Dutch Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
Find out about grocery shopping in the Netherlands: with useful translation tables of commonly used words and phrases...
Supermarkets and grocery stores (winkels, pronounced "vinkels") in the Netherlands are laid out and operate much the same as those elsewhere in Europe and the western world.
Here are some things to be aware of when grocery shopping in the Netherlands:
- Shoppers should bring their own bags; shopping bags are available at the checkout till but EU regulations mean that retailers by law have to charge customers for them. (usually around €.10 for a plastic bag, and substantially higher for more durable shopping bags)
- Cash and PIN (bank)gcards are accepted for payment; credit cards usually are not
- Deposits are charged on larger bottles (PET/plastic); the empties can be returned to the shop, usually to an automated machine which provides a receipt which can be redeemed at the checkout counter for cash, or deducted from the bill
- Shopping carts are usually chained together in an area outside the store. To release a cart, insert a coin (usually €.50 or €1 coin) into the slot on the wagon. The coin is released when the wagon is re-chained to the bank of carts. Tokens can be used instead of coins. These are often magnetically attached to promotional keyrings
- Buyers bag their own groceries. This can either be done at the checkout or by reloading the trolley and bagging groceries at one of the tables provided after the transaction is complete
Several of the larger supermarket chains have an online ordering service; delivery is made to the home on the day and in the time slot selected (usually a two hour window is available). An in-store pick-up option for online orders is also offered. Delivery charges are higher during the more popular delivery times. In general, the delivery charge ranges from €4.50 to €9. Most supermarket order-online websites are in Dutch only.
Supermarket Chains Operating Across the Netherlands
- Albert Heijn: Top-end supermarket chain and the largest in the Netherlands, with stores ranging from small convenience stores to large hypermarkets. There are 700 branches nation-wide. This chain also offers its own brand of organic produce
- Aldi: Low cost German hypermarket store chain selling dry and fresh foods along with household goods and small appliances
- Jumbo: Dutch supermarket chain is the second largest in the Netherlands. Also offers home delivery and pickup in store options
- Dirk van den Broek: Discount grocery stores with a wide range of goods on offer for the lowest prices in the Dutch market
Hoogvliet: Dutch supermarket chain named after the Zuid Holland city of its origin. Store locations in the provinces of North and South Holland and Utrecht.
- Lidl: Chain of mid-sized food stores from Germany expanding in the Netherlands (and other countries). Offers selection of produce, meats, dairy, bakery products as well as a line of own-brand organic and natural foods
Food Packaging: Common Terms Translated
Commonly seen terms describing ingredients on food packets:
|Saturated fat||verzadigde vet|
Most food products details and nutritional content are labelled in Dutch only; here is a list of frequently-used food items and the Dutch term associated with each:
|Buy two/Get one free||2+1 gratis (2 halen, 1 betalen)|
|Coffee, ground, bean||koffie, grove maling, boon|
|Detergent, colour, white||wasmiddel, kleur, wit|
|French fries / chips||patat/chips|
|Flour||bloem, meel (wheat flour: tarwebloem)|
|Liquid soap||vloeibare zeep|
|Per piece||per stuk|
|Shopping cart||winkel wagen|
|Shower soap||douche zeep|
|Sour cream||zure room|
|Trash/rubbish bag||vuilnis zak|