Hello! This post is for anyone interested in organic shopping in Singapore and looking for good deals, especially anyone who’s recently moved here.
Singapore has recently replaced Tokyo as the world’s most expensive city. This, I’m sure, is down to import taxes on goods like cars and clothes, but people also frequently complain about the general high cost of living. It’s definitely true that we’ve noticed a significant rise, but when it comes to food, I actually think Singapore is just like London. It depends what you buy, where and whether it’s in season.
I remember my husband telling me before we were married that it was cheaper to eat out than to go grocery shopping! “Bliss” I thought. No cooking for me.
Turns out this isn’t true. He just didn’t know what to buy! Any professional who pops into Tesco’s Express and picks up the nearest packet of pasta, bottled sauce and cheese is going to end up with a much pricier, and might I add, blander, less nutritious meal than if they go further out of town.
Grocery shopping in Singapore stores such as Giant, which you can’t find in the centre of the city, is much like shopping in a megastore outside London’s centre. Giant also offer online shopping and delivery.
But what about organic food….and organic products?
Well, when it comes to food, it’s just plain pricey. Organic and affordable don’t mix here, and there doesn’t seem to be the same demand for it as in the UK or the States.
Fairprice Finest is actually pretty good and the best prices I’ve found so far. Unfortunately the branch in TripleOne Somerset closed down! Which is bizarre as it was always so busy. The nearest in central Singapore is on River Valley road, in Tiong Bahru. They also offer online shopping.
There’s a RealFoods on Killiney road, but I took one look at the prices, nearly fainted and walked straight out again. You can also find a small Holland&Barrett in 313 Someset, but it’s double the price of H&B in London and that really winds me up, so out of principle I rarely shop there. Which is a bit silly really, at some point you’ve just got to accept some things will be more expensive. For anyone interested though, they sell herbal teas, dried fruit, agave syrup, sugar-free snacks and oils. Cold Storage is also another safe bet.
Paragon Marketplace is excellent for specialty goods like gluten-free snacks, vegan snacks, cheeses and food from around the world. But be prepared to pay through your nose. These are TOURIST prices. But for a slap-up dinner or picnic, it’s excellent.
I’ve heard good things about Zenxin Organic, which grows its food in Causeway (Malaysia), and also Best Organic Food, an online company which delivers its vegetables.
I’m yet to try these two companies. For now Im trying to go organic for any foods which skin you eat. For the rest my vegetable wash will have to suffice. As for meat products (pumped with hormones!) I’m just closing my eyes! At least when it comes to fish, you can go to Tekka Wet Market where it’s caught fresh that morning. That’s as organic as it gets.
Really what I’ve been dying for is a Planet Organic style store that actually serves cooked, organic food that you can pick up for lunch or dinner. And I think I’ve found it!
It’s called Supernature, and its flagship store is in The Forum, Orchard road (B1). It has an organic café, sells organic fruits and vegetables, imported organic food like Rachel’s yoghurts, dried foods, snacks and juices. It also has an excellent household section (selling brands like Ecover and 7th generation), as well as a beauty section (selling Dr Hauschka).
Is it cheap? No. But it’s worth a visit for the huge range, and compared to stores like Cold Storage which do stock some well-known household brands, it’s definitely better value for some products.
I’ll be reviewing the café soon.
Another of my recommendations is Vitakids. Despite being a kids store, they actually stock some household and beauty brands which are much more affordable than those in Supernature. Its right opposite Supernature in Basement 1 of The Forum, and both stores also have branches in Paragon.
So my most recent purchases were household stuff because my skin has become so dry and itchy that I’ve decided to switch to the gentlest products I can find. I think this is because the water’s so soft here so everything lathers really easy and if you don’t rinse well you get build up blah blah:
Now here’s a lesson learned. Fairprice (not Finest) actually sells Organic Oat Milk for $5…! Really, what I’m learning is that you’ve just got to keep comparing and doing your research. Fairprice also has an organic section, stocking organic jam (no sugar or peptin), rice and snacks, so it’s offering quite a good service.
When it comes down to it though, if you want good quality, affordable, organic or plant-based household cleaners, oils (coconut, sweet almond etc), Ecover and Seventh Generation products, hand lotions, organic conditioners, suncreams, teas, you name it – do yourself a favour and head to http://www.iherb.com, an American website. For deliveries under a certain weight, you pay a flat fee of $4sgd! Delivery never takes more than 3-4 working days. It does mean you have to be more organised but if you’re looking for reliable source you can shop at time and time again, that would be it
Iherb sells brands like Aubrey Organics, Aveeno, Jason Naturals, Now Foods, Earth Mama Baby Angel and Weleda, as well as supplements, herbs, teas, dried foods and pet stuff for a fraction of S’porean prices.
So that’s my NO 1 recommendation. Unfortunately it’s not a S’porean store but online is sometimes the best way to go.
I hope this post was helpful. I’ll update as I find out more.
Have a lovely Sunday!