Swedes spend more on food

Swedes spent more money on food and drink last year than ever before, with sales of soft drinks and dairy products rising most sharply.

A new report by Statistics Sweden says 2006 was the best year ever for the Swedish grocery trade. Sales were up by 9 billion kronor, or 4.8 percent, to 185.1 billion kronor ($28.4 billion).

The rise was due not to inflation, but to Swedes buying larger amounts of food and more expensive foodstuffs. Prices rose by just 0.6 percent, wrote Statistics Sweden.

Sales of juices and soft drinks were up just less than 11 percent. Dairy products were up 8 percent. Oils and fats were down 3 percent and sweets were down 1.7 percent. Fruit was up by 2 percent, with the banana the most popular fruit. The average Swede spent 243 kronor on bananas last year.

Sales of alcohol were up 2.8 percent to 2,953 kronor per person.