Comparing ingredients — the basket of foods

Photo: Juliet Ferguson

How did the food products compare?

1. Jogobella cherry yoghurt

No major differences in the ingredients and nutritional information

2. Activia vanilla yoghurt

Clear differences in both ingredients and nutritional information, but no apparent difference in quality.

3. Oykos strawberry yoghurt

Slight variations in sugar.

4. Lidl Maribel raspberry jam

Clear differences in both ingredients and nutritional information.

The jam sold in Poland and Sweden has water and more additives (thickeners and anti-oxidants in the Polish version; thickeners and preservatives in the Swedish one). The jam sold in Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Hungary is more “natural”.

The jam sold in Belgium and Hungary has more raspberries (50 g fruit per 100 g jam) and the jam sold in Sweden has less (40 g per 100 g jam).

5. Nutella


6. Philadelphia garlic and herbs

No apparent difference in the list of ingredients, but the products differ a lot in the amount of fat, ranging from 10 to 20 grams per 100 gram.

Norway, UK, Greece, Estonia has the less fat version; Poland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Sweden has the higher fat version.

7. Oreo original

No major differences. 

8. Leibniz milk chocolate biscuits

The cookies sold in Bulgaria contain palm oil, the others don’t.

9. LU Mikado

The product sold in Portugal has more cocoa butter and less palm oil and coconut oil, than in other countries.

10. Milka whole hazelnuts

Most hazelnuts in Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, UK, Germany, Estonia and Bulgaria. Fewer in Poland, Belgium, Sweden.

The full list of items compared. To download the spreadsheet, click here

11. Cote d’Or chocolate hazelnut

More cocoa butter in Portuguese product.

12. Cornetto Classic

In the Polish product, there is palm oil and coconut oil; in the others there is coconut and sunflower oil.

Only the Portuguese product has cocoa butter.

In the product from Poland, Portugal and Sweden, there is more sugar than glucose syrup, while there is more glucose syrup than sugar in Belgium, Germany, UK, Greece, Italy and Czech Republic.

Only the ice cream from Portugal and Sweden has cream.

13. Magnum classic

The Polish product has cocoa pulp, not cocoa butter, like all other products.

In the Polish product, there is no sugar, only glucose syrup.

14. Captain Iglo/Findus fish sticks

In the products from Belgium, Germany, Greece and Latvia there is 65 % fish, in Sweden 61%, Italy 60% and in the Czech republic 58%. The type of fish also differs: cod, pollock and salmon.

15. Böcklunder bockwurst


16. Zwan weense (sausages in a jar)

The amount of meat is 53 % in the Belgian product, 25% in the Greek. Amount of mechanically separated meat is 27% in the Belgian product and 52% in the Greek.

The Belgian product has pork; while the Greek has chicken as its main ingredient and less pork.

17. Dr Oetker Ristorante Prosciutto (frozen pizza)

No major differences.

18. Original Wagner big city pizza (frozen pizza)

No major difference.

19. Dorito’s Nacho Cheese Flavour (crisps)

The crisps in Poland have glucose, not the other ones.

20. Lays Super chips paprika

There is fructose in the product from Poland and Czech Republic, and glucose in that from Germany. Only sugar in the product from Belgium, Bulgaria and Greece.

21. Barilla Basilico (tomato sauce)

No major difference

22. Barilla Bolognese (pasta sauce)

Small differences in amount of meat, ranging from 16% (Bulgaria, Belgium, Germany, Norway, UK, Portugal, Latvia, Hungary) to 19 % (Poland, Greece, Italy, Estonia, Sweden Czech republic)

23. Zeisner Tomatenketchup


24. Heinz tomato ketchup


Soft drinks (compared by using information provided by the companies Coca-Cola and Pepsi)

25. Coca-Cola

In Coca Cola, the recipe is almost identical across European counties, apart for the sugar. Coke sold in Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria has fructose-glucose syrup, while all other countries have white sugar. This explains the slight variation in energy in the nutritional information.

26. Fanta

Fanta sold in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia has fructose-glucose syrup, while all other countries have sugar.

The amount of orange- and lemon juice varies a lot. From 20 % in Greece and Cyprus to 4.5 % in Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark. Most Southern European countries have around 10 % juice, while Northern/Eastern have 5 %.

27. Sprite

Sprite sold in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia has fructose-glucose syrup, while the other countries have either sugar or only artificial sweeteners. In Poland, both versions exist.

28. Pepsi

All products use sugar, no glucose-fructose syrup.

Less sugar in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

29. 7up

All products use sugar, no glucose-fructose syrup. Difference in sugar amount, but no geographical pattern. Less sugar in France and UK.