Supermarkets in Germany are typically divided into local markets harboring regional products depending upon the town, and foreign stores, mostly containing international products. Such classification coupled with an ample number of stores in Germany may make grocery shopping look hard. However, in this thorough article, we will guide you through what type of grocery stores are in Germany and which one is the most expensive or the cheapest one and which supermarket is the famous among locals in Germany
The main difference between grocers in Germany is the availability of products and their pricing. However, like in other European countries, there may not be a wide collection of products to choose from. A typical grocery store in Germany contains meat, dairy products, and different vegetarian foods. They may also have a separate aisle for bakery items.
Below we have categorized each grocery store in terms of discount stores, organic supermarket, hypermarkets and thanks to COVID. Now we we also have online grocery stores in Germany:
Supermarkets List in Germany
|Name||Types of Supermarkets||Budget
(Affordable to Expensive)
|Aldi Nord / Süd||Cheap Supermarkets||💶|
|Treff 3000||Cheap Supermarkets||💶|
|Dm||Cosmetic & Baby Product Store||💶 💶|
|Rossman||Cosmetic Store||💶 💶|
|Gorilla||Online Grocery Store||💶 💶|
|Flink||Online Grocery Store||💶 💶|
|GetFaster||Online Grocery Store||💶 💶|
|denn's Biomarkt||Organic supermarket||💶 💶 💶|
|Alnatura||Organic supermarket||💶 💶 💶|
|Tegut||Organic supermarket||💶 💶 💶|
Discount Grocery Stores / Cheap Supermarkets
Germany constitutes different grocery store chains, including typical grocery stores along with a huge number of discount grocery chains. According to Statista, discount stores hold a 42% revenue share of the other typical supermarkets. These discount supermarkets contain all kinds of day-to-day groceries such as food, beverages, cleaning products and other inexpensive household items. These stores also offer weekly special offers for items such as electronics, appliances, clothing, toys, and gifts. So there is a special aisle in each discount store where you will find their weekly discounted products like if it is summer, so you will see some items related to summer-like grill products, swimming or cycle products. In winters, you will have more winter things like gloves, and ski helmets.
In discount grocery stores, you can often find offers at minimal prices, which will ultimately help you minimize the costs of living in Germany. Hence, most people prefer discounters to covering their basic everyday needs. Most of the prices of the regular products like milk, butter, yogurt, ketchup, and bread are the same in all these discounted supermarkets, e.g. Aldi. Netto, Norma, Treff 3000 & Penny
The most economical and affordable discount supermarkets in Germany are Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Norma, Treff and Netto. Their prices usually fall in a very lower range therefore, there is always a tough competition among them.
Aldi is famous for producing quality products which are mostly cheaper than the brands you find in other supermarkets. They mostly have their house brands instead of keeping goods of different brands. It offers a basic but affordable product range on all the must-haves.
According to a Statista report from 2022, Aldi has been the most popular discount supermarket in Germany, after that Lidl and Netto are popular among locals of Germany. Lidl specializes in offering a variety of quality food and non-food items The supermarkets usually cater to the category of food that offers a longer shelf life, such as boxes of cereal and tins of tomato or other vegetables at cheap rates. Some of them may provide a range of household products as well.
Shopping at a discount store may offer benefits in terms of pricing, but they are usually very time consuming. They are very crowded and there is always a long queue waiting for you at the checkout.
Search the discount store near you
Organic superstores in Germany are quite popular due to the population being rightfully conscious about their environment. You can find a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as organic spinach, blueberries, gluten-free pasta, almond-milk yogurts, and olive tapenades.
The two most known organic supermarkets in Germany are denn’s Biomarkt, which is one of Germany’s largest chain of organic supermarkets and has over 300+ branches nationwide, followed by Alnatura with 140+ stores in the city. In the southern part of Germany, we also find some Tegut-Markt, which is a Swiss-owned organic store. In addition, there are other smaller and more local bio supermarkets spread across the country. The only known drawback of the market is their pricing, which is a lot. If you want to support the local bio markets then we suggest that you google “Biomarkt near me” and support the local economy.
Search the Bio/Organic Supermarket store near you
Beside Costometic products, you can also find other household products related to hygiene and also a find a good variety of baby products, like baby food, diapers and baby caring products. If you are looking for supplements then you can also find them in Dm and Rossmann.
Search the cosmetic/body care store near you
These are large grocery chains and are most similar to stores in the other European countries. You can find everything you need, ranging from groceries, housewares, electronics, clothes, etc. in these stores. The products are relatively expensive but are usually of really premium quality. The stores are built on a large area; hence you might have some difficulty in finding things, but the customer service is exemplary, and volunteers are available at every aisle to help you out. Due their size and pricing, you will hardly experience any long queues in these hypermarkets.
There are many hypermarkets spread across the country including, Combi, Edeka, Globus, Famila, Kaufland, Marktkauf, Rewe, Real, and Selgros. Out of these, the most popular hypermarkets are Kaufland, Edeka, Real, and Rewe.
Edeka is the largest German supermarket corporation. It runs over 6000 stores that range from small corner stores (convenience stores) to large hypermarkets. Variety of products such as fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, tins, jars, and dairy products are available in these stores. Some of these stores have also dedicated aisles for high demand international products from Latin America, Africa, Middle East and South Asia.
Kaufland is also a large hypermarket chain with over 670 stores across the country. It carries a wide selection of products in many different brands. You will be able to find all sort of groceries for everyday use along with non-food goods such as electronic appliances and clothes.
Rewe stores tend to be on the smaller side, also referred to as convenience stores. They have around 3000 stores in the country. The stores provide products of most established German brands and their own store brand products are branded as ”ja!”. The store sells fresh groceries, bakery items, high quality cold cuts, cheeses, and a variety of tinned products.
