Guide to Food Shopping
As an expat from the UK, now I live in Hong Kong, I miss something that I never thought I would miss – supermarkets! It has taken a lot of adjustment to accept that buying the family groceries will not be as easy as it used to be and I have had to adjust my shopping habits accordingly. The days of being able to fill a trolley with everything on the list, as well as toys for the kids and items for the home or sitting at home and doing the shop online are over!
In Hong Kong there are two main retailers, Park n Shop and Wellcome and each have several different brand offerings to choose from. In addition there is City Super, located in the large shopping malls in Times Square Causeway Bay, Harbour City in TST and IFC in Central. To make things easy for you, here is a breakdown of the types of stores available.
PARK N SHOP – common throughout Hong Kong and the larger ones are fine for the weekly shop. The Park n Shop group run the following stores:
International – good for day to day shopping, but range can be limited in the smaller stores so you may not be able to buy everything on your list in one go
Taste – generally includes a good range of ready prepared meals and non-food groceries. Good for the weekly shop.
Fusion – focus on the expat market with a good range of western food and drinks. Good for the weekly shop.
Gourmet – fresh produce and ready prepared meals – not for the weekly shop
Great – high end dining hall. Expect to spend more money than you ever intended on their huge range of tempting treats. Perfect for a special lunch but may break the bank if used every week!
WELLCOME– Online and instore
Wellcome stores have a budget feel to them. Although fine for day to day shopping, but not if you have something slightly unusual on your list. Small outlets are common throughout HK. The Wellcome Group run the following stores:
Market Place by Jasons – often located in areas with a high concentration of expats, these supermarkets offer a good range of both Asian and Western foods and groceries. Good for the weekly shop.
Olivers The Deli – located in the Prince’s Building in Central, this store has a fantastic range of European, Australian and US foods and wines. A bit pricey though.
Three Sixty – Organic and natural food store with a good range of fresh produce and niche organic products
CITY SUPER– In Store only
Located in areas of high concentration of offices, City Super stores offer a good range of fresh and convenience food. The quality is very high but so are the prices. Some of the larger stores have lifestyle ranges e.g. beauty, baking, stationery. Good for the quick meal on the way home from work or some weekend treats.
Street markets and wet markets
Hong Kong offers some fabulous fresh fruit and vegetable markets as well as wet markets, which sell fresh fish and meat. These markets are all over Hong Kong often tucked away up a few side streets and the quality and freshness of produce on offer is fantastic. The wet markets take a bit of getting used to with their selection of live fish, seafood and chickens as well as freshly butchered meat. If you like to buy fresh and local it is definitely worth supplementing your weekly shop with daily visits to the markets.
If you are used to doing your grocery shopping online, then Wellcome and Park n Shop offer an online service. This is great for stuff for the cupboard but it’s unlikely that you will be able to buy everything. It is useful to do some bulk orders online for household essentials but you can’t avoid going to the shops!
To overcome the quality concerns over some of the meat available in supermarkets, there are a number of online retailers of meat and bakery products. There are an increasing number of suppliers who can offer high quality imported products, at a price of course, and they are a good way to supplement the weekly shop at your local supermarket.
For a list of online food retailers. We suggest the following:
MySnappyCart – order your groceries from the comfort of your own home. The team of shoppers will do your shopping for you at no extra charge, and deliveries are free with all orders over HK$100.
Farmer’s Kitchen – an online meat retailer selling 100% grass fed beef and lamb, chilled not previously frozen delivered across Hong Kong
MM Fresh – suppliers to both restaurants and homes, MM Fresh offer a varied selection of excellent fresh/frozen fish and meat.
Eat FRESH – organic, locally produced vegetables delivered straight to your door
Southstream Seafoods – NZ/US/Aus fresh and frozen meat, fish, and bakery items including gluten free options
PROFOOD – artisanal foods including seafood, cured meats, cheese, oils, vinegars and more
Pacific Gourmet – NZ/Aus fresh and frozen meat, vegetables, delicious sauces and dips, bread
Meatmarket.hk – Australian meat and fish, pasta and sauces
Tenderloin – NZ and Argentine beef, organic poultry, seafood and cheese
Good Chow – US beef at wholesale prices, delivered to your door
ecoFarm – organic vegetables, delivered weekly
Little Giant – health food including extensive gluten free, healthy children’s snacks, and eco cleaning products