Where To Buy Kimchi

Kimchi, the quintessential Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables, has surged in global popularity thanks to its unique flavor and health benefits and is becoming increasingly accessible worldwide. Whether you’re a seasoned kimchi lover looking to stock up or a curious newcomer ready to dive into the world of Korean cuisine, finding the best places to buy kimchi can be crucial. In this article, we will explore a variety of options for purchasing kimchi, both offline and online. From local grocery stores and specialized Asian markets to convenient online shopping platforms, we’ll guide you through where to find authentic kimchi to satisfy your cravings or enhance your cooking.

1. Buying Kimchi Offline

[1] Popular Global Supermarket Chains

These stores are a good starting point for anyone looking to buy kimchi locally. Availability may vary by location, so it’s a good idea to check online or contact the store directly to ensure they have kimchi in stock.

(1) Walmart

A major retailer with locations worldwide, Walmart typically stocks kimchi in the international or Asian food sections.

(2) Costco

Known for selling items in bulk, Costco often offers larger containers of kimchi, ideal for families or those who consume it regularly.

(3) Whole Foods Market

Catering to a health-conscious demographic, Whole Foods usually carries premium and organic kimchi options.

(4) Trader Joe’s

This grocery chain is known for its unique and diverse food selections, including its own brand of kimchi.

(5) Tesco

A leading grocery retailer in the UK, Tesco stocks kimchi in its international or Asian foods aisle, catering to diverse culinary tastes.

(6) Carrefour

With stores in multiple countries, Carrefour offers a variety of international foods, including kimchi, particularly in urban locations.

(7) Aldi

This cost-effective supermarket chain occasionally stocks kimchi, especially during special promotions focused on international cuisine.

[2] Korean Grocery Stores

(1) H Mart

H Mart is a prominent Korean-American supermarket chain that specializes in Asian foods and groceries. Originating from a small store in Queens, New York, in 1982, H Mart has grown into a major chain with locations across the United States, Canada, and even in London, making it one of the largest and most well-known Asian supermarket chains outside of Asia.

When it comes to kimchi, H Mart offers an extensive range from commercially popular brands to regional specialties. Shoppers can find everything from traditional Napa cabbage kimchi to more unique varieties like radish kimchi or cucumber kimchi. Each type of kimchi at H Mart is selected to ensure quality and authenticity, catering to both Korean expatriates seeking a taste of home and newcomers eager to explore the flavors of Korean cuisine.

H Mart is renowned for its wide variety of Asian products, ranging from fresh produce and seafood to a vast selection of pantry items and prepared foods. The store caters to both Asian expatriates and local food enthusiasts looking to explore the flavors of Asia. Additionally, many H Mart locations include food courts that serve authentic Asian dishes, further enhancing the cultural and culinary experience for shoppers.

(2) Lotte Plaza Market

Lotte Plaza Market, another chain with multiple locations, offers a variety of kimchi made in Korea and locally. Lotte Plaza Market is a prominent Asian supermarket chain in the United States, known for its extensive selection of Asian groceries and products. The market caters primarily to the Asian American community but is also popular among a wide range of customers interested in Asian cuisine. Lotte Plaza Market offers a variety of fresh produce, seafood, meat, and pantry items, including a diverse array of Korean products, from traditional ingredients to prepared foods. In addition to groceries, many Lotte Plaza locations feature specialty shops and eateries within the store, providing an immersive shopping experience that highlights the rich culinary traditions of Asia. This market is a destination for those seeking authentic Asian ingredients and products, contributing significantly to the accessibility of Asian foods in the U.S.

(3) Galleria Supermarket

Galleria Supermarket is a prominent Korean grocery chain in Canada, known for its comprehensive selection of Korean and Asian foods. At Galleria Supermarket, customers can find a wide array of kimchi options ranging from traditional Napa cabbage kimchi to more unique variations like radish and cucumber kimchi. The supermarket prides itself on offering authentic Korean products, making it a go-to destination for those seeking genuine Korean flavors. In addition to kimchi, Galleria Supermarket provides a vast selection of fresh produce, meats, seafood, and pantry staples, all tailored to the tastes and preferences of the Korean and broader Asian communities.

