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Where are Sesame Seeds in the Grocery Store? (Quick Guide)

Lisa Price
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by Lisa Price

Sesame seeds are an item that most people could spend hours looking for in a grocery store. It is almost like you must possess some secret knowledge or find a secret entrance to get the answer to “Where to find sesame seeds in the grocery store?”

You will find sesame seeds in the spices and cooking aisle of the grocery store with other cooking aids like flaxseed, bagel seasoning, and salt.

If you do not find sesame seeds in the spices and cooking aisle, the next place you should look is in the Asian food section if your grocery has one or the organic snack section.

Sesame Seeds
Sesame Seeds

What do sesame seeds look like in the supermarket?

Sesame seeds come in small glass jars or small spice tins. They’re usually found in the spice aisle, which helps you envision the type of container they come in. Some stores stock sesame seeds with ethnic foods, and you might find them in larger containers.

What is the price of sesame seeds?

Kroger’s store brand sesame seeds are just over $3 for a two-ounce tin. Simple Truth Organic sesame seeds are over $4 for a two-ounce jar. Walmart’s Great Value sesame seeds are less than $1 for two ounces, while their organic sesame seeds are $4 for the same sized jar.

The price of sesame seeds can vary according to the size of the container and the brand. Many stores sell their brand of sesame seeds in small quantities.

Some brands sell sesame seeds in a bag, like Frontier Organic. They sell a 16-ounce bag for $7. You can also look for black sesame seeds, which typically cost the same as white sesame seeds but might be harder to find.

You can buy sesame seeds online and often get a better price for a larger portion. However, you’ll have to pay for shipping in most cases and wait several days for the product to arrive at your house.

If you need sesame seeds for a recipe, you might not want to wait. Therefore, it might be worth spending more at the grocery store.

What are the best brands of sesame seeds to buy?

In addition to store-brand offerings, there are many brands of sesame seeds on the market. Some of the best brands include:

Where to buy sesame seeds near me?

Sesame seeds are eaten as snacks or used in recipes. Most supermarkets sell sesame seeds because they are a common garnish, flavoring, and food texture ingredient.

The following stores will carry them:

  • Any Asian grocery stores
  • Walmart’s grocery section
  • Target’s grocery section
  • Any major supermarket in your area

The trick is not finding where to buy sesame seeds. The mystery that needs solving is locating them in the store where you are shopping. As mentioned above, they can be in one of several places.

For example, sesame seeds are a vital part of Asian cooking, so they might be located there, but they are also a key part of some seafood dishes. 

How to buy sesame seeds online 

There are several opportunities to purchase sesame seeds online. Here are five e-commerce sites that sell sesame seeds and have an option for delivery or in-store or drive-up pickup:

Amazon

Amazon has several options for delivery and carries several brands of sesame seeds. A shipping charge is applicable if the purchaser is not an Amazon Prime member. There are multiple ways to achieve discounts on shipping charges, but the best tactic is to buy several items at once to get free shipping.

If you order sesame seeds this way, you need to know the type you need (for garnish, as a dish ingredient, or as a snack) as Amazon has several options.

Walmart

Walmart offers delivery and curbside or in-store pickup. Delivery options include same day, but most are 1 to 3 days. Walmart also offers several types of sesame seeds, so you should have a good idea of how you want to use them.

Target

Target sells an assortment of sesame seeds. You can pick them up within two hours of ordering if you opt for in-store pickup. Most Target stores have delivery options ranging from overnight to several days delivery. You also need to know the kind of sesame seeds you want. Keep in mind that Target has a limited inventory in terms of types of sesame seeds.

Nuts-in-Bulk

Nuts-in-Bulk is a wholesale distributor and seller of, as the name implies, different kinds of nuts or nut-like food items. Do not let the “bulk” title scare you. The organization sells its inventory in several sizes. The Nuts-in-Bulk website has several options for shipping.

My Spice Sage

My Spice Sage has been around since 2008, selling healthy lifestyle products backed with a 100% satisfaction guaranteed warranty. There are more options on this site than any of the others. My Spice Sage also has several shipping options.

