Food prices in Iceland have been worrying for travelers who are on a budget. And no wonder. People have found them to be way too high, even in low-cost stores like Bónus. It’s perfectly understandable that food prices in Iceland are a little higher than on the European mainland. After all, we import a lot of food and that costs money. However, travelers and Icelanders have always felt that it’s disproportionately high.
As it turns out, their feeling was correct.
Tips for seeing Iceland on a budget
The Costco effect – lowering food prices in Iceland
Last May, something huge happened. A paradigm shift, some people say. Costco wholesale opened its first store in Iceland. The natives were shocked and thrilled to see not only new and exciting products but new and exciting prices. Almost immediately, the big store chains like Bónus and Krónan lowered prices on a lot of products to try and keep up with the competition from Costco. This is especially helpful for people who live (or travel) outside of Reykjavík. Products like meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, diapers, etc. are now significantly cheaper in Iceland than before. This is very good news for travelers who’re coming to Iceland and plan on cooking their own meals in their campervan. A lot of canned goods, rice, pasta, and breakfast cereal have also been reduced in price.
Will this trend continue or will food prices in Iceland go up again?
It’s hard to say. The Icelandic króna being very strong right now helps with keeping the price of imported goods down. But our currency fluctuates quite a lot so nothing is guaranteed. Hopefully, the price war between Costco and the other stores will continue. That way the people of Iceland and those who travel here will reap the benefits in the coming years.