Abidjan - Post Report Question and Answers

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

There are several western-style grocery stores, as well as Indian and Asian food markets. The prices vary wildly, as does the availability. Just because you saw a product last week does not mean it will be there next week, this is especially true with produce. I found that if I saw something, for instance, asparagus, that I thought I might enjoy, if I didn't buy it right then I likely wouldn't see it again for months or even weeks. The grocery stores import their produce from Europe so those are the seasons you want to keep up with. Because they are imported, they can be quite a bit more expensive. Buy local as much as possible to save money, just make sure you (or your house help) are cleaning properly. - Mar 2021

Again, pre-Covid: large, well stocked clean international style grocery stores (Carrefour/French and Hyatt/Lebanese). Most fruits and veg are very expensive as they are brought from outside. Local veg is ok, and cheaper and you can buy some items year round from local stands (pineapples, avocado, cassava, potatoes, maybe tomatoes sometimes). Large open veg markets do exist, but produce from them does not last long. NO produce last too long here, everything spoils much quicker due to heat/humidity. Still, you can get nearly anything you need and there is no consumables for that reason. There are a few diplomatic stores, with slightly cheaper wine, but they do not have much useful. In nine months we have gone only three times. Wine is mostly French, but decent selection of South African, Italian and others. - May 2020

Quite expensive compared to the USA or Europe. If one is on the US Department of State cost of living adjustment (COLA), one will find that it is not sufficient. Most major French and European brands are available at the numerous supermarkets in Abidjan, but expect to pay anywhere between three to ten times what one would pay in one's home country. I am not a big cook, so I found that most items were available (for a price) at the major supermarkets (many of which were quite nice). Some people complained that certain specialty items were hard to find. - Feb 2020

The availability of supplies is wide. There are most major French chains there: Casino, Carrefour, Super U etc. Prices for most items are slightly higher to much higher than we are used to in the US. - Mar 2017

The grocery stores here are nice and clean, but they all carry the same stuff, usually geared toward French tastes, and are slightly more pricey than in the States. It's a shame they took away the consumables allowance, as that's a great way to get your American food and product fix. They have plenty of imported produce and products at premium prices. Local fruits and veggies are much cheaper, but you will notice the difference. - Aug 2015

Just pay it and don't try to convert it to US prices. You'll be happier. Cote d'Ivoire may be an agricultural power house, but everything is exported in raw form. Then imported back in. So, the country that grows cocoa beans does not make chocolate bars. A pint of Ben & Jerry's is $10. A small can of tuna is $3-$4. - Jun 2009

You can find almost everything in Abidjan, though you may have to pay big $$ for it. There are several supermarkets which stock all kinds of local and imported food. If you stick to local items, you can keep your costs low. Imported items can be very, very pricey. A small box of cherries imported from Lebanon, for example, cost me US$15. You can definitely feel the French influence here - the cheese and wine selections are very good. - Jan 2009

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