Supermarkets in Norway: Norwegian Grocery Stores Explained (2024)

Supermarkets in Norway: Norwegian Grocery Stores Explained (1)

New to Norway? You'll want to get your head around the main grocery stores and supermarkets. Here's a rundown of the main chains and what to expect when doing your regular food shop.

Grocery shopping in Norway doesn’t always get the best press. There's regular news stories about Europe’s most expensive groceries, and expat forums abound with complaints on poor quality fresh produce and lack of variety.

I’m writing this article to allay some of those stereotypes and confirm others. But don’t worry, supermarkets here aren’t as daunting as you might expect!

The first thing to note is that grocery shops in Norway are readily accessible. In most major cities here, you are only ever a short walk from you nearest store. On the flip side, that means that the stores are generally smaller than you'll find in the UK and USA, for example.

Supermarkets in Norway: Norwegian Grocery Stores Explained (2)

Rema 1000

Rema 1000 is a discount supermarket that opened its first store in Trondheim in 1979. The chain has 868 stores in Norway with over 20,000 employees. Rema 1000 is under the umbrella of Reitan Group (Reitangruppen), taking the name from its founder Odd Reitan, one of Norway's wealthiest people.

The idea for store was originally inspired by the German supermarket chain Aldi. Rema 1000 started out with a limited range of products in order to drive prices lower; however, changes had to be made in order to adjustment to Norwegian market, so the product range was gradually increased.

Read more: 10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries in Norway

Rema 1000 remains one of the most popular supermarkets in the country. Its staff are often cheerful and friendly, and as a customer, this goes a long way. The chain has a blue colour scheme, one which is smart and immediately recognisable as ‘Rema blue’, it is a colour scheme that sets them apart from the competition.

Supermarkets in Norway: Norwegian Grocery Stores Explained (3)

If you're a regular customer of Rema 1000, it's well worth downloading their app, Æ. Members get 10% off all fruit and veg, and your 10 most commonly bought items. There's also frequent members-only offers.

It's free to download and become an Æ member. What's more, by linking the app to your debit card, you automatically get the discount at checkout when paying with that card.

Coop

Founded in 1906 as NKL (Norges Kooperative Landasforening; Norwegian Cooperative Association), Coop Norge AS is one of the country’s biggest supermarket chains, with a revenue turnover of 30.041 billion NOK.

Coop have various different shop types and sizes, consisting of Coop Prix, Coop Extra and Coop Mega (smallest to biggest).

The main Coop stores have a red colour scheme and colleagues wear red uniforms. Coop is the supermarket that most reminds me of stores back in the U.K., both in terms of layout and how they promote their best prices.

In addition, Coop Norge AS also own Obs, a hypermarket store, often containing a hardware store. Obs has 33 locations scattered up and down the Norway. Another branch of the cooperative is the smaller grocery shop Matroken.

Kiwi

Kiwi is another of the big supermarket chains in Norway with almost 500 discount stores. It’s part of the NorgesGruppen, the same group that owns Meny, another supermarket, and the smaller convenience stores Joker and Mix.

Supermarkets in Norway: Norwegian Grocery Stores Explained (4)

This store is my first choice for groceries, and not just because I find it one of the cheapest. I find the layout of Kiwi shops are often easier to navigate too.

Kiwi has the brightest and most standout colour scheme of the big grocery stores in Norway. They have a green overall colour scheme, which I’ve always quite liked.

But the really eye-catching part of this has been reserved for the staff uniforms. Kiwi have opted for bright green t-shirts and green trousers. At some stores, or maybe this has since been discontinued, their colleagues wear an outrageous design of green chequered pants.

Bunnpris

Bunnpris is classed as a discount store, owned by I. K. Lykke AS. It has over 250 locations, mostly in central and northern parts of Norway and also in Oslo. Its shops in capital are smaller, operating like convenience stores, with a lot of products crammed in to a small floorspace – this allows them to open on Sundays.

The current CEO Trond Lykke, has had some kind of business operations in the family since 1830. Bunnpris opened its first store in 1981 in Trondheim, the success of the store facilitated mass expansion through other parts Norway.

Bunnpris’ colour scheme consists of yellow and black. I’ve used their stores mainly as a handy alternative to convenience stores on Sundays. Their weekly offers offer great discounts on everyday essentials.

