Yerevan - Post Report Question and Answers
How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
There is one European-brand grocery store, Carrefour, that has more European products. There are also two Armenian chains, SAS and Yerevan City, that have more Russian products in their stores. The European products are more expensive, but we do receive the VAT off right when you check out, which is convenient. Armenia has some of the best produce I have ever had. The greens are amazing. The summer is abundant with fruits and the best tasting tomatoes ever. Apricots, plums, cherries, melons, peaches are all so good and so cheap. The winter is more bleak with less variety and imported fruits and veggies are more expensive then. Many homes have fruit trees in the yards. - May 2021
The local market has many of the same items under foreign brands. You can easily get household cleaners, shampoo, etc, but you are reliant on the local quality which isn't what we expect in the US.
Grocery costs are inexpensive. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are great tasting; be sure to try the apricots during the couple of weeks they are in season! - Mar 2017
These days almost everything is available - especially the more common items. Fruits and vegetables are abundant in season. - Oct 2014
There are more western-style grocery stores opening up around Yerevan. Produce is seasonal and sometimes there can be shortages. Last year, around New Year's, there were no eggs to be found for two weeks! You can always order your favorite food through netgrocer or amazon.com. - Sep 2011
Fruit and vegetables in-season are plentiful, delicious and inexpensive. Out of season they are rare and expensive. Best to play squirrel and freeze many for the winter. Anything imported will be expensive. - Oct 2009
Groceries are expensive and becoming more so. The Cost of Living Allowance has gone from 15 to 30 percent during my tenure and it is not keeping up. You can often grow or pick fruit in your backyard or balcony and canning is big. I recommend heading to GUM--the old Soviet 'mall' turned produce market to get the best fruits and vegetables. You'll still pay the foreigner surcharge, but the quality will be better. Bring small change and a willingness to buy things by the kilogram; Armenian vendors don't sell bananas or apricots, for example, by the single item. Though there are some decently sized Western supermarkets like Galaxy, SAS, and Star, you'll probably find yourself going to more than one place to find what you need. I'd strongly recommend shipping household supplies you know and trust--or buy from the Commissary or through ELSO.The local stuff is indecipherable and of questionable origin and safety to those that will be exposed to the products. For pest control, for example, the Embassy's Safety Officer recommended exactly nothing available on the local market for use against ants; the local solution was to spread kerosene on the floor. - Jul 2008
Gum market for produce, Rooster's for meats, and SAS or Star or others for the 'typical small grocery store'. There is little you can't find here but sometimes you have to look. If you have access to the Commissary, you can even get some organic products. - Jan 2008