Vienna’s Hofer supermarkets sell high quality products at a cheap price, they’re ethical too

Vienna’s Hofer supermarket is one of the best I have ever shopped

Anyone in Vienna who knows me knows my favorite store is the Austrian supermarket chain Hofer.

One of the main Austrian discount supermarkets, Hofer has exceptionally good quality products, cheap prices and, for me, stocks just about all the food, cleaning supplies, toiletries and other sundries that I need.



In fact, when anyone tells me they shop for their groceries anywhere else but Hofer, I’m always a bit amazed. As not only is Hofer one of the cheapest supermarkets in Vienna, I think it is also the best.

(*If you have Aldi supermarkets in your area, they are the same company as Hofer — just branded with a different name here in Austria).

Hofer Prices

While Hofer does not sell many name brand products, but instead sells mainly its own brand items, the name brand products it does have tend to be cheaper than many other supermarkets. In many cases, 10 to 20 percent cheaper.

That is why, if I am going to buy a name brand product at another supermarket and I know Hofer stocks it, I will usually check the price at Hofer first.

The last time I did that I saved over 3 euros, as the name brand product I had seen at another Vienna supermarket was that much more expensive.

As for Hofer’s own brand of foods, toiletries and cleaning supplies they are so cheap that, when you compare them to a similar quality name brand product elsewhere, a saving of 20 to 30 percent is typical.

An average trip to a Hofer in Vienna has me buying food that lasts about a week and costs around 25-30 euros. That means I spend 100-120 euros or so at Hofer every month for all the main staples I need — pasta, rice, beans, oats, cereals etc — plus a huge amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks like potato chips and pretzels, and all my cleaning supplies as well as toiletries like shower gel. I even thrown in an occasional bar of chocolate.

The only thing I do not buy is meat, and that is simply because I’m a vegetarian.

I calculated the cost of this food haul from Hofer late last year, and it came in at just over 19 euros. That included butter, milk, organic yogurt, plums, apples, Christmas chocolate, salad, avocados, cream cheese, a six pack of Twix, German dark bread, soup, hummus and more.

Hofer Quality

You would think with the low prices Hofer offers, quality would be poor. In fact, the opposite is true.

Hofer spends a lot of time and money making sure the quality of the food and other products they sell is so good you really get your money’s worth.

That means you can pick up a large pepperoni pizza at Hofer for 79 cents or a loaf of sandwich bread for 89 cents, and the quality is excellent.

In fact, in the year I have been living in Vienna, I would guess I have bought and eaten at least 40 percent of all the products Hofer sells (I try something new every time I go) and only once have I not enjoyed the item I bought. Even then, though, it was personal taste and not due to poor quality.

Hofer Bio/Organic Products

Hofer sells two main brands of organic products (or bio products, as the Austrians call them) .

Natur Activ is a German brand of organic food with more than 350 items in their range, including the vegan brand Just Veg! I have eaten around 50 of their products over the last year, and enjoyed every single one.

The second brand Zurück zum Ursprung (Back to the Origins) is another organic brand but one that concentrates mainly on Austrian products. Products are made from local ingredients under sustainable conditions, and traditional ways of making them are the norm.

You can find out more about Zurück zum Ursprung on Hofer’s website, as there is a lot of information about their animal welfare practices, fairness to farmers and using Austrian feed that shows you just how high quality this brand is. Just run it through Google Translate if you do not speak German and you’ll get the gist.

Hofer Bakery

If you like baked goods, you can’t go wrong with Hofer either. They make their own breads, cakes and pastries on the premises of each supermarket and they are all delicious. I highly recommend their olive bread, their nut breads and their chocolate muffins. Yum!

Seasonal Products

Hofer has an excellent selection of seasonal products that come and go throughout the year and, by that, I don’t just mean the chocolate for Easter and the Christmas cookies.

Hofer also sells plants, gardening equipment, bed sheets, clothing and even computers and laptops at various times during the year. All are high quality, many are Hofer branded, and all are cheaper than similar name brand products for what you get.

My upcoming main purchase from Hofer’s seasonal products before the end of the year? A desktop computer that is massively more powerful than anything I have seen at a computer store in Vienna, particularly for the low price Hofer is charging.

This was just under 14 euros — a kilo of tomatoes, 2 kilos of plums, bread rolls, milk, 6 avocados, a container of salad, and a large bag of hazelnuts. (The rice cakes are from Spar)

Why I shop at Hofer

I am the type of shopper who is careful about where I shop.

I like to support moral, ethical companies that treat their customers and their employees well, that sell good quality products at an affordable price, that care about the environment and that contribute something worthwhile to the communities they are located in.

Hofer does all of these and more besides.

As I explained in an Instagram post recently (see below) there are so many good reasons to shop at Hofer supermarkets in Vienna, I honestly cannot ever see doing much shopping anywhere else.

People ask me why I buy 95% of my food from @hoferat every month. For 4 reasons. 1) They are just about the cheapest place in Vienna (soooo freaking cheap), and I believe in not wasting money if I don’t have to. 2) Much of what they sell is Hofer’s own brand, particularly in organics, and they have strict requirements for their suppliers, so their products are very high quality (and delicious!). 3) They sell many Austrian products, and I believe in ‘Buy Austrian’ where absolutely possible. (#❤AT) 4) They are big on the environment — so run projects on sustainability, including bee protection, energy efficiency, food waste, climate protection, as well as reading promotion programs for kids and healthy eating/exercise programs for everyone. So, in my mind, the question should be “Why DON’T you shop at Hofer?” They’re brilliant. #Hofer #Supermarkets #Food #Environment #Sustainability #Climate #EnergyEfficiency #Groceries #AustrianFood #Organic #Bio #NonGMO #Vegetarian #Wien #Vienna #Austria #BuyAustrian #IgersVienna #IgersAustria And, yep, that #AcidophilusMilk and the #FruchtMolke are the BOMB! #Milk #Milch #Molke ( Oh and if you’re not in Austria, they are the same company as ALDI, which is equally as brilliant).

A post shared by Michelle Topham (@michelle__topham) on

Finally, if you speak German, the video below gives you some background about what Hofer believes and how and why it creates its products the way it does.

Disclaimer (don’t need one)

And again, when I write an article promoting a particular product or company, I will always tell you if I benefited from doing so.

And here, no, I did not.

Hofer did not pay me or ask me to promote their company. I just do so because, out of the hundreds of supermarket chains I have shopped at in my life, supermarket chains in at least 12 countries, I think Hofer is one of the best.

You will find branches of Hofer all over Vienna (they currently have over 480 locations in Austria and a heckuva lot in Vienna) — check out their website site locator to find one near you.

My only complaint about Hofer? I wish they had an English version of their website.

 

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