I lived in Germany for over 3 years and the grocery store was my go-to places to get edible gifts for my family and friends. The gifts were cost-effective, tasty, and fairly easy to pack. This post details my German grocery store gift guide.
Before We Get Started
German Grocery Stores
There are a number of grocery store chains in Germany. Check out this post for an overview of grocery shopping and stores in Germany
Is That Really German?
Not all the gift ideas mentioned will be made in or exclusive to Germany. As in many countries, there are certain household staples and adored edible items that are imported and grocery stores provide access to them.
This gift guide is heavily based on the tastes and preferences of myself, my family, and my friends. My husband is German so some of my discoveries were introduced by him. Also, I used to leave near a Rewe so I have a better idea of their offerings, which has influenced this guide and the pictures that are included.
This gift guide is intended to help you choose gifts when you are in a German grocery store. I am including links to certain products in case you might be interested in purchasing them online and won’t be in Germany anytime soon. The prices online are significantly higher than in Germany. While I don’t have any sponsorship ties to the products mentioned, I do use affiliate links for many of the products that are linked (see my Affiliate Disclosure for more information). This means that if you click on one of my links and buy the product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks in advance for supporting this site!
German Grocery Store Gift Guide
Yes, it’s a bit cliche, but gummies make a great gift. They are often explicitly requested for by my friends and family.
If you’re in Bonn, Germany, check out my post on visiting the Haribo Factory Outlet.
While the Haribo Goldbären
Haribo isn’t the only company that makes gummies. I had a colleague that studied abroad in Germany and he asked if I could bring back Katjes Yoghurt-Gums. Later I found out that these gummies ranked high in preference among my husband and mother-in-law. These gummies are made with yogurt and are vegetarian. They often make it into my gift hauls.
There is no shortage of condiments in Germany. One of my absolute favorite condiments is the Händlmaier Bayerisch Süßer Hausmachsenf (sweet Bavarian mustard). This sweet mustard is a particular favorite of my Mom. You can use it on sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, etc. The jar form is pretty classic, but I find the tube form much easier to pack and travel.
One of the things that I love about condiments in Germany is that you can get many items in tubes. This is especially useful with tomato concentrate. While it might not be a traditional condiment, it does add flavor to dishes. Often in the US, tomato concentrate comes in cans. This packaging doesn’t keep well once opened. Tomato concentrate tubes are super handy because you can just put that lid on and pop it in the refrigerator for future use.
Currywurst is a well-known dish that you can get in Germany. A key ingredient is the curry ketchup. You can pick up a bottle of curry ketchup (in different spice levels) as a gift for any once who want to recreate currywurst at home.
Perusing a German grocery pickle section will give you an idea of the sheer variety o
Whenever my husband and I travel, we like to sample the local potato chip flavor offerings. In Germany, you can definitely find potato chip flavors that you might not find in your home country. The picture above shows a bag of currywurst flavored potato chips. Bringing a bag or assortment of new chip flavors can make for a fun gift.
My husband first introduced me to peanut-flavored puffs. This was a snack he enjoyed when he was growing up. It’s like a cheesy puff, but instead of cheese, the flavoring is peanuts. These are a great gift for your peanut butter loving friends.
Nic Nacs were a staple snack in our household when we lived in Germany. These snacks are peanuts coated with a crunchy outside. They come in 3 different flavors: original, barbeque, and hot. My husband prefers the original and I really like the barbeque. These make a great, travel-friendly gift for savory snack lovers.
German grocery stores offer an array of alcohol. This section provides a general overview of some of the alcohol offerings that would make a solid gift. While you can find a lot of these alcoholic beverages at duty-free, purchasing them at a grocery store will be cheaper.
If you want to get a quintessential German liquor, then Jägermeister is a solid gift option. While you can definitely find this liquor outside of Germany, your gift receivers might enjoy getting a bottle from the liquor’s home country.
If you’re wanting something in the liquor realm (that isn’t
Jägermeister), then I would try a German schnapps. While often distilled from fruits or herbs, this liquor is definitely not sweet. It’s actually quite strong. Popular schnapps varieties in Germany are cherry (Kirschwasser) and William’s pear (Williams Birne).
If you’re looking for something sweeter, you can try various fruity liqueurs. My husband mentioned that Kleiner Feigling (translation: little coward) is a well-known fig flavored liqueur. There are definitely other brands and flavors (e.g., sour apple, plum, apple, etc.).
Following the fruity liqueur train of the thought, if you want to get a gift that’s a party novelty, then try out ‘Kleiner Klopfer’ (little knockers). These drinks can quite popular at parties, especially bachelor and bachelorette parties. The traditional steps for enjoying these drinks (according to my husband) goes as follows:
- Knock the bottle on the table
- Unscrew the cap and put it on your nose
- Put the bottle in your mouth
- Tilt your head back (trying to balance the cap) and drink
German grocery stores are a great place to pick up affordable bottles of wine originating from Germany and other countries. For 10 euros, you can get a solid tasting wine that can make a great gift for your wine-loving gift receivers.
