Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Product Placement

I get asked a lot about the availability, price and variety of "American" products here in Kuwait, so I'd been snapping a few pics here and there while I was in a store...

The current rate of conversion is 1 Kuwaiti Dinar = $3.31 US Dollars

Dove Body Wash 
 (at Sultan Center...where you find the most International options, but also the highest prices...) 
3KD, 650 Fills

Bob's Red Mill Organic Pancake and Waffle Mix
2KD 250 Fills

Cheerios (large box)
2KD 750 Fills

Then one evening after Dave came home from work, I made a run to the store for filler items - the stuff you need to replace in between the Big Shopping Trips - and since I was sans children I didn't have to say "Please stop touching everything" or "No, we're not buying that" or "Please don't pull on the cart" or "Because we don't need it, that's why" or  "quit picking on your sibling" or "can you hold it? We're almost done..." or "don't lick the shopping cart" or any of the other sweet nothings I repeat over and over to my cherubs as we shop together,   I was free to take pictures of grocery items so I could show you averages of what things cost here. 
It could be like I was taking you shopping with me.
I know what you're thinking.
It's like all your dreams are finally coming true.

These are from Lulu Hypermarket, where I do the majority of our grocery shopping.

(alcohol free, because Kuwait can't have nobody gettin' drunk off their mouthwash!)
1KD 975Fills

Colgate Toothpaste
650 Fills

Toilet Paper (12 rolls)
1KD 675 Fills

Heinz Ketchup
750 Fills

Canned Corn
245 Fills

Jif Peanut Butter
1KD 690Fills

Whole Wheat Bread
250 Fills
83 Cents

Kettle Chips
1KD 690Fills

Package of Baby Spinach
995 Fills

595 Fills per KG
$1.97 per 2.2 lbs
(side note: these Australian carrots are the best I've ever tasted. Out of all the things I'll miss when we leave Kuwait, my friends, the shawarma place by our apartment, and these carrots top the list!)  

160 fills per KG
53 Cents per 2.2 lbs

Then you take your loose produce over to an employee and have them bag and weigh your items for a speedier check out process when you're all done...

1KD 695Fills

1KD 490Fills

Even at Lulu, you can find a variety of American products...and you can pay an arm and a leg for them...
Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Dough
3KD 100Fills

Pillsbury Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
2KD 390Fills

Pillsbury Orange Cinnamon Rolls
2KD 100 Fills

910 Fills

Nature Valley Granola Bars
1KD 750 Fills
(Remember when I wrote about how everyone just opens things here?!?!)

Raisin Bran
1KD 900Fills

Rice Krispies
1KD 290Fills

Ritz Crackers 
(large box of several small keep sealed as things go stale quickly in the heat!)
1KD 190Fills

Feta Cheese
2KD 190Fills

Baby Bell Cheeses
 580 Fills

Naked Juices
1KD 550Fills

100% Apple Juice
700 Fills

Activa Yogurt  (individual)
135 Fills
45 cents

Then I go check out, and try to pay close attention to the prices that are showing up on the register while things are being scanned, as it's a semi-common problem here that barcodes are incorrect and prices can be WAY off. I once witnessed a super-heated argument between a customer and manager after some green onions were coded wrong and showed up costing over 30 KD ($99.25).
Not cool man, not cool.

Then I hail a cab home, load our groceries into the cart waiting in the lobby of our building, and take them up the elevator...

Viola! Grocery shopping complete.

So as you can see, a handful of things are cheaper here...yogurts, bread, Baby Bells, 100% Juices. 
And some things are about the same as we would pay back in Portland.
And a lot of things are outrageous (um, hello raspberries and feta cheese!) and make you feel like you have to decide between purchasing Raisin Bran or sending your kids to college.


  1. I really enjoyed this post! It's super fun to see the comparisons!

  2. I feel the same way about those carrots!

    Also, I think this is the first time I'll be in Slovenia and not finding everything ridiculously expensive. It is true what they say--perspective is everything. :)

  3. Very interesting. And really, off season raspberries that size/brand are probably $4.00 a pack if not slightly more...So it's not THAT outrageous ;-) Just don't use dove body wash, go for the Sauve. lol

    1. Hmmm...interesting. I guess I'd forgotten that about produce prices out-of-season in Oregon.