Finding Your Favourite Food Imports in Kampala

Imported Groceries in Kampala

The level of excitement I got from finding a box of Fruity Pebbles cereal was almost embarrassing! The 23,000 UGX price sticker didn’t even scare me off. Paying the equivalent of $9 for a box of cereal would NEVER happen in my home country, but for some reason, we expats make big sacrifices when it comes to finding treasures from home on the shelves of Kampala!

I recently attended a dinner party at a friend’s house and caught myself repeatedly complementing her about her appetizer finds. Bacon-wrapped cherries…. You can find cherries here? Artichoke dip? Peppadews? Surely, you brought those from South Africa.

Wait…you found all of those items in Kampala?!

This week, I’ll venture deep into the aisles of both mainstream and smaller markets to bring you a list of desired import finds. Before you hop in your RAV 4 and book it to the nearest Nutella-carrying shop, please note that often these treasures are kept in small stock and may only be available from time to time. (Translation: Don’t skin me alive when Embassy Supermarket is out of Tapatio hot sauce!) This article is just to give you hope and a general idea of where to find certain specialty items.


Neighborhood: Lugogo Bypass / Nakawa
Store Size: Large

The Shoprite near Lugogo Bypass is a mecca for fun imported foods! I was impressed by their fresh, imported produce: pomegranates, strawberries, grapes, artichokes, brussels sprouts, and asparagus. They were quite expensive but looked very fresh and tasty!

This Shoprite also has an incredible selection of cheese. They carry cream cheese in a variety of flavors, brie, camembert, cottage cheese, havarti, and flavored gouda cheese wheels (black pepper, piri piri, and garden herb).  They also have Victoria View Farm products, a local company that makes delicious crème fraiche, herbed butter, and cream cheese.

More miscellaneous finds include Pillsbury muffin mix, Ina Paarman’s Kitchen almond biscotti, a few different brands of soy milk, and Padkos dried fruit and nuts.  Finally, for breaking news, Shoprite now carries MINI CHOCOLATE CHIPS! Yes, you read that right. Heaven forbid we have to buy chocolate bars and chop them ourselves.


Neighborhood: Lugogo Bypass / Nakawa
Store Size: Small (food-related)

Game is the ultimate one-stop shop. I mean, where else can you buy baby diapers, a camping tent, and a bottle of good wine under one roof? Their food selection is only a small fraction of the store, but this popular South African chain manages to bring in some quality imports.

I was impressed by their beauty and skin care selection. Familiar brands like Clean & Clear, Johnson’s, Garnier, Simple, Ponds, L’Oreal, Nivea, and Clearasil lined the shelves. Everything looked brand spankin’ new! I’m certain you know what I mean by that. How many times have you found that random bottle of Neutrogena face wash or Victoria’s Secret scented body lotion in a dingy, small market, looking as if it’d been opened and probably used?

Additionally, Game has a large selection of baby care items such as diapers and wipes. They carry familiar brands like Huggies, Pampers, and Johnson & Johnson in bulk packaging. You’ll pay a bit more for these brands, but it’s nice to know that they’re available.

Other miscellaneous finds: Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes, Lindt assorted chocolates, Act 2 theatre-style popcorn, Fritos chips, Doritos, and lots of Dilmah tea.

Embassy Supermarket

Neighborhood: Nsambya
Store Size: Small

Embassy Supermarket used to be my daily shopping spot when I worked nearby. They’re conveniently located across Ggaba Road from the U.S. Embassy, and they’re packed with specialty imports! For starters, they have my favorite sparkling water, Perrier. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they carry American childhood favorites such as Tang drink mix, SnackPack individual pudding snacks, and Mott’s apple sauce.

Their cheese selection was also very nice, given the shop’s size. They carry paneer, feta, mozzarella, gouda, parmesan, and cottage cheese. To accompany your cheese tray, you’ll also find D’Amico sun-dried tomatoes, Bertolli pesto, Vlasic gherkins, and Blue Diamond almonds.

For those of you with a sweet tooth, Embassy Supermarket carries Betty Crocker cake mixes and Hershey’s Strawberry Syrup. If you’re more of a spice lover, they carry Tapatio hot sauce and even crushed red pepper. It’s known around here as “chili crushed” which is probably why I’ve never been able to find it!

Super Supermarket

Neighborhood: Bukoto
Store Size: Small

Out of all the places I researched, Super Supermarket in Bukoto definitely had the least amount of fun imports, but I need to include them for two quite epic reasons. First, I’m pretty sure they were one of the first local shops to carry Ola brand tortilla chips, which are now everywhere. Also, at one point they carried Corona Extra, a delicious Mexican beer! They’re currently out-of-stock, but do have Heineken, Bavaria, and Carlsberg imported beers. As recently as last year, they had Dr. Pepper, an American favorite, in stock as well. I’m keeping my eyes open for it to reappear!

Super Supermarket carries a wide variety of Dilmah teas, Horlicks and Junior Horklicks, and Crystal Light individual drink packets. I also spotted a Hills Bros. Skinny Latte mix, which sounds yummy!

Capital Shoppers

Neighborhood: Ntinda
Store Size: Large

Finally, we arrive at Capital Shoppers in Ntinda. Like Shoprite, these two larger supermarket chains sure carry lots of imported favorites! In their cereal section, they have tons of Kelloggs’ options: Special K, All Bran, Crunchy Nut, Rice Krispies, and Frosted Flakes.

Honestly, they have so many fun import items that, for the sake of time, I’ll just rattle them off: Hershey’s Syrup in strawberry or caramel, Dorman’s coffee, Nestlé’s Coffee Mate creamer, Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, Lipton tea packets, and American Garden pickled jalapenos. They also have a generous supply of expat-favorite, Nutella!

Capital Shoppers is also an incredible liquor store. I had no idea that they had such a wide selection of spirits. Among them, I spotted my favorite margarita ingredients: Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and Jose Cuervo Silver tequila. Lots of good stuff!

Kampala’s imported food options get better everyday! Do you have a favorite item that wasn’t mentioned? Leave a comment on our Facebook post and share the good news with others!

About Lauren McBride

Hey, I’m Lauren. I’m what you’d call an “expat by marriage.” When my husband and I stepped off the plane in Entebbe in June 2012, I had no idea what I was in for: the breezy traffic on the open road, enjoyable boda rides through the heart of town, or the gentle, lingering smell of exhaust blowing in my face. I continue to be amazed by the strong community in Kampala, the arts, the delicious food, and the fun hangs around this town. I’m committed to sharing the very best of Kampala with you through this website. Contact me anytime with your ideas, feedback, or jokes at