The research and consulting firm Kairos Future recently completed an in-depth look at how Swedish families prepare their meals.
In addition to interviews with 15 families from major cities, the research project also included survey responses from a wider cross-section of households, reports the parenting website Alltombarn.se.
When all the data had been processed, it was clear that meatballs were at the top of Swedish families’ shopping lists.
“It symbolizes the everyday for families with children,” said Pernilla Jonsson, director of consumer marketing and innovation with Kairos Future, at a recent press conference.
The meatball’s popularity comes primarily due to its inclusion in a number of commonly prepared meals, according to Jonsson.
The study also showed that Swedes’ perception of what counts as food preparation is changing.
“We no longer see ketchup and mayonnaise as semi-processed foods,” said Jonsson.
In addition, sausages and cans of diced tomatoes are now seen as basic ingredients for cooking.
According to Statistics Sweden, Swedes devote less and less time to food preparation. Between 1990 and 2000, the amount of time Swedish families spent in the kitchen preparing meals fell by 17.5 percent.
“At the same time, knowledge about food preparation has dropped,” said Jonsson.
In addition to meatballs, chicken, mince meat, sausages, salmon, and frozen vegetables are among the most common foods in the kitchens of Swedish families with children.