Food prices: – Now the trend has reversed

SVINESUND (Dagbladet): For years, Norwegians have traveled to Sweden in search of cheaper food and drink.

The last year is no exception, but as a result of rising food prices in Norway, the habits of harryhandlers have changed.

– We see that Norwegians are putting slightly different goods in the shopping cart now, says shop manager at Maximat Nordby, Ole Jørgen Lind, to Dagbladet.

The trend reversed

In the Swedish border town of Charlottenberg, the food chain Maximat notices clear changes in Norwegians’ shopping habits.

– As prices have risen, customers are choosing a different range from what they bought before. Now they buy cheaper products, says CEO at Maximat Charlottenberg, Torbjörn Swartz New Wermlands-Tidningen.

The trend has also changed in Nordby.

– We see that more people are looking for cheaper variants and that brands are no longer as important to customers. Many Norwegians are looking for meat, but more choose pork than cattle now compared to before. In addition, we sell more dry goods, such as pasta, sugar and flour. It has traditionally not been at the top of Norwegians’ shopping lists, says Lind.

STORE MANAGER: Ole Jørgen Lind at Maximat Nordby.  Photo: Kristin Svorte / Dagbladet

STORE MANAGER: Ole Jørgen Lind at Maximat Nordby. Photo: Kristin Svorte / Dagbladet
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In Norway, some experts have recommended hoarding various foodstuffs ahead of the price jump expected on Wednesday 1 February. Lind believes that this may have influenced what Norwegians pick from the Swedish store shelves.

– It seems that many have the Norwegian recommendation in mind when they come here. We see that customers are constantly buying more food, and that products with a longer shelf life are selling out faster than before. I think the change in shopping habits is due to a combination of more hoarding and a greater focus on price, explains Lind.

– But the items we have traditionally sold the most of, also get space in the trolleys. It’s probably a bit about the fact that once you’ve driven to Sweden to shop, you might treat yourself to the goods you want. In addition, many people come to us to buy goods that are not sold in Norway, adds the store manager.

– Which products are most popular among Norwegian customers?

– Meat in all varieties, especially red meat and bacon, is very popular. So are chicken, turkey and duck. There is also a lot of soft drinks and mineral water, as well as dairy products and different types of cheese, Lind answers.

That’s how big the price difference is

Prices in Sweden have, like in Norway, risen sharply in the past year.

In Norway, the price increase was 11.5 per cent, while food prices rose by almost 19 per cent in Sweden. It is the highest level since February 1991, according to the country’s statistical agency, SCB. But even though shopping in Sweden has not been so expensive in 32 years, according to the experts, it is still money to save for Norwegians.

Dagbladet has filled a shopping cart with Norwegians’ favorite goods to map how profitable it is to make a shopping trip to Swedish grocery stores.

FAVORITE: Bacon is one of the goods Norwegians buy most in Sweden.  Photo: Kristin Svorte / DAgbladet

FAVORITE: Bacon is one of the goods Norwegians buy most in Sweden. Photo: Kristin Svorte / DAgbladet
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The trolley consists of 30 food and drinks, including turkey, chicken and duck breast, moose roast, meatballs, spareribs, chop dough, bacon and herring. We have also picked with us a number of different cheeses, including parmesan, Jarlsberg, brie and chèvre, as well as the popular drinks Ramlösa and Pepsi Max. Various dairy products and dry goods are also on Dagbladet’s shopping list.

The Swedish cart has a price tag of NOK 1,947. The same items cost a total of NOK 3,428 at Oda, which came out best in DinSide’s price test earlier in January. This amounts to a price difference of NOK 1,480.

All of the items in Dagbladet’s shopping cart are cheaper in Sweden than in Norway. The mapping shows that the most money can be saved on meat products, Ramlösa and cheese, of which Jarlsberg in particular is significantly cheaper with our Swedish neighbours.

See the shopping list in its entirety in the table below. The prices are listed in Norwegian kroner.

Food prices in Sweden and Norway

Food products Sweden Norway Price difference in NOK
Frameless 20 x 0.33l 75,91 159,9 84,00
Pepsi Max 4 x 1,5l 47,41 64,9 17,50
Duck breast per kg 227,05 422,32 195,27
Turkey breast per kg 94,91 285,71 190,81
Chicken breast per kg 94,95 279,87 184,92
Elgstek per kg 312,55 321 8,45
Meat balls 61,66 87,9 26,25
spare ribs 126,45 309,83 183,38
Carbonated dough per kg 113,91 197 83,10
Bacon per kg 78,85 198,57 119,72
Sennepsild 21,76 48,8 27,05
Potatoes with cream gratin per kg 35,50 63,73 28,23
Jarlsberg per kg 94,91 169,67 74,77
Brie 500g 56,91 71 14,10
Chevre 180g 35,06 50,6 15,55
Parmesan 200g 66,41 93,1 26,70
Gouda per kg 94,91 131,11 36,21
Philadelphia Herbs 28,41 30,8 2,40
Skimmed milk 1.5l 19,86 26 6,15
Biola 1,5l 24,61 25,5 0,90
Butter and rapeseed oil 23,75 34,8 11,05
Turkish yogurt per kg 33,16 60,4 27,25
Fusilli pasta 500g 13,78 32,8 19,03
Sugar per kg 10,88 21,9 11,02
Wheat flour per kg 8,53 13,45 4,92
Polar bread 12 pcs 42,66 69 26,35
Filter coffee 37,95 50,9 12,95
Fun light saft 20,90 30,5 9,60
Orange juice 1/l 13,52 25,8 12,28
Omo Color liquid detergent 30,40 50,9 20,50
Total sum 1947,44 3427,76 1480,32
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