The sale of handmade food has increased, which has led to an increased number of Swedish producers. According to Eldrimners* definition of handmade food there is today about 1 500 producers in Sweden. Swedish Chambers asked Bodil Cornell, in charge of the organization, about this trend and how it might influence consumer behavior.
What is the food trend in Sweden today?
From my point of I can see an increasing interest in starting a business to produce and develop your own products. During the past years the interest for handmade food has increased on the Swedish market. Eldrimner had about 80 000 to 100 000 visitors to our trade fair in Stockholm last year.
Why is there an increased interest for handmade food?
Consumers are looking for taste as an experience. They are looking for a variety in tastes. Traditional food reminds them of their roots and origin. Furthermore artificial food additives have been widely debated in the media in Sweden. People want to know what exactly they put in their mouth now and they feel safe when they know it is coming from a nearby farm. Then they will get a fabulous taste experience in addition.
Will this trend have an impact on Swedish import?
This is a sustainable development. It is more about approaching small scale producers instead of big food industries. People are looking for quality and unique, regional products. Swedes do appreciate unique products from other regions, for example French cheeses, pesto sauce from Italy, beer from Thailand. But they will maybe lose interest in for example industrial French cheeses, like the industrial processed Brie cake.
What is your advice to exporters who would like to enter the Swedish market?
Be proud of your region, Swedes will appreciate quality food without artificial additives. Do exchange experiences with other exporters and learn from other countries.
* Eldrimner is a national food organsiation for handmade food products. Eldrimner arranges training, assistance and inspiration to producers of handmade food products in Sweden, who are in the start up phase or already running a business.