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Finland for Thought » 2010 » June | Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland

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             Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & United States

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Which Finnish grocery store should I choose?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 11:59 am

Making your way through a Finnish grocery store can be a disheartening experience. The lack of variety, high prices, sterile atmosphere, and not-so-fresh products makes you want to move to Ethiopia. But sadly our bodies need food and liquid to survive, so here’s a few tips that’ll keep you from eating McDonald’s every night…

Where to shop..?

This is easy as there’s only two options for “normal people” to choose from: S-Market or KKK-Market. A virtual duopoly on groceries, yet, both stores are nearly identical. Let’s discuss their disadvantages…


Listen closely to their advertising jingle and I swear they’re singing, “Ass Market!!” – visit the store, you’ll hear it over the intercom every five seconds. Or maybe it’s just the way the Finns pronounce their S’s. I like to remove the hyphen and call the store “Smarket”. It makes me laugh every time.

PROs: The S-Market is a tad cheaper than the KKK, so it’s populated with all of Finland’s penny pinchers (over half the country). Short checkout lines. “Smarket” makes me laugh, as does “Ass Market”.
CONs: They’ve had the exact same selection forever – It was good enough for grandma, it’s good enough for you! They sing “Ass Market” every five seconds, that’s too much, my stomach hurts.


No it’s not a typo, it’s the Ku Klux Klan Supermarket. Well not really, first came the K-market, but then they expanded to the KK-market, which grew to the KKK-Supermarket, and finally the giant KKKK Citymarket, which all make up the K-group . Regardless of their naming conventions, no supermarket has ever been photographed as much by giggling American tourists.

PROs: The K-Supermarket is where all the “classy” people shop. They’re more expensive but have a greater variety, especially with finer foods. They even have a dedicated shelf of overpriced imported American junk foods (hence the “classiness”).
CONs: The checkout line are always miles, errr, kilometers long. Plus the whole racist name thing.


German budget supermarket chain, Lidl, invaded in the early 2000′s attempting to blitzkrieg up the Finnish grocery duopoly and was met with heavy resistance. When it comes to food products: If it’s not Finnish, it’s crap. Finland’s agrarian pride tells you that Spanish vegetables have no flavor, Dutch fruits are soaked in pesticides, and drinking Swedish milk makes Jesus cry. Do your patriotic duty and only buy products with the “Finnish key” on them, then you’ll be sure your product was never touched by black or brown people. You won’t find any Finnish keys at Lidl (or keys to nice houses), but you will find lots of Schweizenhofferkrankenfahrts.

PROs: Dirt cheap. No need to waste time shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables as they’re all rotten. Deutchmarks still accepted.
CONs: Must understand German to know what you’re buying. You’re supporting Hitler (again).


If you think the K-Supermarket is “classy”…then you don’t belong at Stockmann. With only a handful of elite locations in Finland, this exclusive grocery store is only for Finland’s top 5% (also known as the “Finlandssvenskar” or in English, “Finland’s better people”). At Stockmann you’ll discover rarities found nowhere else in Finland such as: prime cuts of meat, fish that doesn’t simply come from Finnish lakes, and lots of pushy old wealthy grandma’s. But if you’re not reading this blog post from a 50-foot yacht, don’t bother going.

PROs: The freshest food in Finland. Use your Svenska folkpartiet i Finland membership card and save 20% at the checkout.
CONs: Employees known to sell expired foods. Must pass a Swedish language test to enter.

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