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Fruit & Vegetable prices in France – price survey for shoppers to Calais, France –

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Fruit & Vegetable prices in France

Some fruit and vegetables can be much cheaper in France. Bear in mind however, that fruit and vegetable prices are seasonal and vary considerably. We also list the French names of products. French supermarkets are much more pro active in supporting local producers, and you will find more items from France and nearby countries than in United Kingdom shops. Their approach is certainly more ethical For example, we found items from France and Spain recently in a French Supermarket, which in the United Kingdom had come from Israel and South America.

The range of fruits on sale in France is greater. Much of it is sourced from Francophoine countries – the bananas smaller are tastier for example.

Top Tips; Check your shopping from France with local prices in the United Kingdom – take a recent U.K. shop receipt wiht you. Packet sizes in France tend to be larger than in the United Kingdom. For example when shopping in Calais, we found that kiwi fruit came in packs of six as opposed to four in the United Kingdom Raspberries also came in a bigger pack. Fresh food tends to come unprepared in France.

July 2011 – Chicory (endives) are very much cheaper in France. We paid 2.29 euro (about £2.08) for a kilogram at Auchan, at Sainsbury's London they cost £1.10 for 180 grams. In other words they are 2.93 times more expensive in England or 66% cheaper in France.

March 2010 – Peppers (sweet for salads). The price is the same in France and the United Kingdom We noticed that most of the vegetables came from France and Spain though, unlike United Kingdom supermarkets. Loose clementines were about the 5% cheaper in France. We also noticed much of the fruit available in French supermarkets comes from France and Spain,not from across the world.

June 2008 – Fresh figs. We paid the equivalent of 68 pence for 4 figs at Auchan. At Sainsbury in London they were £1.99.

March 2008 – Raspberries were 38% cheaper (when we checked again today there was an offer on in the United Kingdom, now they are 8% cheaper in France! Kiwi Fruit were 9.5% more in France though.

Vegetable Best Buys (All the best buys); The following items were over 30% cheaper in France when we did our survey (% cheaper); Leeks (79.92%), Tomatoes (Vine) (65.43%), Green Beans (61.76%), Sweet Peppers (59.65%), Watercress (57.98%), Spinach (57.07%), Garlic (51.82%), Potatoes New, Charlotte (49.75%), Fennel (48.42%), Sweet Peppers, Red / Yellow (42.36%), Parsley (41.18%), Lettuce – lollo rossa (39.39%), Eschalottes (39.39%), Cucumber (37.50%), Tomatoes, cherry (30.23%).

Fruit Best Buys; Fruit was generally cheaper in France – more so than vegetables (% cheaper); Necterines (70.41%), Grapes, White (67.87%), Figs (65.03%), Melon Galia (49.75%), Bananas (46.67%), Melon (46.31%), Strawberries (45.85%), Lemons (39.39%), Plums (24.62%), Mango (24.24%), Pears (22.48%), Grapes, Red (14.57%)

CREDIT CARDS – we suggest you ring your credit card company before shopping in France – increased fraud means they are turning down shoppers cards if their spending deviates from the norm. Take your mobile – you can often sort the problem out over the phone.


Many fruit and vegetables are cheaper although comparison is difficult as products often come from different countries. In France items are less "packaged", whereas in the United Kingdom they come trimmed, washed and vacuum sealed. This may account for what appear to be inconsistencies in some of the prices. The best buys listed are for those products where we were able to compare like for like.

Doing surveys and comparing products between countries is often very difficult. Not only do package sizes vary, but content as well sometimes. Special Offers distort prices temporarily. We have used the French sizes as a standard and worked out the English price pro-rata. Where it is impossible to adjust for differences (size of pineapples for example) we list the United Kingdom and French prices. We suggest you print these pages and take them with you as a rough guide. In general, French hypermarket labels are more informative and will show you the price per litre or kilogram as well (United Kingdom prices often just the item price), United Kingdom products come in smaller sizes, and there is less of a choice.

