Consumer groups are warning the dropping of the standard size rules – to comply with European Union rules – will enable manufacturers to sneak price rises onto the country’s shelves.
The standard sizes for products including beer, milk, lemonade, mineral water, sugar, chocolate and cocoa will be dropped, while those for wine and spirits will be the only ones left.
Germany’s Economics Ministry said the changes will give manufacturers room for innovation and ideas, for example, to offer smaller sizes for people living alone.
But Gerd Billen, from the Association of Consumer Centres, said the fixed packaging sizes had protected people from inadvertently buying the wrong size, and sneaky price increases.
But the industry says the basic price, usually displayed as price per kilo or litre, enables consumers to make comparisons.
Differently sized packages will be introduced gradually onto shop shelves, while the government has reminded the industry to make sure they do not con consumers. “Packaging which fools consumers remains forbidden,” the consumer ministry has said.