This Comparison of U.S. and U.K. Grocery Stores Might Make You Want to Move

This Comparison of U.S. and U.K. Grocery Stores Might Make You Want to Move

Lisa Freedman
Jan 16, 2018
(Image credit: Adam Melnyk/Shutterstock)

The folks over at Business Insider compared supermarkets in London and New York city. According to the report, it is shockingly clear which country is better in the grocery store department.

The Stores

In London, the experts chose Tesco, "the largest supermarket chain in the U.K., which occupies 27.8 percent of market share but is also considered to be a typical neighborhood store." Tesco has five different store formats (city convenience stores to much larger supermarkets); the experts visited one of the Express stores, which are less than 3,000 square feet in size. In New York City, they picked Gristedes, which has 30 stores in the city.

Kitchn editorial note: Decent picks, but we do feel the need to point out that these are very city-specific stores and, while interesting, the findings might be slightly flawed. This report doesn't look at suburban grocery stores and only focuses on two stores, which isn't fully representative. That said, let's continue with the site's major takeaways.

The Differences Between the U.S. and U.K. Stores

(Image credit: Business Insider)

1. The London store had healthier picks by the entrance.

The Tesco has tons of fresh produce to lure customers in. The NYC store has a table of fresh pies and cakes by the entrance and a wall of two-liter Coke bottles. And a rotating rack of sunglasses.

(Image credit: Business Insider)

2. But the London store's produce had way more plastic packaging.

Gristedes' produce may be all the way in the back, but it is relatively unpackaged. The produce at Tesco, on the other hand, is covered in wasteful packaging. Turns out "U.K. supermarkets have been criticized by customers for coating products in excessive amounts of plastic, leading to a request for 'plastic-free aisles,'" Business Insider says.

(Image credit: Business Insider)

3. Many groceries in New York City are way more expensive than in London.

The price of raspberries in New York City? Almost $6 per case. In London, they're about $2.70. "Even American brands are cheaper in the U.K.," Business Insider adds. "This bag of Doritos cost a whopping $4.29 at Gristedes and $1.35 at Tesco." And 1.1 pounds of quality beef at Tesco costs just under $6, while 1.32 pounds of a similar option cost $12 at Gristedes.

(Image credit: Business Insider)

4. The London store had more private-label offerings.

One reason the NYC prices are higher is because U.S. grocery stores have a lack private-label goods compared to U.K. stores. "In the company's earnings call in October, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said that private labels now account for 50 percent of sales at the chain," Business Insider says.

(Image credit: Business Insider)

5. London's grab-and-go options look a lot more appealing.

Both stores have a selection of grab-and-go options for lunches and quick dinners. Gristedes has a more limited selection of sandwiches, which cost more than the better-looking Tesco options. In general, Tesco has more grab-and-go choices. They cost less than Gristedes' offerings and look more appetizing.

See the full report: We compared grocery shopping at stores in the US and the UK at Business Insider

What do you think? Have you been to both types of stores? Was this comparison a fair representation? Weigh in below!

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