Hong Kong Grocery Shopping

I was curious about what is would be like to go grocery shopping here in Hong Kong and how it differs from North America. What would I be able to find?  What would I miss? What unexpected things would they sell? How would prices compare? Like most things, it is fairly different and at the same time also quite similar. Given the urban density, there are many many grocery stores that serve their own little areas, and the demand always seems to be high.

When you walk in off the street there is a very small area, and then you go downstairs to shop.  You come back up with your groceries to pay.
When you walk in off the street there is a very small area, and then you go downstairs to shop. You come back up with your groceries to pay.  Do you see the guy on the right with the suitcase?  He likely brought it to fill and easily transport his purchases home.

A Life Shift Wellcome 3

A Life Shift Wellcome 4

A Life Shift Wellcome 5

I decided to create a little experiment to compare pricing of familiar products at Wellcome to Safeway back in Vancouver. Jennifer took photos of similar items and pricing for me; here is the comparison. One of the most-used apps on my phone (and how I did all the conversions for this post) is the Currency App on my iPhone. It is a must-have for travel, as you can type in any value in any currency, and then the phone will convert that value in to any currency you have selected. It’s so helpful! All photos below show the products in Hong Kong on the left and from Canada on the right. I have included the pricing in Hong Kong dollars, that pricing translated to Hong Kong dollars, and then the pricing of similar or exact items in Canadian dollars for a comparison. One of the main differences in Hong Kong is there is no sales tax, so the Canadian pricing may be higher than I have factored in some cases.

