Back in the GDR, shopping for groceries must have been some sort of adventure trip for anyone coming from the West. Coca-Cola, Nutella, Mars, Nivea? None of those big Western brands were for sale in the former East Germany. Instead, the country created its own brands or continued already existing companies that were based on GDR territory. There were around 700 of them, some pretty much one-to-one copies of famous Western brands, others authentically GDR. A 2012 study found that about 100 brands managed to stay alive in the new Germany – and a lucky few even have a spot in the supermarket.
Almost 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, consumer goods from East Germany are still flying off the shelves in our supermarkets.