Prices of the same goods can differ by a few euros from Lidl stores in one country to the next. Some differences are to the cost of Estonian customers while others work to their benefit.
The price of food has been growing rapidly in Estonia over the past year, which has sparked questions of whether supermarkets or producers are cashing in and whether higher prices are always fair.
ERR compared prices at German supermarket chain Lidl stores in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as similar goods are offered and can easily be compared in these countries. While there are considerable differences in prices, they are not always to the detriment of Estonian shoppers.
Estonians have to pay more for fresh cucumber at 99 cents per kilogram, while shoppers in Latvia have to pay 75 cents and those in Poland 79 cents per kilo.
Items on sale in Estonia this week include a 500-gram pack of pistachio nuts for €6.59, which is available for €4.79 in Latvia and €3.85 in Poland.
A liter of Cappy juice goes for €1.89 in Estonian Lidl stores this week, while it is €1.59 in the two southern Baltic countries.
Chanterelles are also more expensive in the Baltics. If shoppers in Poland can get a 200-gram box for €2.27, they go for €3.49 in Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Lidl markets.
Prices charged for blueberries differ in all four countries, ranging from €1.81 in Poland to €2.99 in Lithuania. The price in Estonia is €2.69.
Olive oil from Crete run shoppers €7.99 in Estonia, while it's just €6.80 in Poland.
Lidl's recent sales brochure for Estonia does not list sunflower seed oil, while it can be bought for €1.99 per liter in Latvia and Lithuania, €1.81 in Poland and €1.59 in Germany.
But there are also examples to the contrary. Coffee beans on sale in Estonia are available for €7.99 per kilogram, while this rises to €10.99 in Latvia and Lithuania.
A 200-gram pack of 30 percent fat sour cream costs 69 cents in Estonia, while it's 85 cents in Latvia. In Lithuania, a 400-gram pack is offered for €1.44, which puts the price of 200 grams at 72 cents.
A half-kilo pack of Gouda cheese runs customers €2.29 in Estonia, €2.75 in Latvia and €3.17 in Poland.
A six-pack of Coca-Cola Zero costs €3.96 in Estonia but climbs to €5.96 in Latvia and Lithuania. A box of oat cookies goes for €1.25 in Estonia but €1.45 in the neighboring countries.
Lidl stores in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania offer 40 rolls of toilet paper for €8.28 this week (for 21 cents per roll). A 24-roll pack fetches €5.67 in Poland at 24 cents per roll.
Many products also have the same or very similar prices in all countries, with broiler filet, salmon and Greek yoghurt running the same price in Estonia and Latvia and whole grain bread in all Baltic countries.
Lidl's PR specialist Kaspar Kütt told ERR that the final price of goods in different countries is governed by various taxes, such as VAT, which is just 5 percent for fruit and vegetables in Poland, while it is the standard 20 percent in Estonia.
"In addition to the VAT rate, the price of goods also depends on electricity prices, which are different everywhere. We must also consider logistics and transport costs, which affect the end price," Kütt said, adding that all these factors play a part in price formation.
Editor: Marcus Turovski