(4) Korea Foods

Operating under the retail name ‘Seoul Plaza’ in various cities across the UK, Korea Foods is known for its large selection of Korean food products. Their largest store in New Malden offers a wide range of items from chilled and frozen foods to ambient and fresh products.

(5) Oseyo

Oseyo is the largest Korean & Asian supermarket chain in the UK, offering a diverse range of Korean and Asian foods, as well as toys, stationery, houseware, and electronics. They are noted for their high-quality shop environments and excellent customer service.

[3] Asian Grocery Stores

Many cities have smaller, independent local Asian markets that carry kimchi. These are often family-owned and provide homemade or locally-made options.

(1) 99 Ranch Market

While primarily focused on Chinese and Southeast Asian products, 99 Ranch Market is a popular Asian supermarket chain in the United States, known for its extensive selection of Asian groceries, including a wide variety of Korean products. Their kimchi selection is particularly notable, offering customers an array of choices from classic Napa cabbage kimchi to more specialized types like radish kimchi and cucumber kimchi. These products are sourced from both Korea and local suppliers, ensuring authenticity and freshness. 99 Ranch Market caters to a diverse clientele, making it a convenient destination for those looking to explore the flavors of Korea and other Asian cuisines.

[4] Health Food Stores

(1) Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market, a well-known international grocery chain, is renowned for its focus on natural and organic products. With a commitment to health and quality, Whole Foods provides a diverse range of grocery items, including a thoughtful selection of fermented foods like kimchi. At Whole Foods, customers can find a variety of kimchi options that cater to different dietary preferences, including organic and vegan varieties. The store typically stocks kimchi from both well-established brands and smaller artisan producers, ensuring high-quality ingredients without artificial preservatives or additives.

[5] Farmers Markets

Some local farmers markets have vendors who specialize in fermented foods, including homemade kimchi. These are great for those looking for small-batch and freshly made kimchi.

[6] Specialty Stores

Gourmet shops and international food stores sometimes carry high-end or imported kimchi, offering unique varieties that might not be available in larger chains.

2. Buying Kimchi Online

[1] Amazon

On Amazon, shoppers can browse through different types of kimchi, such as traditional Napa cabbage kimchi, radish kimchi (kkakdugi), and vegan options that exclude traditional fish sauce. The selection includes both domestic and imported brands, providing choices that range from artisanal and organic to more commercial and widely recognized names.

[2] Korean Online Grocery Stores

(1) H Mart Online

Provides the same wide selection as their physical stores, available for shipping nationwide. The digital counterpart of the well-known H Mart stores, their online platform offers a comprehensive range of Korean groceries, fresh produce, and ready-to-eat meals. It provides nationwide delivery in the U.S. and has a reputation for freshness and quality.

(2) Kim’C Market Online

Kim’C Market is an online grocery platform that offers a variety of Korean and Asian foods, catering to enthusiasts of Korean cuisine across the United States. They specialize in delivering high-quality, authentic Korean ingredients and products directly to consumers’ doors, ensuring freshness and authenticity. Kim’C Market provides an assortment of kimchi. These products are sourced from trusted producers who use authentic recipes and fermentation techniques, making them popular among both Koreans and non-Koreans alike.

[3] Specialty Online Retailers

(1) Mama O’s Kimchi

Mama O’s Premium Kimchi is renowned for its artisanal approach to making traditional Korean kimchi. Founded by Kheedim Oh based on his mother’s recipes, Mama O’s emphasizes the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients without the addition of preservatives. Their range includes classic Napa cabbage kimchi, as well as unique varieties like vegan kimchi and kimchi paste, catering to diverse dietary preferences.

