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Groceries in the Netherlands

Grocery stores in the Netherlands

There are quite a few chain super markets in the Netherlands and you will soon begin to figure out which one of your local stores will become the favourite!  The grocery stores here are much smaller, size wise, than in South Africa – no Pick ‘n Pay sized shops here! 

At the bottom of this page you'll see a list of supermarkets in the Netherlands. These supermarkets will have most items you are used to using in the kitchen. Also, most supermarkets do not accept credit cards or foreign debit cards. So be prepared by having cash on hand or once you have a Dutch debit card it won’t be a problem. 

Self Service

Self Service is big in these stores so when you pick out those apples you want and bag them, don’t wait around for someone to weigh them, as you have to do this yourself by putting the packet on the scale and pushing the relevant button. You will also wait a long time for someone to come and pack your groceries into a bag at the check out counter – the cashier does not do this – you do! There are also self service check out tills, which are pretty cool once you have them figured out, and we will be happy to show you how once you are here.

Keep your shopping bags handy as you will need them each time you shop for groceries. If you want to ask for shopping bags you ask: “Mag ik een tasje daarbij”. Tasje = shopping bag. 

Where does all the food come from?

Market days

Each town has their own market day in which vendors arrive early in the morning and set up their stalls for most of the day. Products like cheese, breads, flowers/plants, fish, meat, chicken and sweets – as well as clothing and typical flea market type goods are on sale, normally at good prices. It’s a great way to get to know the faces in your neighbourhood and to get into the swing of things.
 

List of Supermarkets in the Netherlands

Albert Heijn
Grocery stores

Albert Heijn

More of an upscale shop, pretty much in line with Woolworths. Basically each town or city will have one or more Albert Heijn shops (AH's).

Aldi
Grocery stores

Aldi

Aldi is the common brand of two discount supermarket chains with over 10,000 stores in 20 countries, and an estimated combined turnover of more than €50 billion.

Coop Supermarkten
Grocery stores

Coop Supermarkten

Coop Supermarkten is a supermarket chain founded in 1891 in Zaandam, Netherlands. It is named after the cooperative aspects of the company. In 2001, the company merged with wholesale purchaser Codis to form CoopCodis.

Dekamarkt
Grocery stores

Dekamarkt

DekaMarkt is a Dutch retail company which operates a chain of supermarkets in the country. DekaMarkt is a member of Superunie, a Dutch purchasing organization for supermarkets.

Dirk van den Broek
Grocery stores

Dirk van den Broek

The original business was established in 1942 by Dirk van den Broek as a milk store in Amsterdam. In 1948 it was converted into a self-service market. The first supermarket was opened in 1953, also in Amsterdam.

Jumbo
Grocery stores

Jumbo

This is one of the biggest chain stores and there will probably be one in your area.  It is also probably the most cost effective store for good

Lidl
Grocery stores

Lidl

Lidl is a German global discount supermarket chain, based in Neckarsulm, Germany, that operates over 10,000 stores across Europe and USA.

PLUS
Grocery stores

PLUS

PLUS is an important player in the Dutch food market with 261 supermarkets, but by far not the most popular. The PLUS Retail organization consists of the service office in Utrecht, three regional distribution centers in Haaksbergen, Ittervoort and Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, and a national distribution center in Middenbeemster.

Related subjects

Helpful websites

Helpful websites and information for South Africans before relocating to the Netherlands.

Medical Care

Doctors / Dentists / Other Specialists – in order to visit a medical practitioner you will need to register with them first and once done, make an appointment, which will probably not be on the same day.

Public transport

The Public Transport is called OV (Openbare Vervoer). Some of the best in the world. Train, tram, bus, railway and high speed trains enable you to travel basically anywhere in the country reliably.

Other stores

Before relocating to the Netherlands, you should take some stores into account.

Dutch courses

We would like for our newcomers to start with their language lessons as soon as possible, even before your official start date if possible.