Search the Supermarket / Hypermarket near you
Online Grocery Shopping in Germany
If you want to escape the maneuvers of pushing loaded shopping carts and waiting hours for checkout, the home delivery option might just do it for you.
REWE has been voted the most popular choice for online grocery shopping in Germany. They offer their services in most big cities. The shortcoming, however, is that the hypermarket requires you to schedule your delivery days with specified timings. And sometimes they might not have an opening within days. It is better to check what companies offer delivery services to your neighborhood, and there are a lot of online applications available to help you with it.
Grocery in Lockdown in Germany
Even though you can find most things in Germany, there is always a little left to be desired. Adjusting to a foreign country is already hard enough, adjusting to the food might be harder. We all have that one item they just can’t live without. Don’t worry, though, because Germany is not out of surprises. There is a whole group of retailers that deal with international stores in each big or medium size town, where you can find international groceries like spices from South American and India, Rice from different Asian countries, also some exclusive candies which you give you nostalgic feeling. By visiting such international stores, you can buy the items from your country and also cook your own traditional dishes.
Germany has fairly been given the title of being multicultural, which means you should be able to find all those much-missed products from around the world. Many of the German restaurants are trying their hands on foreign style cuisine. Moreover, supermarkets selling Latin American products and brands are becoming more and more common in Germany due to its high demand. Numerous online restaurants have certainly sensed the need and have begun to offer a wide variety of ethnic food at your doorstep.
Germany also harbors a number of supermarkets dedicated solely to Turkish, Asian, Russian, or African products which do not miss to give you a taste of home far from home. Whether it is good meat, tortilla, different types of cheese, different kinds of noodles, all taste buds will be challenged in these stores. Fresh fruits, organic produce and vegetables can also be bought there.
What Germans buy in the Supermarket
Disclaimer: Video is in German but Easy German always adds German & English Subtitles, so you can also improve your German while watching their videos.
Important Things To Know About Supermarkets in Germany
Bring your bags
It is most ideal to bring your own bag while shopping in any supermarket in Germany or you will have to pay a little extra if you wish to stow your purchases otherwise. And since Germany has a no plastic bag policy, it is wise to stock up reusable bags made of fabric or paper at home so that you always have one available at your disposal.
Keep Some Change
You will need coins to retrieve a shopping cart for yourself – especially in larger supermarkets. This is usually €1 and is refundable! You get your penny back once you are done with your shopping and repark it in the line of other carts. This practice helps in the organization of the carts which previously used to be scattered across the parking lot.
German supermarkets are all about self-service (literally). After you are done exhausting yourself through hours of shopping, there is one more hurdle waiting for you at the checkout. Unlike other European countries, you are obliged to bag your groceries by yourself – which means you have to do all the heavy lifting too!
In the meantime, be ready to get some glares from the customers behind you, especially if you are going slow. Therefore, it is best to match the cashier’s speed while you are bagging your goods and the cashier simultaneously checks out for you.
Fellow Customers & Customer Service
Customer service in Germany can be a bit harsher than in the other countries. Mentioning it here so that the next time you get ordered by the workers to move faster while they stock the shelves and get challenged by a fellow customer over the last item on the shelf, you do not take it personally.
There is no concept of exchanging greetings and pleasantries with other customers in the country and everybody mostly keeps it to themselves unless you accidently come on the way of their trolley.
The Pfand System
One of the great initiatives taken by Germany is its deposit (pfand) system. It is a recycling concept where you can deposit used and empty bottles in special vending machines available at your nearest supermarket. In return, you receive a cent amount for each bottle you hand in and a receipt with the total. The total will get abstracted from your amount at the checkout at the end of your shopping trip. This way, you will not only save money with each bottle, it also helps prevent pollution and keep the streets clean.
Typical Timings of The German Supermarkets
The store hours in Germany vary from town to town. In general, the business hours of the German store are 7:00 am – 8:00 pm on weekdays, but smaller towns also deal in much shorter hours. Some of the larger grocery stores stay open till midnight. A small local market called Späti, stays open late at night and caters to alcohol, beer, and a few basic items. Although, the products are not supposedly fresh at that time of the night.
Although most of the stores in Germany are closed on Sundays (because of their no – work today policy) you should look out for Verkaufsoffener Sonntag (shopping Sunday) is an event when larger stores and malls have special opening hours. But these restrictions are no longer practiced so rigidly, and some supermarkets may provide services until 12:00 on Sundays as well.
Most Popular Supermarkets in Germany Ranked
“Ranking of the most popular supermarkets (purchase in the last six months) in Germany from 2018 to 2021”
Source: (Statista, 2022)
According to data collected from 2018 – 2021, it was observed that 50% of the regular shoppers preferred Rewe stores for their daily groceries, with Edeka following as a close second. The data shows a rite of passage among the German consumers as both Rewe or Rewe City and Edeka are classified under the category of hypermarkets which is easily the most diverse chain of supermarkets in terms of availability of national and international products.
There was little to no response in favor of Organic supermarkets (possibly, because of its expensive rates) and in 2020, only less than 5% still shopped from there while the others moved to more economical options.
No matter what time you go, you will find the supermarkets in Germany buzzing with people. There are many options available for you to explore and hence, it’s most likely that you will definitely get what you want – at least in one of the stores. Because the supermarkets offer such variety, you will not always be able to resist and more often than not, you will end up buying more than what you came for; which is certainly a good thing. If you are planning on moving to Germany – or already have moved in – having a comprehensive idea about how groceries work here will prove more helpful than you can imagine. Supermarkets serve as quite a bonus in Germany, especially if you love cooking and miss a taste of home.