New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around.

Most Expensive vs. Cheapest Everyday Shopping Around the World

Most Expensive vs. Cheapest Everyday Shopping Around the World
16 September 2021 James Brooke

Maintaining employee spending power while on international assignment is a top priority for employers. The cost of everyday shopping basket goods, plus the exchange rate to the local currency, all has to be taken into consideration.

As the cost of everyday items have shifted significantly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, global mobility expert ECA International here outlines the countries in which expats and visitors will benefit from cheap everyday shopping basket products, and those that might leave them counting their pennies or pesos.

Those that like to spice up their dishes may be shocked by the cost of ginger. Prices skyrocketed in many countries around the world due to a global shortage, triggered in part by the demand for ‘halo foods’ during the pandemic. While the price of ginger has increased by 10% on average globally, Australia is the most expensive country for ginger, pricing a kilo of the good stuff at £21.74. However, in many cities throughout much of the world, ginger will still set expats back between £12.49 and £13.21.

A generous portion of ginger might be easier to swallow in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a kilo is more than £20 cheaper than in Australia (£1.33).

Top 5 most expensive locations in the world for 1kg of ginger


1Kg of Ginger

Sydney, Australia


Vienna, Austria


Windhoek, Namibia


Santiago, Chile


Tokyo, Japan



Top 5 cheapest locations in the world for 1kg of ginger


1kg of ginger

Dhaka, Bangladesh


Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo


Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso


Bamako, Mali


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



For those that start each morning with a freshly home-brewed coffee before venturing off to work, the price of a coffee may leave a bitter taste for those living in Thailand, as 500g of ground coffee costs more than £20 (£20.89).

As the largest coffee producer in the world, contributing to about a third of all the world’s coffee, it’s no surprise that coffee in Brazil is by far the cheapest country for those sipping an espresso in the mornings, at just £2.14 for 500g, and Thailand is ten times more expensive.

Top 5 most expensive locations in the world for 500g of ground coffee


500g of ground coffee

Bangkok, Thailand


Kingston, Jamaica


Shanghai, China


Taipei, Taiwan


Seoul, Korea Republic



For Brits wanting to rustle up home comforts such as a cottage pie or bangers and mash, visitors and expats may be surprised by the price of potatoes in some countries around the world. It’ll set them back as much as £3.60 per kilo of potatoes in Hong Kong, with Tokyo, Japan not far behind (£3.15).

Meanwhile, the phrase ‘cheap as chips’ can quite literally be applied in cities such as Almaty, Kazakhstan and Karachi, Pakistan, where potatoes are the cheapest, ranging from between £0.24 to £0.28.

Top 5 most expensive locations in the world for 1kg of potatoes


1kg of potatoes

Hong Kong, Hong Kong


Tokyo, Japan


Seoul, South Korea


Brazzaville, Congo





The saying ‘best thing since sliced bread’ might not be a popular phrase in some areas of Africa, where a sliced loaf of bread costs as much at £12.19.
On average, an 800g loaf provides 18 slices, therefore in Niamey, Niger, a slice would cost a staggering £0.67 – that’s more than an entire loaf in the cheapest location in the world, Karachi, Pakistan, where it costs just £0.57p a loaf.

Top 5 most expensive locations in the world for loaf of bread – 800g


800g of bread

Niamey, Niger


Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso


Yaounde, Cameroon


Libreville, Gabon


Brazzaville, Congo



The data comes from ECA’s latest Cost of Living report. The global mobility expert has been conducting research into the cost of living for over 45 years to help businesses ensure their employees’ spending power is maintained when sent overseas for work.

For further information about ECA International and its Cost of Living report, please visit:


Notes to Editors
Rooster will coordinate comment and interviews for Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager at ECA International

For further press information, please contact:
Yasmine Triana | Arabella Halfhide | Natalie Garland
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8934
E: [email protected]

ECA’s Cost of Living research
ECA International’s cost of living research is carried out in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services commonly purchased by assignees. The cost of living data is collected for 489 locations in 189 countries with the prices in this release based on the 121 countries used in ECA’s cost of living rankings. The data used above refers to the March 2021 data collection period. ECA’s has been collecting cost of living information for 50 years.

Cost of living indices are used by ECA clients to calculate cost of living allowances for assignees. The research covers:

  • Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Basic: Household goods; recreational goods; general services; leisure services
  • General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out; alcohol and tobacco
  • Utilities costs
  • Public transport

About ECA International
ECA International is the market-leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully-integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions – every time.
ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.