(2) Kimchi Kooks

Kimchi Kooks is a brand that brings a unique, artisanal touch to the traditional Korean dish, kimchi. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Kimchi Kooks is a family-run business that draws from generations of kimchi-making experience, offering a range of handcrafted kimchi using local, organic ingredients whenever possible. Their lineup includes classic kimchi varieties as well as innovative flavors like white kimchi, which is milder and lacks the red chili peppers found in traditional recipes. Their products can be found in select stores and are also available for purchase online, catering to kimchi lovers across the U.S.

(3) Sinto Gourmet

Sinto Gourmet is a brand that specializes in producing a variety of authentic Korean kimchi, emphasizing the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. Based in San Francisco, Sinto Gourmet’s products are crafted under the guidance of founder HyunJoo Albrecht, who brings her family’s traditional Korean kimchi recipes to the market. The brand offers several types of kimchi, including traditional Napa cabbage, spicy radish, and a vegan option, catering to diverse dietary preferences and ensuring there is a Sinto kimchi for every palate. Their products are available in various health food stores, specialty markets, and online, making it accessible for kimchi enthusiasts everywhere looking for genuine Korean flavors.

(4) Thrive Market

Thrive Market offers a curated selection of health-conscious food products, including kimchi, catering to those looking for organic and sustainably sourced options. Their kimchi typically adheres to traditional Korean recipes and is made using natural ingredients, without artificial preservatives. This makes Thrive Market’s kimchi a great choice for health-minded individuals who value both authenticity and ecological responsibility in their food choices. Thrive Market’s model allows members to buy premium health food products at reduced prices online, including a variety of kimchi options, making it accessible and convenient for shoppers across the United States.

[4] Kimchi Subscription Services

Some services offer a subscription box where you can receive different types of kimchi every month, which is a great way to explore various flavors and styles.

(1) Mr. Kimchi

Mr. Kimchi offers a subscription service that delivers authentic, freshly made kimchi right to your doorstep. Ideal for kimchi enthusiasts, this service ensures you never run out of your favorite Korean staple. Mr. Kimchi’s subscription options cater to various preferences with several types of traditional kimchi available, including classic Napa cabbage, radish, and cucumber kimchi. Customers can choose the frequency and quantity of their deliveries, making it a convenient way to enjoy the health benefits and delicious taste of kimchi regularly without the hassle of frequent shopping.

3. Popular Kimchi Brands

A. Big Corporate Brands

Big corporate brands of kimchi are typically well-established companies that produce kimchi on a large scale. These brands have the capability to distribute their products widely, both domestically and internationally, and often offer a variety of kimchi types, including traditional recipes and new, innovative flavors that aim to appeal to a global palate. Their products are usually available in supermarkets, Asian grocery stores, and online platforms, making them accessible to a broad audience.

[1] Jongga

Jongga is one of South Korea’s leading kimchi brands, renowned for its authentic and traditional approach to making kimchi. Internationally recognized, Jongga exports its kimchi to many countries, ensuring that the unique taste of Korea can be enjoyed worldwide. The brand is known for using high-quality ingredients and age-old fermentation techniques, which capture the distinct flavors and health benefits associated with traditional Korean kimchi. Jongga offers a variety of kimchi types, catering to different tastes and preferences, making it a favorite among those looking to experience genuine Korean cuisine.

[2] CJ Bibigo

CJ Bibigo is a prominent brand under the CJ Group, one of South Korea’s largest food companies, known for bringing a modern twist to traditional Korean dishes, including kimchi. Bibigo’s kimchi is crafted to cater to both traditional tastes and contemporary palates, making it popular internationally. Their products are designed for convenience, focusing on ready-to-eat meals that maintain the authentic flavors and essential health benefits of traditional kimchi. This approach has helped CJ Bibigo make Korean cuisine more accessible globally, expanding its presence in various international markets with products that appeal to a wide audience looking for quality and authenticity in Korean food.