Check out this post for more information on navigating German wines.
Lastly, German beer is world renown and grocery stores offer a solid selection that you can gift to beer-lovers.
Check out this post for more information on navigating German beers.
In addition to the classic options, there are two other possible gifts in the beer category. The first is beer mixed drinks in which beer is mixed with cola, lemon soda (i.e., Radlers), or other fruit sodas. Typically, these mixes are concocted on the spot when you go out for a drink, but you can buy pre-mixed versions at the grocery store. This is great for people who wish
The second option is craft beer. The craft beer scene is rising in Germany and there are some great brews that are worth trying (e.g., Crew Republic).
There is an array of non-alcoholic beverages in Germany that would make great gifts. One type of popular soda is cola mixed with orange soda. The two most popular brands are Spezi and Mezzo Mix. If you have a gift recipient that’s a soda connoisseur, then a can or bottle of these would be a good gift.
When you go out to bars or restaurants in Germany, a ‘
If you have an energy drink lover as a gift recipient, then check out the various mate beverages available at the store. While mate originates from South America, Germans have been creating carbonated concoctions from this stimulant for almost a century. Club-Mate is perhaps the most well-known mate beverage, but other brands have come on the scene. This drink is popular among my college-aged sister and her German friends.
One non-alcoholic beverage that is common among my families and friends is ‘Bionade’. This brand makes an organic, non-alcoholic, carbonated, fermented beverages. These drinks don’t have a high sugar content (compared to soda). They come in a variety of flavors like lychee, elderflower, ginger-orange, etc.). This would make a great gift for friends who are into kombucha or other fermented carbonated beverages.
Most German grocery stores will offer a wide assortment of teas. In addition to standard flavors, there are some mixes and flavors that I often get as gifts for tea-lovers.
‘Kräuter‘, which translates to ‘herbs’ is a variety that typically makes it into my gift haul. I am also fond of sage (Salbei) and fennel (Fenchel) teas and
If you have a tea-loving gift recipient who isn’t into herby teas, I would try out various tea mixes with ‘Holunder’ (elderflower).
If you have a gift recipient that is into making their own jams and preserves, then grabbing them a bag of gelling sugar (
Check out this post for more information on jam making in the US vs. Germany.
There are a number of sweet snacks that you can take home to eager gift recipients. Though it’s becoming more widely available, I really enjoy gifting Leibniz cookies
- Dark Chocolate Leibniz Cookies – The original butter cookie topped with a solid piece of dark chocolate
- Black N’ White Mini Leibniz Cookies – If you like mini Oreos, give these a try
- Pick Up! – Cookie sandwiches filled with chocolate
Another popular type of sweet snack is filled wafers. Popular brands for include: Hanuta (hazelnut filled), Knoppers (milk creme and hazelnut), and Manner (various flavors). These often come in packs that are easy to distribute as gifts.
Last, but not least, Germany’s chocolate offerings are often a requested gift. This section outlines both known and lesser-known favorites.
First off is Kinder. Kinder makes a variety of chocolate products that have been a favorite among my gift recipients. These include Kinder Bueno (chocolate wafer filled with creamy hazelnut), Kinder Duplo (like a Kit Kat), and Kinder Schoko-Bons (bite-size chocolates filled with cream and hazelnut pieces).
After being banned in the US for decades, a version of Kinder Surprise Eggs are now available in the US (Kinder Joy Eggs).
For your milk chocolate loving gift recipients, Milka chocolate bars are the way to go. There are so many options so you can really tailor your selection to your recipient. If you’re not sure what to choose, go with the original Alpine milk chocolate bar.
My US family’s favorite chocolate bar from the German grocery store is Ritter Sport. They travel quite well and come in a variety of flavors. Some of my family’s favorites include: coffee, almond, and dark chocolate with hazelnuts. While Ritter Sport is becoming more popular throughout the world, there are certain flavors, especially seasonal ones, that can only be found in Germany.
For your chocolate-loving gift recipients that like their chocolates in nice packages, Merci chocolate boxes are a solid, affordable, and tasty option. You can find them at duty-free, but they are definitely cheaper at the grocery store.
If you have a gift recipient that loves toffee and caramel flavored items, then you should get them a box of Toffifee.
Finally, If you have a gift recipient that loves dark chocolate, my husband and I are fans of the Schwarze Herren Schokolade bar.
German grocery stores offer a vast array of items that can make great edible gifts. While this German grocery store gift guide didn’t cover everything, I hope that it gave you some ideas of what to buy (or ask for!). Happy shopping!
What are your favorite items from German grocery stores? Is there anything I missed that should make the lists? Let me know in the comments below!