Tips on Ordering Sesame Seeds Online

Here are a few tips for ordering sesame seeds (or any perishable product) online:

Stick With Known Sellers

Many fraudulent organizations sell what they call “health food” online. Often, it is not as advertised. Some are outright scams. Stick with known sellers like Amazon or Walmart, etc.

Some sellers try to sell you tons of the product you want to buy. You probably do not need 50 pounds of sesame seeds, no matter the price break.

Verify the Packaging

Sesame seeds are durable but not impervious to environmental factors. Ensure the vendor you use has an established delivery service and packages their products safely.

Verify the Delivery Organization

Some online vendors will go with bargain shippers to save money. That can be a two-edged sword. On the one hand, you save money. On the other hand, you may not see your product for weeks.

How long do store-bought sesame seeds last after opening?

Store-bought sesame seeds last just as long in an open container as they do in terms of store shelf life. Always check the “best by” date the manufacturer printed on the container, but know that this date isn’t set in stone. For sesame seeds, you can add three to eight months to that date and still enjoy fresh sesame seeds in your recipes.

These times refer to keeping sesame seeds in the pantry, which is a fine way to keep them. If you prefer to keep them in your refrigerator, you can add a year to the “best by” date and still have fresh sesame seeds.

You might find that the flavor of your sesame seeds lessens over time, but they’re still fine to use in your recipes. You won’t get sick from eating older sesame seeds, but they might not add as much flavor as you’re used to.

How to properly store sesame seeds?

Sesame seeds should stay in an air-tight container, whether that’s the bag or jar they came in, or you transfer them into something else. They can stay in a dark corner of the pantry as long as they stay relatively cool and the temperature doesn’t fluctuate much.

You can keep sesame seeds in the fridge to ensure they last longer. When you keep them in a dark pantry, they’ll stay fresh for six to eight months at room temperature. In the cool interior of the refrigerator, they’ll stay fresh for closer to a year.

Should sesame seeds be refrigerated?

The short answer is yes and no. You can keep sesame seeds in the pantry and they’ll stay fresh for a long time, especially compared to many other ingredients. Sesame seeds kept in an air-tight container in the pantry are good for up to eight months.

However, refrigerating your sesame seeds in an air-tight container means they’ll stay fresh for up to a year. A few months isn’t a huge difference, but it’s better to keep sesame seeds in the fridge if you don’t think you’ll use them up in eight months. You can have a few more months of sesame seed-enhanced recipes instead of having to throw them away.

What can i get instead of sesame seeds?

Here are some suggestions, listed in no particular order.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower Seeds

If you were using sesame seeds as a snack, most people think sunflower seeds in the hull are a better option. Sunflower seeds have a lot of Vitamin E, copper, magnesium, selenium proteins, fiber, and phytochemicals. That is fancy talk for “very good for you.” Sunflower seeds are also good in multiple dishes, including salads, fried meats, and stir fry.

Chopped Nuts

Chopped Nuts
Chopped Nuts

Chopped nuts are probably the closest substitute in terms of taste, excluding sesame-based additives. The best substitutes are almonds and walnuts, but any diced nut will do. Almost all nuts have the same health benefits as sesame seeds. Nuts can be substituted for sesame seeds in cookies, bread, and muffins and used in meals like most Asian foods.

Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil
Sesame Oil

If your local grocery does not have sesame seeds, they will almost certainly have sesame oil. You can find it in the spice and baking aisle of most supermarkets. If it is not there, find the Asian foods section of the market, and it will be there. You want to make sure that your sesame seed oil is not infused with anything else if you need a pure sesame seed taste.

You might also be interested in: Sesame oil substitutes

Sesame seed oil smells and tastes like sesame seeds. The only thing missing is the bulk of the food that sesame seeds provide.

Also, sesame seed oil is not as aesthetically pleasing as sesame seeds. You want to avoid using sesame seed oil in baked dishes. Sesame seed oil burns very quickly and easily, which can wreck a dish before you realize it is a problem.

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About Lisa Price
Lisa Price
Lisa is Food Champ's resident fitness enthusiast and nutrition expert. She holds a nutrition degree in her home state of Florida and works for a large health system to ensure sound nutrition and dietetics information is passed on to all members.
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