The Complete Guide To Singapore’s Grocery Shops

Sometimes the most basic things are the most significant when it comes to feeling comfortable or “home” while traveling or moving to another country.

There are enough other complicated things to take care of and organize, so that a “simple” task like grocery shopping should stay a simple task and not produce even more entries on your “to-do list”.

Thats why i created this post to give you good and detailed information about the general grocery shops in Singapore, what to expect and a little guidance on how to “use them”. Sometimes a little help, even for the most basic tings can be of much use when one needs things done quickly and without hustle.

The Four Five BIG Ones

Cold Storage

  • Price Level: Medium / High
  • Product Quality: Middle class / High class – Everything usually looks very clean and well maintained, quality of fruits, vegetables and meat is very good. Local Products as well as European and other Asian countries specialities, fresh Sushi
  • Payment Methods: Cash / NETS / Credit Card
  • Webpage / Store Locations:


  • Price Level: Medium / High
  • Product Quality: Middle class / High class – Comparable with Coldstorage stores, but better bakery product sections with fresh croisants etc, there for the Sushi is better at Coldstorage
  • Payment Methods: Cash / NETS / Credit Card
  • Webpage / Store Locations:

NTUC / Fairprice

  • Price Level: Medium / Low
  • Product Quality: Middle class – Wide range of local, asian as well as some European products. Fruits and vegetables are fresh but of less quality then Coldstorage or Carrefoure. NTUC is typically frequented by locals and offers many good opportunities for cheap freah seafood for example
  • Payment Methods: Cash / NETS
  • Webpage / Store Locations:

Sheng Siong

  • Price Level: Low
  • Product Quality: Middle to Low class – Its the typical local supermarket with very cheap prices but still competitive product range. I actually only go to other grocery stores if i really need fresh fruits or good quality meat, besides those you will find almost everyting here as well (besides Sushi)
  • Payment Methods: Cash / NETS
  • Webpage / Store Locations:


  • Price Level: High
  • Product Range: 7-Eleven is more like a very small petrol station shop, they are almost everywhere, but sell of course for a much higher price, However you get fresh sandwiches, milk and a wide range of drinks and sweets at their shops. But for me only the last resort, when for example coming home late and everything else is closed
  • Payment Methods: Cash / NETS
  • Webpage / Store Locations:

Grocery Shop in SingaporePhoto by Miss Karen

The Grocery Principle

…is everywhere the same I guess. You will find differences in the products offered and sometimes the service quality or the payment methods, but in general, a grocery store is a pretty simple construct, you walk in, get a basket, put your goods inside, proceed to the payment counter, pay, finished. Same in Singapore.

The Average Singapore Grocery Shop

Singapores grocery shops are very spacious, well sorted and usually provide you with everything you need to survive the day.

Of all grocery shop styles they remind me of the US ones most.

From the fruits sections (usually offers like 3 Papaya for 1.99$ are in place, when 1 costs 0.79 Cent, so watch out, you can safe some money here), to the fresh Sushi (usally half price or huge discount from 7PM onwards), the (expensive) Cheese and Meat/Ham counters as you know them from home to the Home accessoirs and toys sections theres nothing to be missed in Singapore.

If you are willing to adjust your cooking / baking habits a bit towards the South East Asian style, you will be able to create fantastic meals (seafood, curry etc) and safe a lot of money.

Grocery Shop in SingaporePhoto by Gniliep

Whats Cheap

  • Fresh Seafood (crabs, fish, prawns etc)
  • Sushi (usually available as sets or single packs)
  • Local Fruits (Papaya, Watermelon, Durian, Passion Fruit, Dragon Fruit, Rambuthan, Star Fruit, Bananas)
  • Asian Products
  • Local bakery products (for example very good buns with pinapple or coconut cream filling, 6 pieces for 1 $)
  • Tea (especially local flavours like “Ginger”)

Whats Expensive

  • Salad / Vegetables (Avocado, Tomatoe, etc.)
  • Nonlocal Fruits (Mango, Strawberrys, Wildberrys, Kiwi, Cherrys
  • European Products
  • Sweets like Haribo, Snickers, Merci etc
  • Dairy Producst (Butter, Cheese -Fresh and Packed, Milk)
  • Fresh Meat / Ham
  • Flowers
  • Alcohol / Beer / Licor
  • Cigarettes

Ahhh…The Payment

Its always good to have enough cash in case the credit card system breaks down, but usually the shops accept NETS cards and Credit Card besides the normal cash payment.

There might be rules for a minimum payment amount in place if you pay with plastic, so better check this out first, just ask the cashier, before waiting 10 minutes in line just to explore you cant pay your 10 Cent chopsticks with your shiny Visa Platinum Card.

IMPORTANT: The Good Deed Today

Besides the governments efforts to reduce waste production and plastic in Singapore you will pretty soon agree that the cashiers at all of the above supermarkets are definately constantly battling in some “Who Can Issue The MOST Plastic Bags Per Customer” competition nation wide.

I have experienced cases when they literally used 1 bag for 1 Item just to put them altogether in another plastic bag.

So as the good deed, bring your yourn bag! The Environment will thank you!



Aaron Wakling

I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.


Carrefour – IMO their product quality is probably low-medium. I find that their packages are often scuffed and knocked around, or otherwise damaged. Interestingly, I visited their store in France and it’s the same thing.


Wow, I thought I was the only one who got extra plastic bags, now I don’t feel quite so special

Soon to be sin expat

This blog has been — the most — helpful blog. Love the sense of humour.

Mritunjay ojha

I am an indian .i want start my export business in singapore to india.i search good buyer for grocery product and tissue paper buyer.If u help me then i highly obliged for this.
thank u


Thanks for the comments, i will try to keep you posted with lotsa new and great articles in 2009!!
Have fun and enjoy Singapore!

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