Weekly shopping for 20 euros: organic milk for 1 euro, beer for 29 cents: this is the cheapest supermarket in Germany

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Bargain hunters will find what is probably the cheapest supermarket in Germany in a store in Berlin's Tempelhof district. FOCUS online visited the market and bought. With surprising results.

A 50-minute ride and multiple subway and bus changes from Berlin's vibrant center leads to a hidden courtyard that houses Germany's cheapest supermarket. Here you can find almost everything a bargain hunter's heart desires, all of good quality. The shelves are filled with a careful selection: exclusively organic and branded products are lined up here.

Also in the courtyard, among Teslas, are some practical cargo bikes, robust SUVs and an older VW Golf – a sign that this supermarket attracts a wide range of customers. “I come here every Friday to buy bread and milk,” says Ulrike S., a retiree from Neukölln. She doesn't always find what she's looking for because the range changes almost daily. But: “Organic is so expensive that not everyone can afford it.” She is happy to not have to go to the discount store or supermarket. “You can hardly afford that anymore, not even with a pension of 700 euros.” Julia, a single mother, is also here. She bought tulips. “They last longer than Aldi flowers,” she says in the car park. Butter was also available for two euros. “It normally costs three euros at the health food store,” she adds.

But what is the store like from the inside and what can customers buy there?

The first impression of the store is not at all inspiring. The store looks like a discount store and is very reminiscent of the failed Russian discount store Mere. Cardboard boxes are missing everywhere, sporadic furniture and sometimes price tags. The awards are simply printed on A4 paper and then laminated. You won't find any digital price tags here. But the customers are also there because there is cheap food to buy.

Right at the entrance, visitors are greeted by a wine rack filled with bottles of all shades of red, white and pink. The price is surprising: none of the carefully selected bottles that are usually found on the shelves of large supermarkets exceeds four euros. A special bargain of the day is the “Dresdner Striezel Rote Traube”, which is offered for the ridiculous price of one euro. Across the aisle from the wine section, the refrigerated counter offers a selection of cold cuts. For example, organic poultry sausage for two euros. Normally in Ökoland it costs more than five euros.

This is available in the cheapest supermarket in Germany.

One step further is the organic milk from the Brillene cheese factory, which changes hands for one euro, and along with it the popular yogurt butter from Alnatura for two euros. It's the product the two customers were talking about earlier in the parking lot. Patros feta for 59 cents, Philadelphia cream cheese for 68 cents and Danone dwarf fruits for 79 cents.

The cash registers are already behind the bottle rack, because the market only has 150 square meters. The flowers are in front of the box; Today there are tulips for two euros. Tucked away in the back corner, the supermarket still sells Brüggen cornflakes for 2.90 euros. The alternative “No Whey Loops Cookies & Cream” from Rucka Nutrition costs 4.29 euros. The manufacturer currently offers the product in an online store for 6.90 euros.

Right next door is the Original Knärzje Kellerbier. The bottle costs 29 cents. A bargain for beer lovers. For comparison, Aldi Süd's own Karlskrone brand Altbier costs much more: 37 cents. And the 6-pack of Coca-Cola right next door is also especially cheap: 96 cents. Converted, the deposit (1.50 euros) is more expensive than the drink itself.

The bread and rolls are usually from the day before.

Pharmacy items are available “from time to time,” as one cashier notes. When I visited, the shower gel was from Share. “Mango & Almond” for 1.50 euros. Right next door there are lamps for one euro and Seeberger oatmeal bars for 1.39 euros. Right in front of the checkout there are baskets with fruits and vegetables, jams and preserves. This time cucumbers are offered. The glass costs only 45 cents. The prices of organic jam and canned fruit range between one and three euros. Langnese honey is available for 3.50 euros. You can buy bread and buns directly at the checkout. Much from the day before. But in organic quality.

I leave my purchases on the counter. It has become very busy. Almost all the customers bought milk and butter. As I hold my card to the reader, the employee collects the money from the next customer. In my bag it ends up: a potato bread, a whole wheat bread, corn flakes, a skimmed milk from Alpro and Skyr from the same brand. In the end I only pay 7.65 euros for the five products. Rucka Nutrition corn flakes are the most expensive: 4.29 euros. If I had only bought milk, two pieces of bread and Skyr, I would have paid 3.36 euros.

Who is behind the cheapest supermarket?

The business is called SPRK.Global, a concept born from the vision of its founders. They launched a start-up in 2020 that established itself as a kind of food stock exchange. Its ambitious goal: use artificial intelligence to reduce food waste and minimize CO2 emissions. “We want to combine sustainability and profitability,” says a video on the company's website. In December 2022, the company obtained financing of six million euros. A year later the first warehouse was opened in Tempelhof. More branches could follow.

Why is SPRK.Global so cheap?

The secret of SPRK.Global lies in its unique concept. Instead of placing orders, SPRK.Global collects surplus food that other supermarkets have overordered or that no longer sell well there. “It's a constant cycle of give and take that gives food a second chance,” an employee stocking a shelf sums up the idea of ​​the supermarket.

Products that are sorted in other stores because they are about to expire their sell-by date also end up on SPRK.Global shelves. This practice gives customers the opportunity to save on high-quality products while saving money and benefiting the environment by reducing resource waste.

The company also collaborates with the “Too Good To Go” application. Customers can reserve fruits and vegetables, fresh products, nuts and surprise packages for 9 euros and collect them on site. Employees place the merchandise into boxes on site. Customers then simply have to repackage them into their own bags.

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