7 Canadian Grocery Store Items To Add To Your Shopping List As A Newcomer To Canada

Add these to your Canuck shopping list.

A person having a picnic with Kraft Peanut Butter. Right: Ketchup chips in the store.

A person having a picnic with Kraft Peanut Butter. Right: Ketchup chips in the store.

For a newcomer to Canada, getting everything you need at the grocery store can be a bit overwhelming because it can feel relatively unfamiliar.

It's hard to know exactly what you should get, what the best Canadian options are and what you need to try as a new newcomer to this nation when you take your regular jaunt down to your local grocery store.

So, to provide you with a bit of a guide, we have laid out which Canadian grocery store items you need to add to your cart the next time you're cruising through the grocery store to try some of the nation's best stuff.

From real maple syrup to classic Canadianisms like bagged milk, this is how you can fill your basket with a cornucopia straight from the Great White North.

Here are seven grocery store items you need to keep your eye out for when you shop next.

Real maple syrup

Get that "table syrup" the heck out of here.

If you're someone who's never had real Canadian maple syrup, you basically have to try it as a rite of passage.

And, believe it or not, you can get pretty high-quality maple syrup from your local grocery store that has either been made in Ontario or Quebec.

So don't sit there smothering your pancakes, waffles and other tasty treats with "maple flavoured" corn syrup, spend a few extra dollars and get the good stuff. You should at least try it once, that way, you can know how much a generous dollop of genuine Canadian maple syrup can take anything to a whole other level.

Heck, go full Canuck and just drink it right out of the bottle as a type of Canadian baptism.

Canadian produce

One of the things you should definitely do is understand what fruits and vegetables are in season when for your location. Canada has some amazing produce you need to try if you haven't already.

Again, this might require a little bit of research or going to your local fruit market rather than a No Frills or a Loblaws. Still, it'll be so worth it when you take that first bite of a perfectly in-season peach or make a salad entirely out of seasonal vegetables and greens.

Canada is a nation full of farms and you know that everything they produce will be fresh, tasty and all together impressive.

Just good, tasty and wholesome!

Bagged milk

One of the biggest memes about Canadian life is, of course, the bagged milk.

However, many Canadians will tell you that it's not a universal thing across the entire country. However, if you're living in a province or region that has bagged milk lining the dairy aisle, you need to give it a try.

One thing that they don't tell you, however, is the fact that you'll need a pitcher to consume it the proper way. The trick is to slide the bag into an appropriately sized pitcher, snip a little hole in the corner of the bag and pour it to your heart's content.

Does it make it taste better? That's for you to decide. Is it weird, quirky and very Canadian? There's no doubt about that.

Kraft Dinner

Kraft Dinner is, again, another staple of the Canadian diet. For the unfamiliar, it's basically Kraft Macaroni and Cheese but marketed under a different name.

That being said, Kraft Dinner has become one of the most Canadian grocery store grabs you can make, and luckily it's actually quite affordable as well -- which is maybe what has led to its popularity.

It's easy to make, super tasty and feels like a nice bowl of something Canadian, even though, yes, other countries have mac and cheese, but they don't have Kraft Dinner.


And this is one that you might not actually have expected to be on the list.

Canada, especially along the coasts, has some stellar seafood that is guaranteed to blow you out of the water, especially when it comes to salmon.

Strange right?

Whether you're getting it wild or farmed, having both the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as places to pull some delicious fish from is a heaven-send, either choice is delicious.

And, depending on how you shop, you can often get some great salmon for a pretty affordable price from your local grocery store, no fishmonger needed!

Ketchup chips

Ketchup chips.

Tristan Wheeler | Narcity

No list of Canadian food would be complete without a mention of one of the most Canadian chips you get can get, ketchup.

And while of course, it's not the only chip that you can get exclusively in Canada, it is one that nearly every person who grew up in the Great White North has some nostalgic connection to.

They're tangy, sweet, salty and vinegary in the way only they can be. They're the snack of so many Canadian childhoods and you would be remised not to at least try them to understand the Canadian palette.

A good starting place might be Lay's brand ketchup chips, but there are so many that you can try all the brands if you like and see which one you like the best.

Kraft Peanut Butter

This is one that might surprise some Canadians out there. Kraft Peanut Butter is actually only a thing up here in the Great White North.

I know, you must be thinking "What? How?" and it's because the same product goes by a different name or brand in other countries.

So, if you're looking to stock up your cupboard with some real Canadian stuff, at least in name only, grabbing that jar of peanut butter with the cute bears on it is going to be a great step in that direction.

Is it going to be the same as other peanut butter from places such as the United States? Maybe! But much like Kraft Dinner, having that unique name in branding is sometimes all it takes to unlock some Canadianness.

So, as a newcomer to Canada, these are all the grocery store items you'll want to at least try to feel like you're living a classic Canadian experience.

It should also be noted that having or trying these things doesn't instantly make you Canadian or not if you haven't. Canada is a multicultural country, and you can be just as "Canadian" as the next person and have never even looked at any of these products. This is just an idea of the classic Canadian products that many know and love.

Of course, there are countless items that are exclusive to Canada that can't be included here but know that there is so much out there to give a try.

Happy shopping!

Tristan Wheeler
Tristan Wheeler was a Creator for Narcity Media focused on money and budgets and is based in Toronto, Ontario.