If you’ve spent some time at French markets or grocery stores, you’ve surely seen a few chariots de course (also called pousettes de marché), that let you put your groceries directly into your cart to wheel home. Not only are they easier on the environment, but they are easier on your body especially when you have a bunch of groceries and a long way to walk. I used to think these grocery carts on wheels were only for the senior citizen crowd, but in France and many other European countries, shopping trolleys on wheels seem to be the chic way to transport your groceries from the market to your house.
Shopping basket with wheels: Old lady shopping trolley carts are chic?
When I first arrived in France, I noticed these fun shopping trolleys with wheels right away. These weren’t the norm back in the USA and if I did see someone with this type of shopping cart in New York City, the person was always about 80 years old. They aren’t something considered hip or cool in American shopping culture.
But in France, especially in areas where people walk to the market or grocery store, trendy shopping trolley models with wheel are commonplace and even expected. Sure, you can bring a basket or bag to shop, but when you buy a lot of items, it’s so much easier to wheel them home in a spacious 4-wheel shopping cart. The shopping cart wheels are really durable as well and go up curbs and can roll on gravel with no problem.
So to truly immerse myself in French culture and make my shopping a little easier, I went for it bought a red Rolser shopping trolley this past weekend. Our new house is right next to the marché and close to the supermarket and I figured it was about time to ditch the grocery bags and look more French. But I can’t help but think these French shopping carts are for people who are 80+ years old. It’s not the case, though!
Men and women of all ages use rolling shopping trolleys on wheels in France and they aren’t a granny cart or old lady cart. My idea of the old lady shopping trolley has gone out the window because they’re cool here.
Would this fly in New York City? Would anyone under 40 use an old lady shopping trolley? Probably not. But with new fun designs and models, shopping trolleys are gaining in popularity across the Atlantic and aren’t just used in Europe.
In many areas of Europe, it IS normal to use a French shopping trolley when you’re out shopping like the one below. My favorite brand is the Rolser trolley. They are high-quality, durable, and come in a variety of patterns and materials.
From a practicality standpoint, a European shopping trolley is fantastic. Mine is waterproof, insulated and cinches closed at the top (keeps the rain, sun and curious dog noses out). Going up the stairs is a piece of cake. They save your palms from getting torn up from the handles of heavy grocery bags and make walking 20 minutes a breeze. The roller carts even come in a bunch of chic patterns, colors and styles.
But something tells me the Whole Foods back home in the U.S. doesn’t have these things. Instead, they sell all kinds of chic grocery bags and NOT chic carts. Rolser shopping trolley styles are pretty trendy, so maybe that will change in the coming years.
So what’s the problem with using a French shopping cart? It’s a mental thing but something I’ll soon get past. They just seem like something for senior citizens who physically can’t carry groceries. They don’t call it an old lady shopping trolley for nothing. There are even shopping trolleys that seem to be more for the elderly in easier to maneuver styles. But hey, if the cool kids in Paris use these things, why can’t I, right?
Anyway, I think I’ve crossed over. Not sure if I’ve crossed over to being more French or more like an old lady with my granny cart. But I love my French shopping trolley and have no shame in using it. When in Rome and all….
Here’s a picture of my Rolser old lady shopping trolley, er, super trendy shopping basket with wheels:
What do you think about using a French shopping trolley? Would you use a convenient grocery cart on wheels like this in France or where you live?
Here are the top shopping trolley bags online: