There is no shortage of supermarkets in Germany. Depending on your diet and budget, you will end up loving one grocery store over the other. This guide will teach you about the different types of supermarkets in Germany and what makes them different.
Related Guide: Cost Of Living In Germany
Overview Of Main Supermarkets In Germany
|denn's Biomarkt||Bio supermarket||€€€|
|Aldi Nord||Discount Supermarket||€|
|Aldi Süd||Discount Supermarket||€|
Types Of Supermarkets In Germany
1. Bio supermarkets
The two most popular organic supermarkets in Germany are denn’s Biomarkt, with over 320 stores nationwide, followed by Alnatura with over 130. There are other smaller and more local bio supermarkets spread across the country. Just keep in mind that, although all their products are organic, they tend to be quite expensive.
Hypermarkets are stores that offer not only groceries but also clothes and miscellaneous items. If you come from North America, think of them as Walmart or Target-style places. The two most popular hypermarkets in Germany are Kaufland and real.
3. Membership-only Hypermarkets
The most popular wholesale club in Germany is METRO. If you come from North America, think of it as a similar hypermarket like Costco or Sam’s Club.
You will be able to find bulk quantities of items at a discounted price and other miscellaneous things like electronics, cookware, professional cooking equipment, among others.
Joining METRO is free. The one catch is that you can only apply to become a member if you are a trade professional, self-employed, freelancer, or registered business. Their website is in English. Through the following link, you can find all the details on how to become a METRO member.
😂 Fun fact: In 2006 Metro Group bought the 85 Walmart stores that failed in Germany.
The two most popular supermarkets in Germany are Edeka and REWE. Edeka is the biggest supermarket chain in Germany, with over 11.000 stores nationwide. REWE is the second-largest supermarket chain with over 3.000 supermarkets.
Both supermarkets have a great variety of products. The larger the supermarket, the more great stuff you will find. Some even have dedicated sections where you can find international products from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and India.
You will also find their house brands in each supermarket, which tend to have a lower price than branded items. Edeka’s own brand is called “Gut und Günstig” and REWE’s “ja!”.
Each of these supermarket chains also has its discount supermarket brand. Netto is from Edeka, and Penny is from REWE.
5. Discount Supermarkets
The five cheapest supermarkets in Germany are Aldi Nord, Aldi Süd, Lidl, Penny, and Netto. Any of these four discount grocery stores offer low prices on all of their items. There is tough competition amongst them, and they are always trying to match their prices with each other.
In 2020, a German journalist did a study and found that all discount supermarkets had the same price for essential items like milk, pasta, coffee, water, and butter.
Each discount supermarket offers its house brand, which is usually cheaper than other branded items. Aldi is very popular in Germany as they are famous for producing quality custom-branded products (sometimes even produced by major brands) which are cheaper than the branded ones.
😂 Fun fact: Aldi was founded by two brothers in 1946. They decided to split up in 1960 and created two brands: Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord. To keep things fair, they decided to divide their territories. Aldi Nord has stores in western, northern, and eastern Germany, whereas Aldi Süd has stores in western and southern Germany. The border that separates their territories is called “Aldi-Äquator” (Aldi equator) 😋.
Which Supermarkets Deliver In Germany?
REWE is the most popular choice for online grocery shopping in Germany. They offer their services in most big cities. The downside is that REWE requires you to schedule when you would like your delivery to arrive. Sometimes they might not have an opening within days.
To check what companies offer delivery service to your neighborhood, check out foodly. It’s super easy to use. You just have to enter your postal code into their website.
In 2020, a few startups were founded to deliver groceries to people’s homes in major German cities in under 30 minutes. The most popular ones are Gorillas and getfaster. Be aware, though, that they also don’t deliver on Sundays. Remember everything, even grocery delivery services, is closed on Sundays in Germany.
If you would like to receive groceries at home to cook specific recipes, you can check HelloFresh or Dinnerly (10 euros discount for your first three orders). Their model is pretty cool. You can preselect recipes from their cookbooks, and they deliver the necessary ingredients to your door. It’s a great alternative to try new recipes and to avoid waste. They only offer their service in German, so it is an excellent opportunity to practice your cooking skills and learn new vocabulary 😉.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are supermarkets open on Sunday in Germany?
Most supermarkets and grocery shops are closed on Sundays in Germany. In some German cities, the supermarkets in the airports and some central train stations are open on Sundays. You can also find a small selection of groceries in certain gas stations, which are mostly open on Sundays.
Is Aldi popular in Germany?
According to a Statista report from 2020, Aldi has been the most popular discount supermarket in Germany since 2015.
There are many options in Germany for you to get your groceries. Picking the best supermarket for you will depend on your budget, diet, and availability in your neighborhood. The most popular choice for locals in Germany is to go to a supermarket like REWE or a discount supermarket like Aldi.