If you just moved to Sweden, or just visiting, understanding what the best supermarkets are can be tricky to figure out.
There are a few main supermarket chains in Sweden, as well as some smaller alternatives, both offline and online. We'll cover them all in this guide in order for you to get the most bang for your buck and find your favourite grocery store to shop at.
Grocery Stores & Supermarkets in Sweden
There are two main supermarket chains in Sweden: ICA and COOP with over 1000 stores each nation-wide. There are four other smaller supermarket chains that also exist nation-wide, but not at the same scale.
On top of that, there are a few alternatives for shopping groceries online in Sweden, where we'll cover the two most popular services.
This list is not necessarily a representation of what chain is best, but are listed depending on their total market share in Sweden.
ICA is one of the most popular supermarket chains in Sweden with over 1200 stores across the country. ICA offers a wide variety of both food and non-food items, making it a one-stop shop for many Swedes. Since it's so popular, specific stores will vary greatly in size depending on where you shop, but the products should be the same.
They offer some of the lowest prices in Sweden and are a great place to stock up with big hauls (especially their fresh greens). On top of that, they have a great loyalty program for customers.
All in all, ICA is a great place to shop for your groceries, however, it might get pricey if you shop at your local small ICA compared to their bigger stores. Here is a general guideline of the pricing and the different ICA stores:
- ICA Maxi Stormarknad (Best prices)
- ICA Kvantum (Great prices)
- ICA Supermarket (Okey prices)
- ICA Nära (Expensive prices)
Shop online at: Ica.se
Coop is another large supermarket chain in Sweden, with about 1000 stores nationwide. They offer good prices on groceries and have a fairly good selection of products. Coops stores vary greatly in size, and smaller ones can get very pricey depending on the location.
Like ICA, Coop has a loyalty program that offers discounts to shoppers, especially if you decide on using a credit card provided by them. As a customer, you're able to accumulate bonus points when shopping, which you at a later date can redeem for discounts and coupons.
Shop online at: Coop.se
Hemköp is a supermarket chain owned by the Axfood group, and has about 200 stores nationwide. Hemköp grocery stores focus on quality over quantity and offer a wide variety of both food and non-food items.
While their prices might be higher than ICA and Coop, they offer great discounts on certain days of the week. They also have a great loyalty program that offers discounts to shoppers.
4. City Gross
City Gross is a supermarket chain owned by the Bergendahls Group, and has been a family-owned grocery store since 1933. They have about 60 stores nationwide and their prices are on par with Coops and ICA's.
City Gross supermarket stores are usually very large, making them great for big shopping hauls. They also always have a great selection of meat, dairy and bakery products.
Shop online at: Citygross.se
Willys is a another supermarket chain owned by the Axfood group, and has just above 200 stores nationwide. Willys grocery stores focus on low prices and offer a wide variety of both food and non-food items.
While their selection might not be as great as Hemköp, their prices are usually lower. They also offer loyalty cards that give shoppers discounts.
Shop online at: Willys.se
Lidl is a German supermarket chain that just recently arrived in Sweden (in 2016). They have about 30 stores nationwide and are continuing to grow.
Lidl supermarket stores are usually quite large, with a variety of products, both international and locally made. If you wanna save money on your grocery hauls, be sure to check Lidl out as it is one of the cheapest grocery stores in Sweden that you can find.
Mat.se is online supermarket that offers a wide variety of food and non-food items, with more of a complete selection of goods. They offer next-day free delivery on orders over 750 SEK, making it a great option for those who want to save on delivery fees. Otherwise it'll cost you 99 kr.
They also offer same-day delivery on weekdays for 99 kr, with a minimum order of 500 SEK.
Shop online at: Mat.se
Matsmart is another online supermarket that specializes in selling food that is close to its expiration date at a heavily discounted price, making it ideal for anyone looking ot make some great deals on food and food-related items. However, since they specialize in selling cheap products at discounted prices, they might not have everyhting you're looking for.
Matsmart offers a 2-4 day delivery anywhere in Sweden - yes, ANYWHERE. The shipping costs largely depens on how much you buy and at what price - see image below.
Shop online at: Matsmart.se
Things You'll Need To Know While Buying Groceries in Sweden
Grocery shopping in any foreign country can be difficult, and Sweden is no exception. Understanding what your limitations might be, and what to look for when getting to the store can benefit you greatly.
Here are a few important things to be aware of before buying groceries in Sweden:
- Everything will most likely be in Swedish - Don't expect anything to be translated in-store. Don't hesitate to ask an employee for help or use your phone for translating.
- There is usually a self-checkout option.
- You'll need to weigh your own produce if you are utilizing a self-checkout.
- Plastic bags are EXPENSIVE. - Bring your own if you don't want to spend 5-6 SEK per plastic bag at the checkout.
- You might need a deposit to utilize shopping carts.
- It might be hard to find some specific products like nuts, meat and spices. Try searching online.
- You can exchange most old cans for money.
Other Tips For Grocery Shopping In Sweden
Supermarkets in Sweden is different from what you may be used to. Here are a few things to keep in mind while grocery shopping:
- Sweden has a wide variety of supermarket chains, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
- When shopping for food, remember that Swedish supermarket shelves are often stocked with international and Swedish brands.
- Most supermarket chains offer loyalty cards that give shoppers discounts. Be sure to ask about these when you're checking out.
- Online grocery shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Sweden. If you're short on time or want the convenience of shopping from home, consider placing an order with one of the many online supermarket options.
- Utilize self-checkout in order to avoid ques. This is very popular in Sweden, but you must be able to pay with a Debit or Credit card.
As you'll notice, Sweden is largely cash-free. However, you're still able to do your grocery shopping using cash.
Maybe you're new to Sweden and haven't setup a Swedish Bank account or a Swedish personal identity number yet and need to use cash - it shouldn't be an issue in any grocery store.
In the meantime, you can apply for a credit card in Sweden in order to get some great benefits while shopping.
Frequently Asked Questions about Supermarkets and Grocery Stores in Sweden
That's it for our guide to the top grocery stores and supermarkets in Sweden, and we know there are many to choose from.
We hope you found this guide helpful and that you'll be able to find the supermarket that best suits your needs.
Happy shopping! 🙂