“Cheaper food in Sweden” after EU expansion

The addition of ten new member states to the European Union last year has had a dramatic effect on the cost of living in Sweden, according to news agency TT.

Increased competition has resulted in cheaper prices of products on the shelves of Swedish supermarkets. Whilst this is good news for the consumer, it could mean an end to some jobs.

With countries like Poland and the Baltic States now EU members, and wage levels in these countries significantly lower than in Sweden, Swedish companies may be tempted to shift production abroad.

The Swedish Board of Agriculture claims meat products are still cheaper in Sweden than in 1994; however, the cost of some products like sugar, rice and fruit have become dearer.

Svenska Dagbladet reported that lower prices have led to increased consumption of meat in Sweden, with 42% more meat being consumed in 2002 than in 1994.

Swedish households are also spending less on food and drink. In 1994 17.4% of the average Swedish family’s income went on food and drink: in 2002 the figure was down to 14.7%.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Jordbruksverket