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

  • 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:


English Dutch
Average gemiddelde
Bag zakje
Carbohydrate koolhydraten
Fat vet
Fibers vezels
Nutritional value voedingswaarde
Proteins eiwitten
Salt zout
Saturated fat verzadigde vet
Sodium natrium
Sugar suiker

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:

English Dutch
Almond amandel
Apples appels
Bananas bananen
Bread brood
Butter boter
Buy two/Get one free 2+1 gratis (2 halen, 1 betalen)
Candles kaarsen
Cauliflower bloemkool
Celery selderij
Cereal graan
Cheese kaas
Chicken kip
Coffee, ground, bean koffie, grove maling, boon
Detergent, colour, white wasmiddel, kleur, wit
Discount korting
French fries / chips patat/chips
Eggs eieren
Fish vis
Flour bloem, meel (wheat flour: tarwebloem)
Glass cleaner glasreiniger
Ground beef rundergehakt
Ham achterham
Ice cream ijs
Juice sap
Lettuce sla
Liquid soap vloeibare zeep
Milk melk
Moisturizer moisturizer/vochtinbrengende crème
Napkin servet
Onion ui
Oranges sinaasappelen
Paper towel Keukenpapier
Pea Erwten
Peanut pinda
Peanut butter pindakaas
Pears Peren
Per piece per stuk
Potato aardappel
Receipt bon/kassabon
Recipe recept
Rice rijst
Sale uitverkoop/aanbieding
Shopping cart winkel wagen
Shower soap douche zeep
Soup soep
Sour cream zure room
Strawberry aardbei
Tomato tomaat
Trash/rubbish bag vuilnis zak
Tuna tonijn
Whipped cream slagroom