To show what less diversity looks like, EDEKA opened a supermarket without foreign products.
In 2017 there was a YES to Brexit, Trump wanted to built a wall between the USA and Mexico, and the right wing party AfD had good chances to become part of the German parliament. It seems like even if it’s the diversity of different nations that shapes our world, people are more and more scared by that diversity. So in the election year 2017 German supermarket EDEKA decided to make a powerful statement pro diversity.
The biggest issue was how to empty the supermarket shelves with only one day for preparation and how and where to store the banned products during the stunt without doing them any harm. In the end the team emptied the shelves within one day and stored the products in trucks at nearby parking areas, parking decks, and in EDEKA warehouses. Several refrigerated trucks ensured that frozen food was stored perfectly fine and everything could be put back onto the shelves after the stunt was finished without a single product going bad.
More than 20,800 foreign products and products with ingredients from other countries were banned from the supermarket shelves. Even though the stunt was made to show customers in Germany and the rest of the world how many products from all over the world each of us consumes on a daily base, we were surprised ourselves by the amount of international products we consume, from chocolate to cheese. The most awarding aspect was the enormous response. From the majority of customers coming to the supermarket during the stunt, telling us how much they appreciate living in an open-minded and diverse country, to the worldwide discussion about diversity that the stunt became an important part of.
We hoped that this idea just a week before the federal election in Germany—would make people think about the situation in Europe and open their eyes that diversity is important for every one of us. Instead we got an even better result: A worldwide discussion about diversity and xenophobia.
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