Skip to content

South Africans in Germany

Home » Daily life in Germany » Shopping » Product Substitutes

Product Substitutes

Most products we know in South Africa are available in Germany, but unfortunately not all of them. Here is a list of product substitutes  for some of them.
I you would like more information about where to buy South African products in Germany, see our Products we love page

Food related products

Substitutes – Drinks

Here is a list of substitutes for hot and cold drinks. The list is searchable. Related content Where to buy South African products

Meat and Fish

German and South African meat cuts are not similar.South Africa tends to follow the British way of cutting meat German beef cuts Rinderhals, Kamm or

Substitutes – Other Products

Here is a list of substitutes and translations for general food and kitchen items like cling film, maize meal, custard and biscuits    Related content

Frozen products

Here is a list of suggestions for ready-made pasty (dough) products and some translations. Related content Inspiration

Baking ingredients

Here is a list of suggestions for Baking and wheat products, as well as some translations.   More information about Flour types Ash Protein US

Types of Sugars

Here is a list of suggestions for types of sugars, as well as some translations. Related content

Dairy substitutes

Here is a list of suggestions for dairy products, as well as some translations. You can also read more on Rewe’s site Related content

Spices and Herbs

Here is a list of the most common spices and herbs with their Afrikaans, English and German names Spices Afrikaans English German Borrie Turmeric die

General household items

South African ProductSubstitute suggestionAdditional Info
JIKTry DanklorixActive ingredient for JIK is: Sodium Hypochlorite 3.5% m/v when packed. Other Ingredients: Water, Fragrance.
Aqueous CreamCeraVe Feuchtigkeitscreme
Eucerin Original Healing Cream
You can buy online
Sugar SoapAnlauger & Entfetter
Handy Andy cleaning creamScheuermilch – available in most shops. a popular brand is VissHANDY ANDY CONTAINS AMONGST OTHER INGREDIENTS Less than 5% Non ionic surfactants 5%- 8% Anionic surfactants 7%- 15% Abrasive agent
Dettol or SavlonThe Sagrotan brand is a very good substitute and available in most shopsThere is unfortunately no subsittute for the Dettol in a bottel, you can only get sprays. Some suggests Betaisodona Lösung. You can also look in Asian/ African Shops
Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid Fairy and Pril works pretty goodIngredients: Anionic detergents, solubilisers, colourants and perfume.

Stationery Items

South African ProductSubstitute Suggestion or TranslationAdditional Information
Sellotape or Adhesive TapeKlebeband is the collective name for all kinds of Tape, and you can specify the width for most. Klebeband Transparent is what we know as Sellotape. Tesa is a well know brand and people will sometimes refer to it as Tesafilm
Duct TapeUniversalklebeband, Panzerband oder Industrieklebeband
Packing Tape – the brown tape you use to seal boxes or packagesDas Paketklebeband
Prestik or Adhesive PuttyDie Klebemasse or die Klebeknete

Medicinal Products

See our list here

Bed linen

Most Germans sleep under their own single duvet, even on a “double” bed. The usual arrangement is a bed with two mattresses and each person sleeping under their own duvet.
To buy queen or king-size linen and duvets, look online.
If you brought your own pillows from SA, look on online shops in the UK like They deliver in Germany.
Some shops in Germany like Wayfair, Ikea and Home24 will have the correct sizes but you will have a limited selection.

See also Beds, Mattresses and Duvets for standard pillow sizes and other information

Beauty products

Many of your favourite beauty products are not readily available in Germany.
Online shops like Flaconi and Hagel-shop and Douglas have a great rage, but you will not find Sorbet, Africology or Bio-Oil (look in Rewe) there.
You can find Charlotte Rhys (based in Cape Town) at Douglas.

Other products you can find online:

  • Johson’s baby products
  • Savlon
  • Dettol – the Dettol brand is sold under the name Sagrotan, although the Dettol Antiseptic Liquid can only be found online
  • Germolene Antiseptic Cream
  • Annique
  • Africology

So far I could not find substitutes for  Zam-buck (The Real Makoya Herbal Ointment is made with eucalyptus oil, camphor, thyme oil, and sassafras oil, and is a herbal ointment perfect for a range of skin conditions.)

Related content

Visiting a doctor

When I first came to Germany, I was fortunate to still frequently travel back to SA, so I did all my check-ups there and tried

Read More »

Similar Shops

Back home, you know exactly in what shop to look for specific items, where to find quality products and what shops have cheaper options.We tried

Read More »


Shopping in Germany can be a daunting experience if you are not familiar with how things work here. The worst is probably grocery shopping. In

Read More »