Expat help guide on grocery shopping in the Netherlands – tips about Holland supermarkets, Dutch names for common foods, nutritional label terminology.
Supermarkets and grocery stores (‘winkels’) in the Netherlands are laid out and operate much the same as those elsewhere in Europe and the west, with dedicated areas for produce, bread/bakery, meats, dairy products, frozen foods and dry goods. The selection is typically not as broad as that found in American supermarkets. This is especially true for city center grocery stores which will be smaller than those found in suburban areas and shopping centers.
HOLLAND SUPERMARKET SHOPPING
– Shopping bags are not provided for free. Since the start of 2016, all retail stores in the Netherlands, including supermarkets, are required by law to charge customers for shopping bags. The purpose is to reduce the amount of plastics being added to the environment by training customers to bring their own bags. For shoppers who forget to bring their own bags, there are bags available by the cash wrap. The cost for a regular size plastic bag is typically 10 cents.
– Cash and PIN (bank cards) are acceptable means of payment; foreign credit cards typically are not.
– Because the 1 cent Euro coin is not used anymore, customers who pay by cash will have the total cost of their order rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cent. For example, if the amount of an order for a customer paying cash totals €23.28, they will need to pay €23.30. If the order was €23.27, they are charged €23.25.
– During busy periods, additional checkout lanes are opened. Be aware these lanes may only accept PIN card (not cash). A sign will usually communicate this.
– Deposits are charged on most glass and plastic bottles. These can be returned to the store when they are empty. Supermarkets commonly use a machine to accept bottle returns. Touch the green start button, place one bottle at a time on the moving belt. After the last bottle, touch the red stop button. A receipt with UPC code will generate. Take this to the checkout counter to redeem the amount or use it as a credit toward a current purchase.
– Shopping baskets are usually stacked just inside the entrance.
– Shopping carts are located just outside or just inside the store entrance. Carts are typically chained together and require a coin (usually a €.50 coin) or token to release the chain. When the cart is re-chained to the others, the coin/token slot will open and your coin can be removed.
– Shoppers are expected to bag their own groceries.
– Larger supermarket chains in the Netherlands offer online ordering with the option of having the order delivered at home or picking it up from a store. The charge for home delivery generally ranges from €4.50-9.00 depending on the selected delivery window (typically 2-4 time periods).
– Supermarket websites are typically only available in Dutch.
DUTCH FOOD NAMES
The following are the Dutch names of common foods (including fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, baking ingredients, etc.) and household items found in supermarkets to assist English-speaking expats in the Netherlands with their grocery shopping.
|applesauce||appelmoes||liquid soap||vloeibare zeep|
|fish||vis||shopping cart||winkel wagen|
|shower soap||douche zeep|
|french fries||patat frites||smoked||gerookte|
|from||vanaf||soda, soft drink||frisdrank|
|frozen food||diepvries voedsel||soup||soep|
|garlic||knoflook||sour cream||zure room|
|green beans||sperziebonen||string beans||snijbonen|
|juice||sap||trash bag||vuilnis zak|
DUTCH NUTRITIONAL VALUE TERMINOLOGY
Below are Dutch terms used on food nutritional labels in the Netherlands and what they correlate to in English
|enkelvoudig onverzadigde vetzuren||monounsaturated fatty acids||verzadigde vet||saturated fat|
|meervoudig onverzadigde vetzuren||polyunsaturated fatty acids||zakje||bag|