with your wallet" and you realistically only have the choice of one or the other of the cartells then you're a little ****ed.
Which reminds me of the time I was having a pint with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Dickies home village way back. Richard went off to the bar and some old Welshman leaned over and asked Liz:

"What would you say to a little f**k?"

Quick as a whip, she replied: "Hello, little f**k"
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Old 21.04.2008, 18:19
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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When did you last run into a Dutch, a German or a Scandinavian restaurant in your local provincial high street in the UK?
Having lived and worked in The Netherlands, Indonesia and a couple of other heavily Dutch orientated countries I can confirm that their food sucks. Likewise, the scandi diet of fish and awful dry, tough rudolf is likewise appalling. Nobody travels to these countries to experience the food. And whilst they've not been huge on the conquoring new lands and introducing appelflappen to the masses neither has Italy, and yet strangely, its cuisine is one of the worlds best. Likewise, India, not full of rich travellers has made its mark on the worlds cuisine. Indonesian the same, poor as muck but good food.

Economics has nothing to do with the travelling of cuisine, its taste and quality.

German cuisine however is badly exported (reference: History) but is excellent. I cite the schnitzle available almost world wide. Compared to the Dutch appelflappen or Scandi "dead rudolf" etc

FYI, the only Dutch restaurant I know outside of The Netherlands is in London on the Kings Road. It is popular for sunday brunches. It only sells pancakes.
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Old 21.04.2008, 18:24
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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You're right, Te$co do decide on a product that they would like to sell but they are amazed when the producer stands up and says no, we don't want you to sell our products.
(they have even done it anyway until threatened with court action).
I think you are mistaken. If its the same story...

One of the supermarkets was successfully sued by, IRRC, Kellogs for selling Own Brand Kornflakes which is stocked next to the Kellogs Cornflakes in the aisle. Kelloggs sued and got a win for copyright infringement (the design on the box was very very similar). Kelloggs won a few million in damages. So the supermarket chain removed the kellogs cornflakes from its aisles meaning that people had to buy Kornflakes if they wanted Cornflakes.

A disgusting example of capitalist action. ISTR Kelloggs paid them (in some form or other) to re-instate their product. The reason being: 30% of their sales went through that supermarket chain and they couldn't afford the hit.
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Old 21.04.2008, 18:31
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I think you are mistaken. If its the same story...

One of the supermarkets was successfully sued by, IRRC, Kellogs for selling Own Brand Kornflakes which is stocked next to the Kellogs Cornflakes in the aisle. Kelloggs sued and got a win for copyright infringement (the design on the box was very very similar). Kelloggs won a few million in damages. So the supermarket chain removed the kellogs cornflakes from its aisles meaning that people had to buy Kornflakes if they wanted Cornflakes.

A disgusting example of capitalist action. ISTR Kelloggs paid them (in some form or other) to re-instate their product. The reason being: 30% of their sales went through that supermarket chain and they couldn't afford the hit.
...and blindly, the consumers fill their carts, oblivious to anything but price...
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Old 21.04.2008, 18:44
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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So the next time you are looking at a mouldy rotten selection in COOP, remember that you should be shopping somewhere else.
Somewhere else... hmmmm... well, tell that to WEKO. There isn't much "somewhere else" left. And through some kind of miracle it happens that most of Switzerland is evenly divided into Coop and Migros land. You'll rarely find two supermarket outlets close enough to ignite what's known as competition in other countries.

When you do a comparison of European markets in different industries (like telecom, credit cards, grocery retailing, etc.) Switzerland always sticks out as the most profitable market. The concept of competition simply doesn't exist here and consumers are getting totally screwed and happily pay high prices for average quality.
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Old 21.04.2008, 19:13
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

Quite. The fact that cartels are not illegal here being one of the reasons.
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  #76  
Old 21.04.2008, 19:41
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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Somewhere else... hmmmm... well, tell that to WEKO.
For those who don't know who WEKO are, it's the Wettbewerbskommission (Competition Commission):

English version of WEKO website
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Old 21.04.2008, 19:48
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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Having lived and worked in The Netherlands, Indonesia and a couple of other heavily Dutch orientated countries I can confirm that their food sucks. Likewise, the scandi diet of fish and awful dry, tough rudolf is likewise appalling. Nobody travels to these countries to experience the food. And whilst they've not been huge on the conquoring new lands and introducing appelflappen to the masses neither has Italy, and yet strangely, its cuisine is one of the worlds best. Likewise, India, not full of rich travellers has made its mark on the worlds cuisine. Indonesian the same, poor as muck but good food.

Economics has nothing to do with the travelling of cuisine, its taste and quality.
Despite my efforts not to, you have finally made me smile! I don't know why but maybe it has something to do with turning a deaf ear and not listening to anything anybody has to say. Nobody said economics has anything to do with the travelling of cuisine but it has everything to do with the cuisine itself since it reflects the diet the people could afford. That's why small, poor countries like Ireland and Switzerland have a cuisine based on staples why, and as they grew wealthier, they borrowed from their neighbours. Similarly with Scandinavian cuisine. They too were poor countries and developed a cuisine based on meat, fish and potatoes cooked very simply. The emphasis is on quality and presentation. A few facts from history which you seem to have missed:
1. The Dutch were actually quite successful at conquering other countries, especially Indonesia, South Africa, parts of India and Asia. Despite their spheres of influence I've never seen Dutch cuisine in foreign parts. "Going dutch", yes. "Going out for a dutch", no.
2. India has made it's mark on world cuisine not just because it is great cuisine, which it is, but because emigrant Indians, like the Chinese, exported the cuisine with them. Nothing to do with wealthy travellers. By the way, it's worth pointing out that the majority of "Indian" restaurants in the UK are actually Bangladeshi and highly adapted to European tastes. If you've travelled in India you'll know "authenticate" Indian food is very different from what you find in your local high street.
3. As a poor country Italian cuisine was historically quite heavy. The cuisine we know today has everything to do with wealthy travellers bringing back influences from other parts of the world to refine their cuisine and which eventually made it into the diet of the broader masses.
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Old 21.04.2008, 20:25
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

I have to say that after 15 years of living here, you get so used to the poor quality of fruit and veg (in Coop & Migros), that its such a lovely surprise when I go shopping in France, Germany or Austria where the quality is of a much superior standard. That said the fruit and veg in the local farmers markets is off a pretty high standard (but quite pricey too).
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Old 21.04.2008, 21:23
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Re: Migros and COOP - Low quality explained...

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...and blindly, the consumers fill their carts, oblivious to anything but price...
It's kind of easy to sit in an ivory tower if you can actually afford to pay for higher quality, as long as it is actually the quality that you are paying for and not the flag on the packaging.

Don't forget that a great deal of people aren't on such a high salary and so look to save money wherever they can, this includes grocery shopping.
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Old 21.04.2008, 21:55
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I think you are mistaken. If its the same story...

One of the supermarkets was successfully sued by, IRRC, Kellogs for selling Own Brand Kornflakes which is stocked next to the Kellogs Cornflakes in the aisle. Kelloggs sued and got a win for copyright infringement (the design on the box was very very similar). Kelloggs won a few million in damages. So the supermarket chain removed the kellogs cornflakes from its aisles meaning that people had to buy Kornflakes if they wanted Cornflakes.
No, it was Tyrrells Crisps:

http://www.tyrrellspotatochips.co.uk...cts/index.html

You could buy them at Waitrose though as Waitrose has a policy of supporting local producers.

They are fantastic crisps though.
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