When products that look exactly the same have different contents depending on the country where they are sold, that is called dual quality. The EU has paid attention to this phenomenon for several years. And in the summer of 2019 the results from testing more than 1 400 food products was presented.
Close to one out of ten products with exactly the same packaging had different contents, while more than one out of five products with almost identical packaging had different contents too. In total thirty percent of all tested products.
But that was food. Now we move forward and this time we focus on household chemicals found in our common cleaning products. Does the content differ depending on where the consumer lives? Are they better in one country than another?
162 cleaning products from our three countries will be laboratory tested to determine how well they actually work. But we will also examine the ingredients and marketing of these products.
Why does it matter, someone might ask, if a product is slightly different in Denmark than in Finland? We can point out that the consumer markets in our three countries are very similar. We share a general high demand for eco-friendly alternatives and the consumers attitudes and expectations are comparable. Hence the presence of dual quality products should be limited.
But we also know from previous experiences that the contents of for example laundry detergent has differed. So we want to examine this more closely, so that we can put more pressure on the producers and reduce the existence of dual quality where applicable.
The project ends in August 2021.
1. Test and compare
162 products bought in Finland, Sweden and Denmark will be sent to a lab for testing. We will test three different categories of cleaning products, to see how well they work.
2. Examine marketing strategies
Apart from the contents we will also examine the packaging to identify possible misleading information and marketing strategies.
3. Spread information
The consumers must know! Once we have the results we will share them with the general public. The more information each one of us has about the products in the stores, the better choices we can make as consumers.
4. Strengthen the consumer organisations
Together is always better than one by one. A fourth purpose is to allow for us, the consumer organisations, to exchange experiences of so-called best practices and to strengthen the cooperation across our borders.
5. Inform agencies and politicians
Of course public agencies and lawmakers in all three countries should also take part of the results.
17 september, 2020