About us: An introduction to Stiftung Warentest
Stiftung Warentest is a foundation. It was established in 1964 by the German federal parliament with the aim of helping consumers by providing impartial and objective information based on the results of comparative investigations of goods and services.
- We buy products – anonymously from retailers, and make covert use of services.
- We carry out tests – in independent labs that use scientific methods and follow our specifications.
- We give verdicts – ranging from „very good“ to „unsatisfactory“, based solely on objective results.
- We publish our findings – totally free of adverts in our magazines „test“ and „Finanztest“, and online at www.test.de.
Facts + figures
Some statistics: since it was founded Stiftung Warentest has carried out more than 5,600 tests and tested a good 95,000 products. In addition, we have carried out investigations of over 2,500 services. The results are published each year nearly 8 million copies of our magazines.
All facts + figures (in German only)
the magazine is Stiftung Warentest’s oldest and best-known publication. Since 1966 it has provided impartial and objective advice about the products and services of everyday life. In addition to the tests and investigations, there are also articles, as well as information about trends and useful tips for consumers. Paid circulation: 427,000 copies.
From A for assets to Z for zero-bonds – „Finanztest“ has been on the market since 1991 and has specialised in topics such as insurance, investment, tax and legal issues. A continually updated database provides a comprehensive comparison of equity funds, loans and savings interest rates each month. The paid circulation totals 213,000 copies.
The complete contents of „test“ and „Finanztest“ published since 2000 can be downloaded from our website. Consumers can also compare the tested products using our product databases. They can customise the data to best meet their own personal needs, using the interactive possibilities of various filters. Our website test.de provides the latest important information for consumers on a daily basis, as well as the results of exclusive fast track tests.
Stiftung Warentest offers an extensive range of books about topics such as health and nutrition, the home and garden as well as finance and legal issues. Last year more than 30 new books have been published, and sum total there are more than 130 titles available. In 2015 Stiftung Warentest sold more than 440,000 books.
Overview of the individual steps in a comparative product test
Following a comprehensive planning phase, Stiftung Warentest’s staff compile an investigation programme and purchase the test samples anonymously in shops, just like regular customers.
Independent, external labs are then commissioned to carry out the tests on behalf of the foundation. Call for applications to carry out test work. Investigated services are used covertly by trained mystery shoppers. Finally, Stiftung Warentest publishes and disseminates the results of its investigations.
Each year, Stiftung Warentest investigates about 2000 products in more than 100 tests. In addition, it carries out fast-track tests, investigations of services, and provides market overviews and research-based reports.
Structure + statutes
In accordance with our statutes (PDF, Statuts en français), Stiftung Warentest has three bodies: The Board, Supervisory Board and Advisory Council. What role do they play and who are the members? Here is an overview:
Board: Hubertus Primus has been the CEO of Stiftung Warentest since 2012. In accordance with the Statutes and in his function as sole member of the Executive Board, he represents the foundation officially and is responsible for its operational activities. Stiftung Warentest’s Executive Management Team comprises Hubertus Primus, Dr Holger Brackemann (Research Division) and Daniel Gläser (Finance, Human Resources and IT Division).
Supervisory Board: The Supervisory Board with its seven members is responsible for appointing the Executive Board, and among other things also supervises its operational activities. Supervisory Board members (in German only)
Advisory Council:The Advisory Council, which comprises six representatives of consumers and of industry respectively, as well as six independent experts, has an advisory capacity. It can suggest topics for investigations and also veto planned projects. Advisory Council members (in German only)