In a webinar titled “Challenges and Opportunities for Packaged Food in the Nordic Countries”, Euromonitor analysts examined food sector trends in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland – countries characterised by “a strong focus on health and the environment combined with a large portion of ethical, value-oriented consumers”.
So what strategies can food companies use to appeal to Nordic consumers?
Euromonitor says that premium products are hitting the mainstream, as consumers increasingly seek out products like artisanal breads, dark chocolate and high quality olive oils – and the market researcher highlighted origin and craftsmanship as areas that are ripe for innovation in packaged foods too.
Health and wellness is another area of interest, as Nordic countries are in the top three markets for packaged foods positioned for their health benefits, behind the UK and Germany, and equal with France. Sales of ‘naturally healthy’ products accounted for a third of foods positioned as healthy, while fortified and functional foods were second, making up 28% of the market in 2013.
Private label potential
In addition, Euromonitor says there is growing opportunity for private label products.
Compared to other Western European countries, private label is still underdeveloped in the Nordic countries, but it is growing steadily, to reach about 13% of all packaged food sales in 2013. In the rest of Western Europe, private label accounts for about 27% of packaged food sales, compared to 20% in Denmark, 16% in Finland, 13% in Sweden, and just 10% in Norway.
However, the private label sector has seen steady growth since 2004.
Spending on packaged food is higher in these countries than anywhere else in Europe, apart from Switzerland, but most of that higher spending reflects higher prices. Nordic consumers still spend an average of just 7% of their income on food, in line with other Western European countries.