grocery shopping

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
User avatar
LauraMH
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:55 am
Location: Arequipa, Peru

grocery shopping

Postby LauraMH » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:59 pm

Okay. so the country bumpkin goes to the big city...

I would like to know what are the differences between Tottus, Metro and Plaza Vea. If someone would be willing to give a quick overview of how they are different or why you would shop at one versus the other it would be awesome!

All you who live in Lima and have more experience with this than those who live in the provinces.

Thank you in advance.


Live, Love, Laugh
User avatar
Kelly
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3871
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:28 pm
Location: Lima, Peru
Contact:

Re: grocery shopping

Postby Kelly » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:13 pm

It's pretty much personal preference -

They're all fairly similar, in my experience. I like Plaza Vea best. They and Metro tend to be the more middle of the road as far as prices. Wong to me is a bit more upscale and has more imported stuff, but at a higher price (generally - you can get some good deals sometimes, too). Tottus and Plaza Vea seemed very similar to me, I haven't been to Tottus in a long time. Have only shopped at Vivanda once or twice, seems very expensive for a lot of the same stuff available at the other places.

Wong and Plaza Vea both have very good quality store brands - it's called "Bells" at Plaza Vea, and I find the quality to be very good.
Remigius
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 781
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: grocery shopping

Postby Remigius » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:19 pm

Cheap:Metro and Tottus
Not that cheap: Plaza Vea (their slogan "donde todo cuesta menos" really ought to be changed)
Expensive: Wong
Very expensive: Vivanda (where you pay for the looks of the store)

The only benefit of Wong and Vivanda (but especially Wong) is that they tend to have a wider range of imported products, but for normal groceries you are better off in either Metro or Tottus (Metro tends to have better offers)
euroman
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Tarapoto

Re: grocery shopping

Postby euroman » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:25 pm

I you want to buy fresh food and products for an affordable price then I suggest you go to the markets. And at the markets you always get a friendly service.

I you really prefer a supermarket then I recommend to go to MASS. This chain of supermarket has almost the same prices as the markets.
Remigius
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 781
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: grocery shopping

Postby Remigius » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:49 pm

I wouldn't call MASS a supermarket. More another style of bodega.
MartitaAQP
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:00 am
Location: Arequipa

Re: grocery shopping

Postby MartitaAQP » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:07 pm

I haven't had enough time to shop around to compare too much but I have always heard tottus is cheaper than PV. Since I just got a Tottus a couple blocks from my house, I've tried to do some shopping there, considering switching over. Thus far it has NOT been cheaper. PV runs lots of 2x1 or 3x2 specials that are gooded for non-perishables. THey also have more bread/fresher produce than Tottus. Tottus has more frozen food and more cheese (a big consideration for me!). Perhaps if Tottus starts running specials it will be cheaper than PV but not thus far. I have compared to the centavo and not found prices cheaper, dissapointingly. Sticking to PV for now I guess.

Wong is DEFINITELY more expensive, but they do have, as others have noted, imported stuff no one else has. They also have more variety of produce.
User avatar
anuta
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 670
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:14 pm

Re: grocery shopping

Postby anuta » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:18 pm

Because Tottus is chilean ( I think) imported staff is cheaper there. For example the diapers (Pampers and Huggies). Babysec is cheaper in Plaza Vea I think, because it's Peruvian, but as you might have probably noticed, they don't last through the night, Pampers and Huggies do.

For once, I'll agree with Euroman and would suggest buying fruits and veggies at the market. I really liked the big market in Arequipa, San Camilo I think it was called. They have the best chicha the jora !
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
A. Einstein
chuck
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Lima

Re: grocery shopping

Postby chuck » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:01 pm

anuta wrote:Because Tottus is chilean...


yup, tottus, falabella, sodimac, CMR......all the same company from Chile.
There are 10 types of people in the world — those who understand binary, and those who don't.
User avatar
LauraMH
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:55 am
Location: Arequipa, Peru

Re: grocery shopping

Postby LauraMH » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:14 pm

thanks everyone. that helps. I just wanted to get a lay of the land from people's personal experience. Tacna just got a plaza vea 4 blocks from my house, but in Arequipa I will have more options and wasn't sure what the major difference, especially on price and selection was exactly.

i used to do all my shopping at local markets, but now with my 6 month old, one stop shopping has great appeal, but now that she's getting older I might feel more comfortable taking her to a market. I haven't been to the one in Arequipa. Where is it located?

