Unless you grow, hunt, or otherwise gather your own food (props if you do), you likely shop at a grocery store of some sort on a regular basis. Sure, the freshest produce can still only be found at the source or directly from the farmers who grew and/or raised it — and many of us enjoy buying our food this way — but the option isn’t convenient or even available to all. Supermarkets, however, are ubiquitous in America, and even those who don’t typically patronize those establishments are nevertheless familiar with the interiors, or at least the associated names and logos.
But how about the rest of the world? Although the idea of buying a wide variety of food types in a single store seems very American, supermarkets exist all over the globe, and are becoming more and more popular as citizens of the world get busier and busier. And although you might think the stores in Sydney or Dubai or Johannesburg are vastly different than they are here, once you step foot inside, things will be a lot more familiar than unfamiliar. Sure, the products will generally reflect the home country’s cuisines and tastes, but the set-up will look very similar, especially as foreign chains stretch further around the world in number and influence.
With the exceptions of the international chains, a lot of names will probably seem foreign (in both definitions of the word), so what exactly is out there? How do they compare to each other? And even in regard to some of the larger, more familiar overseas companies, where did they actually come from? We examine 10 countries and the current most popular chain grocery stores they each spawned, and compare the similarities, differences, and details of each.