Supermarkets in Israel

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Do you find supermarket shopping in Israel completely confusing? Deciding which product to buy amongst the plethora of choices available and trying to interpret food labels in English is hard enough. Now try doing that in a foreign country where none of the food products are familiar to you and you have to carry around a dictionary to understand what the food packet says!

A typical Israeli supermarket
A typical Israeli supermarket

The main supermarket chains in Israel include Shufersal (or as most people called it “Supersol”), Rami Levi, Co-op Shop, Mega, Yeish – and then a whole lot of other supermarkets specific to each city that usually include the word “zol” (cheap). There are also Makolets (mini supermarkets) on every other street, and open air markets that sell fresh produce.

Ten top tips for supermarket shopping in Israel

  • Avoid going to the supermarket on a Thursday night or Friday – the lines will be out of control
  • Always shop with a list of what you need to buy
  • Never shop hungry
  • Become a member of the supermarket you choose to frequent – there are some great discounts!
  • Buy in bulk if you have space
  • Shop at open air markets for fruit and vegetables
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people in the supermarket what something means on the packet if you have trouble understanding
  • Bring your own bags – the bags in Israel break open very easily. On that note, maybe bring a backpack. Or one of those little trolleys.
  • There is usually an option for delivery – if you don’t have a car this might be useful
  • Avoid doing big shops at makolets or small supermarkets. The prices are usually double

To help tourists and newcomers understand shopping at supermarkets in Israel, Interactive Supermarket Tours can help you know which products to choose? How to read food labels? How to compare products? How to prepare quick and easy meals with minimal ingredients? Which nutrients to look out for in each food? How to understand health claims? Fruit and veg that are season? The supermarket tour is lead by a clinical dietitian in Jerusalem. For more information and to book a tour email: israeldietitian@gmail.com

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