[3] Pulmuone

Pulmuone Kimchi is recognized for its dedication to natural and wholesome food products, including their range of kimchi. This brand emphasizes the use of high-quality, fresh ingredients without relying on artificial preservatives, making their kimchi a popular choice for health-conscious consumers. Pulmuone’s commitment to sustainability and natural processes resonates well internationally, appealing to global markets that value authentic and environmentally friendly food options. Their kimchi is celebrated for maintaining the depth of traditional Korean flavors, appealing to both native Koreans and international palates looking for genuine Korean kimchi.

[4] Sempio

Sempio is a well-known Korean brand that has made a significant mark in the international food market with its kimchi. Known for adhering to traditional recipes and methods, Sempio Kimchi captures the authentic flavors that are key to genuine Korean kimchi. They use quality ingredients and traditional fermentation processes to ensure that their kimchi has the right balance of spiciness, tanginess, and umami that kimchi lovers expect. Sempio’s commitment to quality and authenticity makes their kimchi a popular choice among consumers worldwide, seeking to experience the rich culinary heritage of Korea at home.

[5] Dongwon

Dongwon, a well-established brand in Korea, offers a line of canned kimchi that is widely available on international markets. Their canned kimchi is particularly noted for its convenience and long shelf life, making it a practical choice for those wanting to enjoy kimchi without worrying about rapid spoilage. This product retains the essential flavors and textures of traditional kimchi, despite the canning process, ensuring that consumers can still enjoy the authentic taste of Korean kimchi anywhere in the world. Dongwon’s canned kimchi is ideal for those seeking a quick and easy way to include kimchi in their meals, catering especially to outdoor activities, emergency food supplies, or everyday pantry staples.

B. Small Local Brands

Small local brands often focus on bespoke quality, traditional kimchi-making methods, using locally sourced ingredients and artisanal techniques. These brands tend to emphasize organic, non-GMO, or specific dietary options such as vegan kimchi, catering to health-conscious consumers or those seeking authentic culinary experiences. Small local brands typically have a more limited distribution, often selling their products at farmers’ markets, local specialty stores, or through direct online sales. Their kimchi is frequently handcrafted in smaller batches, which many believe allows for richer and more distinct flavors compared to mass-produced varieties.

[6] King’s Asian Gourmet Kimchi

King’s Asian Gourmet Kimchi is well-regarded for offering a variety of authentic Korean kimchi that captures the traditional flavors and fermentation techniques of this iconic dish. This brand is celebrated for its use of high-quality, natural ingredients, ensuring each batch of kimchi is rich in flavor and packed with beneficial probiotics. King’s Asian Gourmet provides several types of kimchi, including the classic Napa cabbage kimchi and other variations like radish kimchi, appealing to a wide range of tastes and dietary preferences. Available in many grocery stores and online platforms, King’s Asian Gourmet Kimchi is ideal for those seeking a genuine Korean culinary experience.

[7] Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi (MILKimchi)

Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi, founded by Lauryn Chun, is renowned for its authentic and traditional recipes. The brand started with recipes from Chun’s family restaurant in California and has expanded to offer a variety of flavors, including vegan options. MILKimchi is noted for its depth of flavor and use of quality ingredients. It is available in many health food stores such as Whole Foods, as well as online platforms like Amazon.

[8] Lucky Foods Seoul Kimchi

Lucky Foods started as a family restaurant and evolved into a popular kimchi brand under the Seoul label. Their kimchi is praised for being flavorful and well-balanced, making it an excellent choice for kimchi beginners. Seoul Kimchi by Lucky Foods can be found in many mainstream grocery stores and online retailers.