Meny

As mentioned earlier, Meny is part of the NorgesGruppen, the group that also owns Kiwi, Joker and Mix. It opened its first store in Norway in 1992 and focuses mainly on fresh products.

Supermarkets in Norway: Norwegian Grocery Stores Explained (5)

Meny is a pleasant store, with the fresh fish and bakery section a particular favourite of mine. It's also a good option when you're looking for popular international foods that are hard to find elsewhere.

However, overall, I find the store a little overpriced, which leads me to shop there only once or twice each month.

Convenience stores in Norway

Aside from the big supermarkets, convenience stores in Norway are a big business. Some are open through the night and the shops that aren’t are often open until late. Importantly, these stores are often open on Sundays, unlike most of the supermarkets. For the exceptions, see below!

Read more: Norway's groceries are Europe's most expensive

In Oslo, you are never more than a kilometre or two away from a Deli de Luca, 7-eleven, Narvesen or Mix store. The most extreme case of this is evident on Holbergs Plass, where two 7-Eleven stores face each other on opposite sides of the road.

Prices in convenience stores are, rather predictably, quite high. The choice of products is also fairly slim, but you can usually buy bread, milk and so on. Just be sure to check the expiry dates! Most stores ansi offer hot food and pastries that you won't find in many regular supermarkets, along with coffee.

Foreign supermarkets in Norway

All big cities (and many smaller ones, too) also have supermarkets set up by enterprising immigrants. Whatever the origin of the owner, these stores tend to have a terrific selection of imported foods from around the world.

Supermarkets in Norway: Norwegian Grocery Stores Explained (6)

Most also have a good selection of fresh produce. In my experience, the fruit and veg at these stores can often be better quality than the chain stores, and there is certainly more variety. The fruit and veg is also much cheaper, and is rarely wrapped in plastic.

For you Brits out there missing the frozen beige food of the Iceland supermarket chain, you're in luck! There are a handful of Iceland stores now open in Norway. The prices are nowhere near as low as they are in the UK, but it offers frozen goods that are otherwise hard to find in Norway.

At the time of writing, there are four Iceland stores in the Oslo region (Asker, Bekkestua, St. Hanshaugen, Stovner) and one in Larvik. If you're not in the south-east, Iceland food is stocked in selected Europris outlets.

Sunday opening

As a general rule, supermarkets are not open on Sundays. That's because by Norwegian law, only retail stores below a certain size are able to open on Sundays. There has been talk of this law changing, but nothing has happened so far.

To be able to open on Sundays, some stores have special smaller sections that they open just on Sunday. This is most commonly seen with the Bunnpris chain. There is also a chain of smaller supermarkets called Joker, many of which open on Sundays. However, these are often more expensive and you should only shop for the essentials here.

Those supermarkets that do open on Sunday are often restricted to 10am-4pm or 11am-5pm opening hours.

Top tips for supermarket shopping in Norway

It is a cliché thing to say but shop around. All of the aforementioned stores have some kind of offers or special discount that rotates typically on a weekly basis. It’s just a case of finding out about them! Check out the posters outside stores for the best offers, or download the supermarket's app.

Alternatively, to find the best prices, most shops offer a printed flyer that can be picked up in store. If you live locally, you'll probably find one in your mailbox, too. Another option is to check the store’s website. There are always ways to save money on groceries in Norway.

Supermarkets in Norway: Norwegian Grocery Stores Explained (2024)

FAQs

What is the main supermarket in Norway? ›

NorgesGruppen ASA is the parent company of SPAR Norway and is the market leader in the highly concentrated Norwegian grocery market. NorgesGruppen signed the SPAR licence for Norway in 1984 although the first SPAR store only opened in 1993.

How many supermarkets are there in Norway? ›

In 2019, there were 3,848 grocery stores in all of Norway.
...
Number of grocery stores in Norway from 2011 to 2019.
CharacteristicNumber of stores
--
8 more rows
30 May 2022

Are there supermarkets in Norway? ›

The first thing to note is that grocery shops in Norway are readily accessible. In most major cities here, you are only ever a short walk from you nearest store. On the flip side, that means that the stores are generally smaller than you'll find in the UK and USA, for example.

