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Nordic consumers sceptical about industrially produced food

Nordic consumers sceptical about industrially produced food

There is considerable scepticism towards industrially produced food in the Nordic countries. 

Scepticism is highest in Sweden, with Finland as a close second, while Norwegian consumers are the most positive in the Nordic region.

In all the Nordic countries, nonetheless, the majority of consumers have no qualms about using semi-finished food products or ready meals from time to time. This view is confirmed by most Norwegian consumers. The figure is lower among Finnish and Danish consumers, while Swedes are clearly the most sceptical. The general opinion in all the Nordic countries is that industrially-produced food contains more sugar, low-quality raw materials and a multitude of artificial additives compared with home-made food.

These are the findings of a new Nordic dietary survey conducted by Kantar TNS on behalf of Orkla. The survey was carried out among country-representative samples in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

“The results of the Orkla Food Barometer, as we have called the survey, provide us with important insights and show that the myths about industrially-produced food still hold sway. As one of the biggest players in the Nordic food market, we have a responsibility for increasing knowledge about the food we eat, while also making it possible to improve public health by offering healthier foods that taste good and that are an important part of people’s everyday diet,” says Orkla President and CEO Peter A. Ruzicka.

The Orkla Food Barometer reveals that Swedish consumers top wellness statistics in the Nordic region and are those who have gone furthest towards adopting a healthier diet, followed by the Danes. The Swedes are also most committed to using sustainable raw materials, and think that they have a personal responsibility for ensuring that the food they eat is ethically produced, while Norwegians to a greater degree consider this to be the responsibility of the food industry. Consumers throughout the Nordic region find it important that the food is produced in their own country, and Swedish and Finnish consumers attach the most weight to this factor.

In all the Nordic countries, people rely most on their own assessments of what is a healthy diet. While Swedish consumers take the least positive view of official dietary recommendations, Norwegian consumers are most open to such advice.

The Danes are far out in front when it comes to buying organic products, but their consumption of organic food has increased least in the past few years. Swedish consumers, like the Danes, are motivated to buy organic products and many also expect their consumption of such products to increase. Vegetarian food is steadily gaining in popularity in the Nordic countries, and the percentage of consumers who occasionally eat vegetarian meals is highest in Sweden and Finland.

The Orkla Food Barometer survey will be conducted annually among country-representative samples in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Topics include industrially produced food, eating habits, health, ecology and sustainability.

About Orkla

Orkla is a leading supplier of branded consumer goods and concept solutions to the consumer, out-of-home and bakery markets in the Nordic region, the Baltics and selected markets in Central Europe and India. Orkla is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and its head office is in Oslo. In 2015, the Group had a turnover of approx. NOK 33 billion, and had 14,670 employees at year-end.

Download the survey