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of these surveys, and has carried out considerable in depth research, they should be seen as a guide only and not definitive.

vegetables calais – Vegetable names

Artichoke (artichaut) – each

Aubergines (aubergines)

Avocado, Fuerte (avocat) – each

Avocado, Haas (avocat) – x 2

Beans, green (haricot vert)

Broccoli (Brocoli) – each

Brussel Sprouts (chou de Bruxelles)

Cabbage (chou) – each

Carrots (carottes)

Cauliflower (chou-fleur) – each

Celeriac (céleri-rave) – each

Celery (céleri) – each

Cucumber (concombre) – each

Endives ()

Fennel (fenouil)

Garlic (ail)

Garlic (ail) CHEAPEST

Leeks (poireaux)

Lentils, Puy (lentilles)

Lettuce, (salade, batavia)

Lettuce, (salade, lollo rossa)

Lettuce, ordinary green leaf

Lettuce, curly (salade, frisée)

Mushrooms – Fricassee

Mushrooms – Paris Roses

Mushrooms – White Button (Piedcoupe)

Onions (oignons) – each

Onions (oignons) CHEAPEST

Onions BIO (oignons)

Onions, pickling (oignons)

Parsley (persil) – bunch

Potatoes (pomme de terre)

Potatoes BIO (pomme de terre)

Potatoes New, Charlotte (pomme de terre)

Radish (radis)

Shalotts (échalotes)

Spinach (épinard)

Spring Onions (Oignon Botte) – bunch

Sweet Peppers (Poivron Vert)

Sweet Peppers, Red / Yellow (Poivron)

Tomatoes, cherry (tomates)

Tomatoes, Vine (tomates grappe)

Tomatoes, large single (tomates)

Watercress (cresson) – bunch

Zucchini – Courgette (courgette)

Onions (oignons) There is so much more to choose from in France when buying onions. As a general guide, brown skinned onions are best for cooking as they are strongly flavoured, white are best for pickling and bottling as they are milder and sweeter, whilst red onions are normally quite sweet and are good in salads. The Shallot (échalote) has a more delicate flavour when cooked, but once you have used them you are more than likely to buy them again. A shallot is actually two or more separate bulbs enlcosed by the outer layer. Spring onions (Oignon Botte) are popular in the United Kingdom as well, but we found them to be cheaper in France.

chicory France

Endives (Chicory) is exceptionally good value in France

Useful in a salad it's also very tasty when baked with olive oil.

It was over 150 years ago that the first "white pearls" were found by chance in the Brussels area. Around 1920, the cultivation of chicory, also called "chicons", Witloof chicory (white leaf in Flemish) or Brussels chicory, was introduced into France by Belgian seasonal workers. Now, with 190,000 tonnes per annum, i.e. 83% of national production and 50% of worldwide production, the Nord-Pas de Calais / Picardy is the leading chicory-producing region in the world.

From May to November, the chicory roots, known as "carrots", are grown in the fields. Harvested when ripe, they are kept in a cold store to extend the production period, and thus their consumption period. They are then "forced" in the dark in a warm, damp atmosphere (18%deg;C), to speed up growth of the apical bud which will form the salad, and cause the leaves to whiten. After three weeks' growth, the chicory is broken off from its root, then packaged.

Chicory is traditionally eaten in a salad or a gratin. It can also be used at aperitif time: separate the chicory leaves and you have some superb little boats, ready to hold all kinds of ingredients: taramasalata, lumpfish eggs, avocado purée. As a finishing touch, you can decorate these boats with a tiny slice of lemon or a sprig of parsley, and there you are! Chicory can also be eaten in soup or a quiche and some restaurateurs even make chicory sorbet.

The ultimate diet vegetable, with 15 calories per 100 g, chicory is a fund of vitamins (B1, B2 and C) and mineral salts: magnesium, potassium and calcium. In addition, thanks to its high fibre content, it also helps intestinal transit.

To avoid any bitterness in the chicory, hollow out their stems or caramelise them with a little caster sugar or demerara. Did you know that chicory does not need to be washed? Just remove the outer leaves and it is ready to be used.

French fruit names

Apple Golden (pomme)

Apple Golden BIO (pomme)

Apple Granny Smith (pomme)

Apricots (abricots)

Bananas (bananes)

Cherries (cerise)

Coconut (noix de coco) – each

Figs (figue)

Grape fruit (pamplemousse) – each

Grapes, Red (raisins)

Grapes, White (raisins)

Kiwifruit ()

Kiwifruit BIO ()

Lemons (citron)

Lemons BIO (citron)

Limes (citron vert)

Mango (mangue) – each

Melon (melon jeune vert) – each

Melon Galia (melon) – each

Necterines (nectarines)

Oranges (oranges)

Oranges BIO (oranges)

Passion Fruit ()

Peaches, white (pêches)

Peaches, yellow (pêches)

Pears (poires)

Pineapple (ananas) – each

Plums (prunes)

Strawberries (fraises)

Walnuts ()

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