Differences Between American vs British Grocery Stores

When it comes to differences between American vs British things, you’ll find tons of everyday life occurrences listed. You wouldn’t think that a country that originated from the other would be separated by so many things. While generally, grocery stores have a lot in common when you compare the US and UK, for example, the layout is often the same.


American vs British Grocery Stores:

As an American living in London, I learned quickly that somethings just had different names in my new home. For example, I now use a Spiral Slicer to make courgette spaghetti a few times a week. Any guesses what that is, Americans? The word for zucchini in England is ‘courgette.’

There are also some products that you next to impossible to obtain cheaply or at all in London. For example, American expats will really drool over this picture…


You simply can not find this many options of peanut butter in a UK grocery store.

Through time it is getting better. I’ve noticed that the Hispanic section of an international aisle of the UK grocery stores is becoming larger. This is what you’ll typically find in a Publix in Florida. It’s far bigger than anything I’ve seen yet in London.



Something that really surprises Americans living in London when they do their first big shopping trip to a supermarket is what happens at the checkout section. Yes, you have self-checkout options on both sides of the pond. But in England, you won’t see this…


That’s right. There are no people bagging your groceries. I get that Publix baggers are an exception and not the norm in every grocery store in America. However, in England, you are all on your own. It really causes anxiety when you’re trying to pay for your items with a currency that looks like Monopoly money to you initially and bagging your stuff all at the same time. Ok- it’s not third world problems and I appreciate that life could be worse. But, it is a big difference when you’re comparing the two different places.

And, I’ve never, ever seen a British person drink cold tea. I’m not saying that it hasn’t happened. BUT- this shot from Publix in Florida would probably horrify most UK citizens…


For more American vs British grocery store differences, take a tour with me through both supermarkets in this YouTube video.

The Sunny News YouTube channel, shares even more differences between the UK and USA, plus advice for things to do and what you’ll need to know about visiting London.

If you have lived in both America and England, or another country, please leave your ideas about differences in grocery stores or other things in the comments below. The Sunny YouTube community is pretty lively, so feel free to start a discussion there too. 😉

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  1. I LOVE online grocery shopping and am so glad they have finally brought it to the US side of the pond. I’ve seen my boyfriend order his groceries from Tesco for years in the UK and have been super jealous.

    I live in the Houston area and it’s been about 6 months since Kroger’s introduced it. Unfortunately they don’t deliver but even curbside pick up is better than nothing. Like your shops they do save my favourites and it’s so quick and easy now to put an order in. It then typically takes about 5 minutes to pick them up at the store. With Kroger it’s a $4.95 fee per order for the service but to me it’s worth it for the time it saves, and the decrease in impulse buys. Plus I really just dislike grocery shopping.

    Walmart and HEB also do the online shopping and I think HEB delivers to your home, depending on where you live.

    This has definitely been a game changer for me and it’s really starting to catch on here now. Every time I stop to pick up my groceries they seem a little busier than the last.

  2. The USA also has 6+ times more people than England so you would expect there to be more items of one thing on a shelf. We don’t have baggers here (Australia) any more either. That went out decades ago. I love self-service checkouts 🙂

    1. That is so not true, I lived in Sydney from 2010 to 2015, and made frequent visits to woolworth, target, big w etc and all of them had baggers.

  3. “You wouldn’t think that a country that originated from the other would be separated by so many things”

    Seriously? I’m just dumbfounded by your ignorance! Are you really trying to imply here that United States originated from UK? If you do, then please do us all a favor, and take a few classes on American history.

  4. Don’t worry it all is made in China. Even if it’s put together in the country it still comes from slave labor. The Tariffs is something that should’ve been done way back to Nixon. Every President promised but failed to do it now it’s too late since the capital is gone.

    All the investors left as we truly were in a 30s depression under the entire Obama era the numbers were fudged to make it look better. Now the economy is booming and construction is everwhere even here in hokey Oregon.

    Under Obama not a SINGLE crane was moving. Maybe Liberal Portland had something going on but many times even up there I saw nothing and now cranes are moving non stop. I am seeing houses even being built in the winter time. Even the 90s economy when I was little didn’t have houses being built in the winter.

    And lots of construction between here and Portland every time I go there. More construction then when I was little. Never thought I’d see that again.

    Anyone who says the economy isn’t any better needs to tell that to all the delivery trucks now on the road that weren’t there so dense. Truck job statistics all show there isn’t ENOUGH trucks being made for the demand because the demand was so low for so long they stopped making very much trucks and parts.

    Now there is a huge influx and here in Oregon there is discussion of making a truck/rail transport hub either in Albany or Brooks which Brooks would be better situation for Portland and has the electric waste plant.

    1. Same here in Chicago. My family pours concrete and business is booming! Like we haven’t seen since before 08. We are swamped with work.

  5. One interesting thing since the whole Tarriff thing is in grocery stores from Mexico there is glass being used in products again. Actual glass.

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