What is the most popular store in Norway? ›

elkjop.no Elkjøp

Are Norwegian supermarkets expensive? ›

Is food expensive in Norway? Food prices in supermarkets are higher than in United States. For example, in Norway you have to pay for: Bottle or carton of milk (1 liter): 1.80 USD (19 NOK)

What is the biggest supermarket chain in Norway? ›

REMA 1000. REMA 1000 is the largest discount supermarket chain in Norway, and you'll find several stores in Denmark as well. The company was founded in 1979, and its modern-day headquarters are in Oslo.

What are the cheapest supermarkets in Norway? ›

Some cheap supermarkets are Rema 1000, Rimi, Kiwi and Bunnpris. The first 3 are the best ones. Meny, Ultra and Ica are more expensive chains and unless you need to buy reindeer medallions or any other food that'd you'd only get in well stocked supermarkets, there is no need to go to any of them.

How much is beer in a grocery store in Norway? ›

At supermarkets you can buy a 1/2 liter can of beer for about 20 to 25 kroner (about 1.5£ to 2£). You can not buy wine at the supermarket. But you can buy it at the Vinmonopol for 80 kroner and up (from 6 £ and up).

Can you buy cigarettes in supermarkets in Norway? ›

The law prohibits the sale of single cigarettes and small packs of cigarettes. In addition, the law restricts the sale of tobacco products by vending machine. There are no restrictions on the sale of tobacco products based on location. The sale of tobacco products is prohibited to persons under the age of 18.

What foods are cheap in Norway? ›

For picnic food, bread, cheese, yoghurt and local fruit are all relatively good value, but other staple foodstuffs – rice, pasta, meat, cereals and vegetables – can be way above the European average.

How much is a Coca Cola in Norway? ›

Price Rankings by Country of Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) (Restaurants)
1.Switzerland4.18 $
2.Denmark3.15 $
3.Norway2.88 $
4.Austria2.73 $
5.Israel2.65 $
100 more rows

Is there target in Norway? ›

What are people saying about target store in Oslo, Norway? This is a review for target store in Oslo, Norway: "Really great lunch option in central Oslo. It's located in the basement of a department store and you can choose from Thai, burritos, and a really popular soup guy.

What products are made in Norway? ›

Norway's 5 biggest exports ranked by international revenues for 2021 were petroleum gases, crude oil, fresh whole fish, refined petroleum oils and raw aluminum. Collectively, that cohort of major commodities accounts for almost three-quarters (72.9%) of Norwegian exported products.

What is the best online store in Norway? ›

Elkjop.no is leading the Norwegian e-commerce market, with e-commerce net sales of US$401 million in 2021 generated in Norway, followed by komplett.no with US$292 million.

Is clothes cheap in Norway? ›

Clothes, shoes, decoration objects can be very expensive here in Norway. That's why end-of-season sales are a great deal. You can find seriously discounted prices.

Why are groceries in Norway so expensive? ›

High costs for producers and supermarkets

For example, Norway is known just as much for its famously high wages as it is for being expensive. This means supermarkets, food producers, and farms have to pay higher salaries to staff than elsewhere.

What is the minimum wage in Norway? ›

As an example, the minimum salary in Norway is as of 2022: 175 NOK (roughly 18 USD) for hospitality workers per hour. Cleaning staff gets 187.66 NOK or 21.80 USD per hour. More information on the minimum wages in Norway per economic sector are available on the Arbeidstilsynet website.

How much is Mcdonald's in Norway? ›

Europe: Prices by City of McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) (Restaurants)
RankCityMcMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)
8Stavanger, Norway13.19
9Tromso, Norway12.25
10Arhus, Denmark11.57
11Oslo, Norway11.31
159 more rows

Why is Lidl not in Norway? ›

In 2008, after 4 years in Norway, Lidl gave up on Norway, selling all of its assets to Rema 1000, another discount chain. If you ask Norwegians why Lidl failed in Norway, many will argue that Lidl did not fulfil the Norwegian shoppers' needs and neglected to fit in with their values.

How much does chocolate cost in Norway? ›

The price in Norwegian Krone is NOK 49.39 per kg. The average price for a tonne is US$ 5945.71 in Bergen and Oslo. Norway's import price for chocolate in 2019 was US$6.36 per kg.

