Oslo - Post Report Question and Answers
How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Availability is very good. Some items are a lot more expensive and the quality of produce can be hit and miss. Choice and variety is less than in the US but you can find what you need. - Dec 2022
If you have the budget you can get everything (Jacob’s). Otherwise, pretty damn expensive and fruit and vegetables are not very varied ... quality is best in immigrant neighbourhoods or at top end shops. Norwegians have good cheese. Meat is okay. - May 2021
There isn't a lot of variety and much of the produce is imported. Cost of food is higher, especially at restaurants. There are lots of international food markets that provide produce at a cheaper cost than grocery stores and generally have more variety. - Jan 2020
There is everything you need in Oslo. Norwegians' diet is similar to Americans'. They love pizza, hotdogs, tacos, BBQ, candy, and ice cream. There is not a wide selection of vegetables and fruits.
Groceries cost more than in the US, especially meat and alcohol. Fortunately, we had the option to buy alcohol in bulk from a duty free shop in Denmark (Peter Justesen). That was the only way to afford drinking. Despite the fact that Oslo has been rated the most expensive city in the world, we had low COLA for a long time (as low as 25%), which made everyone at post unhappy. - Dec 2016
Expensive. But buy fruit and vegetables anyway! Our best tip was to shop at a big store like an ICA or Ultra on a Saturday afternoon and buy lots of things that were marked down. Having freezer space for those things was a big help. - Dec 2015
You can get everything here, at a price. Local goods are often better than what we can get in the U.S. and since the imported items are more expensive, might as well buy local! The bread in every grocery store is freshly baked and better than most specialty bakeries in the U.S.! The small green grocers have more varieties of fruits and vegetables and there are lots of Asian markets for those specialty items as well. - Jun 2015
Supermarkets are everywhere - you can't walk 100 meters without running into one! However, they are typically small, and brand selection is poor. Think former Soviet Union in terms of variety. Costs depend on the item, but groceries are probably about 30-50% more costly than in the USA. Meat, milk, and eggs are about double the price. You can only buy beer in the supermarkets---and only until 8pm on weekdays, 6pm on Saturdays; no Sunday sales. A six-pack of lousy Norwegian beer is about 120 NOK. Wine and liquor have to be purchased at the Vinmonopoliet, open until 6pm on weekdays and 3pm on Saturday. Their wine selection is not bad, but prices are high. The lowest price for a bottle of wine is about 90 NOK. Because the tax on alcohol is on alcohol content (not price), Vinmonopoliet tends not to import many low-value wines, but at the $20-25 range, you can find a pretty decent selection. Liquor is prohibitive, witness the bum-rush at duty free after flights! - May 2013
lThere are lots of stores where you can get everything you need - but they are at least twice as expensive as those in the Washington DC area. - Aug 2011