China travel

Published on November 7th, 2011 | by Paz


Cost of western food in China

When calculating what it will cost to live abroad you have to consider food. What it will cost and what can you find. Oh..and how good it is!! Cost of western food in China can change depending on where you are.

I talk to lots of families moving to China on a weekly basis and one of their main questions is; “Can I find western food?” I am going to give you the low-down on western food in China.

Do not fear importing is here. Food and goods are imported from all over the world into China on a daily basis. This gives everyone the luxury of endulging in delicious buttery food whenever they wish.

Now that you are happy to hear that news…where can you get your delicious food.

Here are some names of the larger chain supermarkets that you can find through-out China.

1.  Jusco 

Here are a few addresses of Jusco’s in  Southern China.

JUSCO (ジャスコ, Jasuko?) is the acronym for Japan United Stores Company, a chain of “general merchandise stores” (or hypermarket) and the largest of its type in Japan. The various JUSCO companies are subsidiaries of ÆON Co., Ltd..

The JUSCO name was adopted in 1970 by a company originally founded as a kimono silk trader in 1758. Renamed ÆON in 1989, it operates stores throughout Japan under JUSCO and other names and also has a presence in Malaysia, Hong Kong, mainland China (永旺 Yǒng wàng), and Thailand.[1]

2. Taste

“High quality” is its selling point and it offers 17,000 different goods, including 5,000 imported fresh vegetables and meat products from over 40 countries like the US, Japan, France, Italy and Southeast Asia.

3. Metro

METRO, from Germany, is the world’s No. 1 Cash & Carry business. In 1996, METRO landed in China.

4. Wal-Mart

We all know what Wal-Mart is so no explanation there. Where can you find one…here is a list of all their locations in China. Here is a list of their Neighborhood Markets as well.

So now that you know where to go, what will you find?

Since we are from the cheese state of Wisconsin, we always take a peak at how expensive cheese is. This brick that would cost us $2.00 in Wisconsin will cost you $6.81 in China. But they have it!!!

We have a hate love relationship with butter…we love it, but our love handles hate it. This little tub of butter would cost us $5.09 in China.

Some better food…

They have all types of vegetables available. Here they cost much more than they would at the market. I believe they all come from the same place….but who knows.  This bundle of celery is going to run you $1.37.

For my fellow European cheese lovers here is some cheese that is imported from France. For 10 slices of this delicious cheese it will cost you $3.51.

Yes…this is frozen pizza!!! You can stop jumping up and down…they have it. Keep in mind that most homes don’t have ovens so you have to have a toaster oven to cook it.  This small 12″ pizza will cost you $7.00.

As much foreign food as they have, they also have traditional Chinese food…although it is packaged in a more western supermarket fashion.

Your normal chicken. This one has the added bonus of coming with the head still on it. A very important piece of the chicken and served to the guest first.

Don’t forget your frog. A tasty meat put into lots of different dishes. This one looks like it is onsale. Yippy!

Don’t forget your fresh fish. They have tons of different seafood to choose from. What ever your taste is you can most definitely satisfy it.

I love this picture of this couple shopping. It looks no different than what you or I look like while we decide what food to make for tomorrows meal.

Now that you have seen what you can find in your average Foreign Grocery Store lets talk about what has been hard for us to find.

What is hard to find?

Cheese: Depending on what you are use to using it can be hard or extremely expensive to find your favorite cheeses.

Milk products: We don’t buy any fresh milk here. We buy your boxed milk or soy milk. The kids like both of them. I on the other hand don’t care for either. We have to make sure we take our calcium vitamins because we get so little calcium in China.

Fresh orange juice: Good orange juice is hard to find and when you do find it, well you feel like you are buying steaks. I miss our Florida orange juice…that use to cost us $2.50 a carton. If we want some good orange juice we normally have to pay close to $8-10.00 per carton. Yikes!!

Limes: I love limes…to go with my beer. They are hard to find in this sub-tropic region and I don’t know why. I should just start growing my own.

 Shopping in China:

There you have it!!! The low-down on shopping for western food in China. We actually eat very little western food and have fully embraced the Chinese diet. We recommend going to your local market and getting your everyday food and going to these shops for the things you crave or need. If you buy everything here it will quadruple your shopping bill and it is completely unnecessary.

Don’t worry…be happy and grocery shop in China!!

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About the Author

Paz is an avid adventurer in life and food. Traveling across the globe with her family they enjoy cultural immersion and checking out the local eateries.

5 Responses to Cost of western food in China

  1. Angela White says:

    Yum…frog! I don’t feel I’m missing out on that one. Good thing I live in the “dairy” state or else I would be paying an arm and leg for my daily dose of cheese, milk, butter, etc. I can see why you cut down on dairy, plus it’s probably healthier. Today I’ve already had cream in my coffee, cream cheese of my bagel, and yogurt. I’ll eat some more cheese today and think of you:-)


    • Paz says:

      Ang! Hilarious how much dairy you had this morning. I only find this funny because I forgot how much I use to have. lol would cost us tons more to eat good dairy on a regular basis.
      Big hugs!!!

  2. zeek says:

    we didn’t just cut down on dairy. we don’t friggin eat any!

  3. Pingback: Christmas in China…does it suck? – International Cravings

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