Is there an Aldi in Norway? ›

Unfortunately, there's no Lidl or Aldi in Norway or other great European low-cost supermarket chains such as Biedronka, Albert Heijn, or Mercadona.

Is there an Aldi in Norway? ›

Unfortunately, there's no Lidl or Aldi in Norway or other great European low-cost supermarket chains such as Biedronka, Albert Heijn, or Mercadona.

Why is Lidl not in Norway? ›

In 2008, after 4 years in Norway, Lidl gave up on Norway, selling all of its assets to Rema 1000, another discount chain. If you ask Norwegians why Lidl failed in Norway, many will argue that Lidl did not fulfil the Norwegian shoppers' needs and neglected to fit in with their values.

Is there a target in Norway? ›

This is a review for target store in Oslo, Norway: "Really great lunch option in central Oslo. It's located in the basement of a department store and you can choose from Thai, burritos, and a really popular soup guy.

What foods are cheap in Norway? ›

For picnic food, bread, cheese, yoghurt and local fruit are all relatively good value, but other staple foodstuffs – rice, pasta, meat, cereals and vegetables – can be way above the European average.

How much does chocolate cost in Norway? ›

The price in Norwegian Krone is NOK 49.39 per kg. The average price for a tonne is US$ 5945.71 in Bergen and Oslo. Norway's import price for chocolate in 2019 was US$6.36 per kg.

What can you buy in Bergen Norway? ›

Souvenirs. Handmade sweaters, trolls, silverware, pewter, bunads (traditional Norweigan costumes), Christmas-inspired gifts, outdoor clothing, Nordic caviar, Viking souvenirs, art and antiques are just some of the popular gifts purchases in Bergen.

Why is Lidl so successful? ›

Offering the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices has definitely helped us become the success we are today, but that's only part of the story, because it's our people that bring Lidl to life. Our business is built on their dedication, and our success is their success.

Who owns Lidl food stores? ›

Dieter Schwarz's Schwarz Group, with revenue of over $140 billion, is comprised of the Kaufland and Lidl (rhymes with needle) discount supermarkets. Schwarz inherited the company from his father, Josef, who became a partner in Suedfruechte Grosshandel Lidl & Co., a fruit wholesaler, in 1930.

Why is the I in Lidl slanted? ›

The signature “I” is located diagonally with the dot above the angle, which resembles of the man's abstract figure. The Lidl logo is a perfect reflection of all the brand's values, and shows its customers as the main interest of the company. The logo is king and eye-catching, evoking a sense of authority and expertise.

Is Lidl a multinational company? ›

Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG (German pronunciation: [ˈliːdl̩]; UK: /ˈlɪdəl/ LID-əl) is a German international discount retailer chain that operates over 11,000 stores across Europe and the United States.

What is famous to buy in Norway? ›

Products like Linje Aquavit, a popular Norwegian drink also known as 'Firewater', authentic Norwegian sweaters from the Dale of Norway, liquorice chocolates, Viking drinking bowls, troll figurines, reindeer sausages, solje jewellery, the Rosemaling folk paintings and more are famous among all travelers.

Does Walmart ship to Norway? ›

Does Walmart Ship Internationally? Walmart US does not ship internationally, however, you can use a package forwarding company like Planet Express to ship products to your country.

Does Norway have department stores? ›

Steen & Strøm is a large department store right in Oslo's city centre, with a number of well-known and attractive brands gathered under one roof. Across the store's six spacious floors you'll find an abundance of fashion and lifestyle products, from classic to cutting-edge.

How much is a loaf of bread in Norway? ›

Cost of Living in Norway
RestaurantsEdit
Water (12 oz small bottle)27.03kr
MarketsEdit
Milk (regular), (1 gallon)73.76kr
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)26.45kr
62 more rows

How much does a dinner cost in Norway? ›

While meal prices in Norway can vary, the average cost of food in Norway is kr278 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Norway should cost around kr111 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.

How much does a cup of coffee cost in Norway? ›

Tap water is delicious in Norway and all restaurants serve water for free. Soft drinks cost around 35-50 NOK/ 4-5 EUR. Coffee or tea costs 25-30 NOK/ 3-4 EUR.

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