Jakarta - Post Report Question and Answers

How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Most things are available, but just expensive. - Oct 2021

Cost of groceries was much cheaper than my home country (USA) unless you do not eat fresh food. Imported products (spaghetti sauce, etc) could be quite costly if you did not have access to an embassy commissary. I believe I once saw kraft parmesan cheese for equivalent of 17 USD. - Sep 2020

You can buy pretty much anything locally. We were really surprised by the quantity and quality of things. Jakarta has many large grocery chains: Grand Lucky, Hero, Kem Chicks, Ranch Market, Carrefour, etc. Local fruits and vegetables are cheap and plentiful. We've been very happy with meats overall too. Cheese is the one exception - it's much more expensive than in the US. If you have good connections, you can join with other families to purchase wholesale. We import from a New Zealand company at about 1/2 the price of local stores. - Feb 2018

Groceries are more expensive for imported items. - Jun 2015

It's a pain as you have to shop at two or three stores to get everything you need- fresh and cheaply- but the good thing is your helper and driver can do this for you. You can get everything you need locally or from the small Commissary or online. - Jan 2015

You can pretty much find what ever you want. Imported items are expensive, of course. Whether you think it is cheap or expensive really depends on where you are coming from and what you are buying! - Jan 2013

We can get almost anything here, assuming it is in season. Indonesia has cheap plentiful spices, and tons of tropical fruit that is readily available. Wine is expensive -- we get it at the commissary for a more reasonable price. - Jun 2012

Twice U.S. costs for same imported items. Local goods are much cheaper, if available. Breakfast cereal is all imported and costs $5/small box. - Jan 2012

If you are especially fond of a particular brand of something, you might want to pack a few of those. However, you can find just about anything in the stores, though for a long time, we had trouble finding vanilla for cooking. They products may not be of a familiar brand, but often they were. Local chains such as Hero carry a mixture of western-style and Asian foods. When we arrived in 2006, imported food stores such as Food Hall and Ranch Market carried an impressive array of US, British, and Australian and other non-Indonesian brands. Then, starting in late 2008/early 2009, the imported products began disappearing from the shelves. The public explanation was about insufficient Indonesian-language labeling on the products, though there was some speculation in the media that some sort of unrelated dispute was behind the disappearance. If I recall correctly, the situation began to improve during the summer of 2009. If I were packing for Jakarta today and had space in my shipment, I'd bring afew things that I did not find good versions locally of(such as foil, paper towels, and storage bags) or that I think I'd have trouble finding, or trouble finding at reasonable prices (some spices, items for Mexican food).That said, the Commissary carried some of these items, and we could order things over the internet. - Jul 2011

American products are available here but you will pay, a lot! Also, there is imported cheese and fruit. This is why you get COLA. There are some things that I bring in--a specialty coffee, panty hose, one type of salad dressing, cereal (the cereal because it is rare and expensive!)...but other things are here like Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. There are fabulous, fabulous upscale grocery stores here. You get all manner of fish, poultry and meat. What you do not get are a variety of frozen goods... - Jul 2011

Groceries and household supplies are mostly available, though imported items can be as much as 5-10 times the cost they would be in the U.S. (e.g., pet food, American convenience food) - Dec 2010

Plenty of good, large and well laid out supermarkets. Local food/products are cheap; imported can be extremely expensive. Pork is available. Alcohol is extremely expensive, both in liquor stores and hotels/restaurants. - Nov 2010

Indonesian-produced groceries are just as accessible as in the U.S--but cost probably 30% less. Imported goods may cost more than in the U.S. - Jul 2010

Expensive if shopping at the many grocery stores catering to the expat/upper income market (Sogo, Ranch, Hero/Kemang). Cheaper if you stick to Carrefour, Hero/local, etc. Good quality produce is sometimes hard to find. I understand there is an organic fruit and vegetable co-op you can join run through a charity, but I have never tried it. - Mar 2008

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