Ground Beef: 300g — Hong Kong: 25.9HKD ($4.03CAD) — Canada: $4.35CAD + tax — Basically the same price.
Smokies — Hong Kong: 51.9HKD ($8.08CAD) — Canada $10.99CAD + tax — I’m not sure whether you’re getting more smokies in Canada?  Difficult to compare.  I do know that we’ll be grilling some smokies on our balcony when the BBQ arrives!
Eggs (one dozen) — Hong Kong: 22.95HKD ($3.56CAD) — Canada: $2.99CAD — Approximately 15% more in Hong Kong.
Babybel Cheese — Hong Kong: 35.9HKD ($5.59CAD) — Canada $5.79CAD + tax — Basically the same price, which surprised me.
Philadelphia Cream Cheese — Hong Kong: 37.9HKD ($5.90CAD) — Canada: $4.49CAD +tax — approximately 15% more in Hong Kong; I thought it would have been even more.
Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Ice Cream (473mL in HK, 500mL in CAN) — Hong Kong: 57.5HKD ($8.96CAD) — Canada: $6.99 + tax — Pricey either place and approximately 15% more in Hong Kong.
Eggo Frozen Waffles (qty: 8) — Hong Kong: 43.9HKD ($6.85CAD) — Canada: $3.19CAD + tax — Basically 50% more in Hong Kong.  This makes sense given it’s a totally foreign product in Hong Kong.
Lean Cuisine Frozen Dinner (Four Cheese Cannelloni) — Hong Kong: 35.9HKD ($5.59CAD) — Canada: $3.00 + tax — Approximately 40% more in Hong Kong.
Michelina’s Frozen Dinner (Fettuccine Alfredo) — Hong Kong: 26.9HKD ($4.19CAD) — Canada: $2.39CAD + tax — Approximately 40% more in Hong Kong.
Avocados — Hong Kong: 10.9HKD ($1.70CAD) — Canada: $2.29 — 25% less in Hong Kong.  This surprises me because, if I remember correctly, the Hong Kong avocados were from California.
Bananas (per pound) — Hong Kong: 5.3HKD ($0.83CAD) — Canada: $0.77CAD — Around 8% more in Hong Kong.
Baby Carrots (1lb bag) — Hong Kong: 20.9HKD ($3.25CAD) — Canada: $2.79CAD — I would have expected these to cost more in Hong Kong, especially because I know this Bunny Love brand is available in Canada.
Onions (1lb bag) — Hong Kong: 9.9HKD ($1.54CAD) — Canada: $2.19CAD — Approximately 30% less in Hong Kong.
Strawberries (1lb) — Hong Kong: 36.9HKD ($5.75CAD) — Canada $2.99CAD + tax — Approximately 50% more in Hong Kong; did you notice that they are the same Driscoll’s brand from California?
Canned Corn
Green Giant Canned Corn — Hong Kong: 15.9HKD ($2.48CAD) — Canada: $1.79CAD — Approximately 25% more in Hong Kong.
Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup — Hong Kong 11.9HKD ($1.85CAD) — Canada $2.39CAD — Approximately 25% less in Hong Kong.
Smucker’s Strawberry Jam — Hong Kong 24.9HKD ($3.89CAD) — Canada: $3.89CAD + tax — Same price, surprising to me.
Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1L) — Hong Kong 99.9HKD ($15.56CAD) — Canada $15.68CAD — Same price; again, surprising.
Heinz Ketchup (590mL in HK vs 750mL in CAN) — Hong Kong 20.9HKD ($3.26CAD) — Canada: $3.50CAD — It’s a better deal in Canada because you get more volume, but I still expected to be more here in Hong Kong.
Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard — Hong Kong 30.9HKD ($4.81CAD) — Canada: $6.19CAD + tax — Approximately 25% less in Hong Kong…who would’ve expected that!
Kikoman Teriyaki Sauce — Hong Kong: 31.9HKD ($4.97CAD) — Canada: $3.79CAD + tax — Approximately 15% more in Hong Kong…I wonder where it is made / imported from?
Macaroni (500g in HK vs 900g in CAN) — Hong Kong 14.9HKD or 2.98HKD per 100g ($2.32CAD or $0.46CAD per 100g) — Canada: $1.99CAD or $0.22CAD per 100g) — Basically twice as much in Hong Kong.   Mmmmmm, pasta!
Rice (10lb bag) — Hong Kong: 59.9HKD ($9.33CAD) — Canada: $17.99CAD — Approximately 50% less in Hong  Kong (no surprise there!)
Pringles — Hong Kong 14.9HKD ($2.32CAD) — Canada: $2.00CAD — Roughly 15% more in Hong Kong.
Kit Kat
Kit Kat — Hong Kong 8.9HKD ($1.39CAD) — Canada $1.29CAD + tax — Essentially the same price.  They also have a green tea kit kat here that I need to try some time!
Tic Tacs
Tic Tacs — Hong Kong: 8.9HKD ($1.39CAD) — Canada: $2.29CAD + tax — Almost 50% less in Hong Kong (huh!)
Lipton Tea Bags (qty: 20) — Hong Kong: 24.9HKD ($3.88CAD) — Canada $3.99CAD + tax — Approximately 10% less in Hong Kong; surprising – I wonder where it’s from?
Almond Milk
Almond Milk (950mL in HK vs 1.89L in CAN) — 31.9HKD ($4.97CAD) — Canada $5.28CAD + tax — Basically twice as much in Hong Kong.
Tropicana Orange Juice
Tropicana Orange Juice — Hong Kong: 39.9HKD ($5.15CAD) — Canada: $3.49CAD — Approximately 35% more in Hong Kong.
Coca Cola
Coca Cola (12 pack) — Hong Kong 38.9HKD ($6.06CAD) — Canada $6.78CAD + tax + deposit + recycling fee — Roughly 25% less in Hong Kong.
Perrier Water — Hong Kong 18.9HKD ($2.95CAD) — Canada $2.29CAD — Approximately 30% more in Hong Kong; darn, I miss drinking spicy water from our SodaStream.
Red Bull
Red Bull (box of 4) — Hong Kong 58.9HKD ($9.18CAD) — Canada $9.26 + tax + deposit + recycling fee — Basically the same price if you don’t factor in the additional fees in Canada.
Heineken (12 cans) — Hong Kong: 89.9HKD ($14.00CAD) — Canada: $22.19 + tax + deposit + recycling fee — Almost 45% less in Hong Kong.
Budweiser (12 cans) — 90.9HKD ($14.16CAD) — Canada: $16.09CAD + tax + deposit + recycling fee — Roughly 20% less in Hong Kong.  Also, we can get a free bottle of beer with our purchase here in Hong Kong!
Wolf Blass
Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon — Hong Kong: 79HKD ($12.30CAD) — Canada: $13.39CAD + tax + deposit — Around 20% less in Hong Kong.  This was a surprise to me – I thought it was going to be way more expensive.
Yellow Tail
Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio — Hong Kong: 89HKD ($13.86CAD) — Canada: $11.29CAD + tax + deposit — Approximately 10% more in Hong Kong; surprising since Australia is so much closer to Hong Kong than Canada.
Oyster Bay
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc — Hong Kong: 104HKD ($16.20CAD) — Canada: $17.39CAD + tax + deposit — Approximately 15% less in Hong Kong.  I need to start drinking wine here!

We clearly have no choice but to purchase groceries here, and I’m surprised by the pricing – it’s more reasonable than I expected. Braden just got back from Wellcome with some beer to keep in the fridge for during our “move”. We learned that our boxes will be arriving at the end of this week, so obviously we need to be prepared for that! With beer.

5 thoughts on “Hong Kong Grocery Shopping

  1. I am really enjoying reading your blogs Alison. Each one is like a little mini trip to HK.
    I find it really interesting how many of the same products you will me able to purchase. You will be able to make some our your regular meals quite easily. Good luck with your unpacking once your stuff arrives. I loved seeing your floor plan and well enjoy seeing the “after”. XOXO


    1. I’m very relieved that there are some familiar products here! You should also see all the things that I absolutely don’t recognize at all! I will have to write about what I end up cooking! Right now I’m really craving nachos – I packed salsa (haha!) and I think we can make some on the BBQ!


  2. Greetings! I like reading the post but just wanna point out one thing. I have not paid much attention on your %calculation, until I saw the calculation you did in macaroni. The price is 109% higher in Hong Kong than Vancouver instead of 50%. You can say it is 50% lower in Vancouver though.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Fernando. I have updated the post. This one was a trickier calculation, as I tried to compare weight and not just overall price, as the packages held different amounts. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


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