Food and Wine
August 25, 2017 5:00 pm
Getty Images/Dan Dalton

Shoppers visiting Hamburg’s Edeka supermarket this week were greeted by empty shelves. There were no Greek olives or French cheeses, Italian oils or Spanish tomatoes. All that was left were products made in Germany.

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The grocery chain wasn’t having issues with its supply chain, but using the items on its shelves—and the lack thereof—to make a very serious point about diversity, by emptying its store of any foreign products. Instead of delicious items from around the world, customers were greeted with signs reading “Without diversity, this shelf is rather boring” or “Our selection knows borders today,” Metro UK reports.

The issues of immigration and global diversity have been hot topics in Germany since 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country’s doors to refugees fleeing the war in Syria.

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Germany is the world’s third largest importer of goods overall, bringing in $30.4 billion in vegetable products and $32.8 billion in foodstuffs, per MIT. The issues of immigration and global diversity have been hot topics in German politics of late, especially since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open the country’s doors to refugees fleeing war in Syria. According to a spokesman for Edeka, the campaign generated a great deal of buzz for the company, much of which was positive feedback from customers.

While there’s no doubt that Edeka lost profits during its political display, the supermarket chain is expected to continue clearing its shelves around the country. According to The Telegraph, Edeka will recreate the stunt in other outposts around Germany in the run up to Germany’s federal elections next month.

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