Frozen Food in Scandinavia – Northern Lights

The popularity of frozen foods in the Scandinavian countries remains high, reports Jonathan Thomas

The Scandinavian countries have relatively small food and beverage markets compared with elsewhere in Western Europe, mainly as a result of their lower populations. Food and drink typically represents between 10% and 15% of total consumer expenditure in Scandinavia – in 2015, food sales were worth almost EUR100bn at the retail level, although this has changed little of late due to the mature state of the market and fairly sluggish economic growth. The region also has a well-developed foodservice industry.

Throughout Scandinavia, retail food prices are higher than elsewhere in Western Europe. Partly because of this, own-label groceries have made rapid gains in recent years – in volume terms, the share of the market taken by private label is now over 30% in both Sweden and Denmark. One other notable development has been the entry into the Swedish grocery market of the French frozen food retailer Picard, early in 2013. As of 2015, the company had 12 stores in Sweden, and is aiming for 50 at some point in the near future.

Sales of frozen foods within the Nordic countries remain sizeable, and per capita consumption levels have traditionally been high. In Sweden, for example, per capita consumption of frozen foods is worth an estimated 52 kg, equivalent to a market worth up to 500,000 tonnes. One of the reasons for this is the fact that most Scandinavian households contain a freezer, ...

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