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American Products in Amsterdam

One interesting thing I've noticed about Amsterdam as compared to other European cities is the relative absence of American products and stores. I've seen Starbucks, The Gap, Barnes & Nobles or Urban Outfitters or other such stores in London, Athens and Paris, but none in Amsterdam. I didn't realize it at first, but after being surprised after seeing a Gap store in London, I started looking for American stores in Amsterdam, and not finding many. I did catch a glimpse of an American Apparel store on Westerstraat in the Jordaan and a Timberland store near Leidseplein. I don't mind - what's the point in buying something here in euros that I could get at home in dollars? - but I am impressed with Amsterdam's ability to fend off American companies. I can't imagine that such corporation don't want to open up stores in this great city.
There aren't many things I dislike about Amsterdam, but the absence or inaccessiblity of some American products does make me sad. For instance, I can't find maple syrup. I'm sure it's available somewhere, but I haven't found it yet, and so delicious maple syrupy pancakes remain out of my reach at the moment. There is a sugar syrup available in Albert Heijn, but it is not the same at all. I'm not homesick, exactly, but there are some American foods I crave. Boxed macaroni & cheese was high on that list until a friend's parents brought me some when they visited (they are kind kind souls). Paris and London both have more American foods available - London especially. So if you're craving something, you might want to make a field trip over there. It's easier than getting back to the US!

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Comments (8)

Simone:

Hi there, I am a lurking daily reader from Germany and I wanted to let you know that you can buy a whole lot of american groceries in german supermarkets! Germany is not as far as the states and you can be in the closest city in about 3 hours by car. At REWE Supermarket for instance they carry mac&cheese from Kraft, 3 different kinds of maple syrup.... biscuit and pancake baking mix (I don't know if it's the right word for it but you get my drift), Reese's pieces, different kinds of Hershey chocolate etc. At the end of October I will be in Zandvoort for a week, if you want anything let me know, I can bring you some yummie grocies.
The only american product I found at Albert Heijn was Dr. Pepper. LOL. In the Dirk supermarket chain you'll find Hellmann's Mayonnaise.
I am one of those check-out-local-supermarket-in-foreign-countries people ;-)
Have a great weekend! Wish I could be there in A'dam :-)
Simone

There's a place by Leidseplein (my friends and I call it the "American Store") but I think it's called Eicholtz, something like that. Anyway, they look like they have a ton of American groceries. check it out!

ChrisB:

Not sure if it's got maple syrup, but the British Food Store on Rozengracht (about 25 meters down from Prinsengracht) has helped me out on a few occasions with otherwise hard to find food products.

tny:

check out the 'natuurvoedings'stores they all have maple syrop! also go to 'thijns' in the 'pijp' 100 american, mexican, indian, japanees etc products!
good luck, bon appetit etc.
:-)

annie:

Why do you need American products when you have great/tasty food and other stuff here in Amsterdam..visit Rotterdam you will find more stores!! A tip go 2 Schiphol and go 2 Starbucks they have like 3 maby more and 1 is coming at Central Station in Amsterdam! At Schiphol they have a supermarket with foreign products check it out!!

Sj:

Well I tend to agree. I even go as far as ordering American foodstuff on amazon.com, grocery section and have it delivered to my house in Amsterdam. Unfortunatly, not everything can be shipped to Europe.

Once I went to Tom Greens's, expat food store near Sarphatti park.. I asked them, do you only carry British or also US food brands. The answer "If there is any American, it's entiry by accident." Hilarious!

Makro, Eicholz, Albert Heyn XL, Tom Green, British Foodstore, Schiphol food plaza, Tjins.. Yes, they all carry some products.. But why can't it all be brought to 1 place..

Empty supermarket JP Heijestraat.. I would say.. AH time for a new venture.. Theme based grocery stores?? Let's open up an American grocery store!!

Abraham Ocón:

Hi Everyone:

I saw in this show on Comedy Central, CCN (the parody of CNN) an interview to a person who owns an US products store (sorry but I am from Honduras and is part of America too) and they had everything. Too bad that I can´t remember the name, as I like many of US products too and I can´t find in Amsterdam.

Bu as Sj said, let´s open an American grocery store (now I am using american as there are lots of latin foods that you can´t find here and I think would be nice to have)

Regards,

Abraham

Angela:

Kingsalmarkt in Amstelveen has a wicked supply of American and English foods. From Aunt Jemima waffle mixes, syrups, drinks, walkers crisps, mincepies and pork pies and sausages.

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