Happy shopping!
Live, Love, Laugh
User avatar
Polaron
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 833
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Lima
Contact:

Re: grocery shopping

Postby Polaron » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:04 am

The lion's share of supermarkets in Peru are in the hands of the Chileans. Tottus, Saga Falabella (called simply Falabella in Chile) and Sodimac are part of one single company in Chile.

Wong and Metro are part of Cencosud, which is a chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets in several South American countries (Jumbo in Chile, Disco and Jumbo in Argentina, etc.).

Plaza Vea, MASS and Vivanda are all part of Supermercados Peruanos S.A., a Peruvian company. Plaza Vea is the largest chain of supermarkets/hypermarkets in the country, with 38 stores in Lima alone.

My boyfriend works at Metro, so we shop there and at Wongs, as he gets his employee discount at either.

Be prepared to make more than one trip to the supermarket, because invariably you will find that some branches (of the same chain) carry certain articles that other branches do not. If you want Brand X hot dogs, for example (prepackaged), you might find them at Wong Benavides in Miraflores but not at Wong 20 de mayo in San Isidro.

Wong and Vivanda are by far the more expensive of the group. Tottus, PV and Metro are probably a wash when you include everything.
Professional, bilingual writer at your service.
MartitaAQP
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:00 am
Location: Arequipa

Re: grocery shopping

Postby MartitaAQP » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:45 am

I agree that 1 stop shopping is often the easiest option. In Arequipa alot of small stores or mini-markets are found in residential areas and that's good for restocking fresh produce in between trips. San Camila is downtown...it's the largest legal in town market. I was just there yesterday and was amazed that avocado is s/2 kilo. I happened to be at Wong the same day and it was s/4.98 kilo. So that's a big difference! Not everything is that way though, of course. And it is a center of robbery as well. In terms of variety, the market has no more than the supermarket. I was hoping to find some variety of peppers but it was rocoto, aji verde, and aji limo and NOTHING else. Oh well. Wong has more speciality produce (baby spinach!) though PV occasionally will have some (portobellas!). There is also mercado de Antiquilla and there's a smaller but pretty complete one about 2 blocks from Saga on Av Ejercito as well.
Remigius
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 781
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: grocery shopping

Postby Remigius » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:02 pm

Polaron wrote:Plaza Vea, MASS and Vivanda are all part of Supermercados Peruanos S.A., a Peruvian company. Plaza Vea is the largest chain of supermarkets/hypermarkets in the country, with 38 stores in Lima alone.


Supermercados Peruanos S.A. = Interbank. Your bf works at Metro? They've got a pretty cool swimming pool at Plaza Sur for their employees. It made me want to work there ;)
american_in_lima
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 549
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:11 pm
Location: MIRAFLORES
Contact:

Re: grocery shopping

Postby american_in_lima » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:20 am

Makro (http://www.makro.com.pe/site/makro/pt/home/home.aspx)

If you don't mind buying in bulk and have the storage space then Makro is the place to go. For example, a kilo of cheese (queso fresco) in Tottus is S/. 15. In Makro, it's S/. 11 or 12 soles.

You can also buy individual items. Sort of like Costco or Sam's Club. The only catch is you will either need to have your own business, or show that you have S/. 1000 an income of month and more. They give you a "passport" and you can shop as you wish.

Other catch is, that you will need to use your own boxes or bags which they do not supply. Things in general are 20% to 30% cheaper than in any of the major supermarkets. They have fruit, dried goods, etc. Practically everything that they have in a supermarket.

http://www.makro.com.pe/site/makro/pt/home/home.aspx

Hope this helps.
Regards,

George

Return to “Expat Information”

Login  •  Register