[9] Mama O’s Kimchi

Mama O’s Premium Kimchi is a boutique brand that has garnered attention for its handcrafted approach to making traditional Korean kimchi. The brand offers a variety of kimchi types, including classic cabbage kimchi and more unique flavors like radish and cucumber kimchi. Mama O’s also stands out for offering vegan kimchi, catering to a wider range of dietary preferences. Internationally recognized for its dedication to maintaining the integrity of traditional kimchi while innovating with new flavors, Mama O’s Premium Kimchi has become popular not only in specialty food markets but also online, where customers around the world can order their products.

4. Various Kimchi Packaging Styles

Kimchi is available in various forms and packaging styles internationally, catering to different consumer needs from convenience to traditional tastes. Here’s an overview of the common types of kimchi packaging found worldwide.

[1] Glass Jars

Glass jars are perhaps the most traditional method for packaging kimchi and are widely used because they allow the kimchi to continue fermenting. Consumers can often see the product before purchase, which adds to its appeal. This type of packaging is common in grocery stores and specialty Asian markets.

[2] Plastic Containers

Plastic tubs or containers are another popular option for kimchi packaging, especially in supermarkets. These containers are typically resealable, which helps maintain the freshness of the kimchi after opening. They are lightweight and practical for both transport and storage.

[3] Vacuum-Sealed Bags

For those looking for longevity and space-saving options, vacuum-sealed bags are ideal. This packaging method removes air, which slows down the fermentation process and extends the shelf life. It’s particularly popular for those purchasing kimchi online or importing it.

[4] Canned Kimchi

Although less common, canned kimchi is available and offers the longest shelf life. The canning process stops fermentation, preserving the kimchi’s state at the time of canning, which some purists argue might affect the flavor and probiotic benefits.

[5] DIY Kimchi Kits

With the growing trend of homemade foods, DIY kimchi kits have become popular. These kits typically include all the necessary ingredients and instructions to make kimchi at home, appealing to those interested in a more hands-on approach.

5. Things To Consider When Buying Kimchi

[1] Ingredients And Authenticity

Traditional kimchi typically includes napa cabbage, radish, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and Korean chili flakes (gochugaru). For dietary restrictions, look for vegan or vegetarian options that substitute fish sauce with soy sauce or seaweed extracts. Be mindful of additives or preservatives if you prefer a more natural product. Authentic kimchi does not typically contain artificial preservatives.

[2] Fermentation Level

The flavor of kimchi changes as it ferments. Freshly made kimchi will be crispier and less sour than older, more fermented kimchi, which will have a stronger flavor. Consider how you plan to use the kimchi (as a side dish, in cooking, etc.) to choose the right level of fermentation.

[3] Spiciness

The level of heat can vary significantly between different brands and types of kimchi. Some are relatively mild, while others pack a significant punch. Check the label or product description to gauge the spice level if you have a preference.

[4] Packaging

Kimchi can be found in jars, cans, vacuum-sealed bags, and plastic tubs. Jars and tubs allow for ongoing fermentation, potentially deepening the flavors, while vacuum-sealed and canned options might halt fermentation but offer longer shelf life.

[5] Brand And Origin

Some brands import their kimchi directly from Korea, which might appeal to those seeking authenticity. Others are produced locally, which can be fresher and support local businesses. Depending on your preference for traditional vs. locally adapted flavors, the choice of brand and origin can make a significant difference.

[6] Storage And Expiry Date

Always check the storage instructions and expiry date. Most kimchi should be refrigerated and consumed within a few weeks of opening, although unopened kimchi can last much longer, especially if vacuum-sealed or canned.

[7] Vegan Options

Many brands offer vegan kimchi, which substitutes fish sauce and shrimp paste with vegetable broths and seaweed extracts.


Whether you’re shopping online or in person, there are numerous options for buying kimchi. By exploring different stores and websites, you can find the kimchi that best suits your taste preferences and dietary needs. Whether incorporated into traditional Korean dishes or used to enhance Western recipes, kimchi’s versatility and health benefits make it a valuable addition to any meal.

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