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Ikea to drop famous Swedish food brands

Joel Linde · 14 Oct 2011, 13:23

Published: 14 Oct 2011 13:23 GMT+02:00

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People outside of Sweden craving Swedish-brand eats have made a habit of frequenting Ikea stores around the world in order to find such things as Cloetta chocolate, Abba herring, Kalle's caviar spread, and cookies by Göteborgskex.

But soon, those looking for a taste of Sweden will instead have to settle for Ikea-branded approximations following a decision by the company to move to own-branded foods.

“People will still be able to find similar products out there,” Ikea spokesperson Ylva Magnusson told The Local.

“But some suppliers will fall out while there is chance for new to add.”

The reasoning behind Ikea’s decision is to work proactively to ensure quality of the products, even though there’s been no issue with the suppliers in the past, Magnusson said.

“The purpose is to be able to fully control the recipes, the quality, and make sure the code of conduct is respected," she explained.

"It is a way to take responsibility for people, animals and the environment, because this way we can trace the products more easily.”

Once the new assortment is ready, Ikea will present 150 products to the shop, including cheese, seven types of herring, three types of bread, liquorice and lox.

“And something that’s very important,” she said enthusiastically, “caviar spread. And of course we will have crisp bread.”

Magnusson said the decision came after a long discussion with the suppliers, some of which will now lose an important export channel.

While she was however unwilling to discuss specific companies, Newspaper Fri Köpenskap mentions big names such Cloetta, Abba and Göteborgskex, producers of Polly and Kex Choklad chocolate, herring and much of the Swedish biscuits, respectively.

Story continues below…

“We hope that people will like our products, and we’re very responsive to what people think,” Magnusson said.

“We encourage them to keep contacting us and giving us their opinion.”

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:11 October 14, 2011 by JulieLou40
Massive mistake.
15:19 October 14, 2011 by Great Scott
Cheap and nasty, gets cheaper and nastier.
15:24 October 14, 2011 by Svensksmith
Will the IKEA food be made from particle board just like their furniture?
15:46 October 14, 2011 by Valdemaratterdag
"The reasoning behind Ikea's decision is to work proactively to ensure quality of the products"

*cough* BULLSH|T *cough*
16:04 October 14, 2011 by Scepticion
Money money money... Egoistic and sad.
16:20 October 14, 2011 by Roy E
Two thumbs down and an emphatic 'Boo, Hiss!' over this decision.
16:31 October 14, 2011 by russellouten-coe
Really disappointing!!! We used to spend a fortune stocking up on our swedish essentials - as did our friends! We now only have poor imitations of the originals and an extremely limited selection.
16:36 October 14, 2011 by dreddie

IKEA food will be a particle board byproduct from the unused cuttings, just like the cookies they've been selling.
17:01 October 14, 2011 by ahjertstedt
Now, who come up with this stupid idea?????

I guess I will not go back to IKEA any more.
17:52 October 14, 2011 by Jakob Bengt
Very disappointing decision and clearly a strong reason not to visit IKEA going forward. Clearly all about maximizing profits and all their arguments sounds very weak and forced through by some PR departement.

They should not be allowed to call it Swedish anymore !!!
17:52 October 14, 2011 by Jakob Bengt
Very disappointing decision and clearly a strong reason not to visit IKEA going forward. Clearly all about maximizing profits and all their arguments sounds very weak and forced through by some PR departement.

They should not be allowed to call it Swedish anymore !!!
18:34 October 14, 2011 by NovusOrdo
Join the fight against this decision on the facebook group "Bring REAL food back to IKEA SwedeShop".

The arguments about "quality" and "code of conduct" are particularly silly. I haven't seen a single customer express a preference for IKEA brand food over their brand name Swedish equivalents. Moreover, Swedish food manufacturers are already at the forefront in terms of safety and sustainability. There is only one reason for this decision and that is cost savings: It is much cheaper for IKEA to produce its own "Swedish" food, in part because some of the production is being shifted overseas.
19:55 October 14, 2011 by nmian
very sad.me & family always visit food store in states when we are in Ikea,now we do not know what to expect. we will try in future.
20:05 October 14, 2011 by M7Man
What a bunch of crap....:-(

I'll bet they have a great manufacturer in China that can cut the cost in half

maybe mix in some cancer causing fillers to make even bigger profit..

I'm officially disgusted with this move, and I'm writing of IKEA as another corporation that only cares for the bottom line (Walmart). See you
20:43 October 14, 2011 by Rap43
Greedy ba$tard$
20:56 October 14, 2011 by jem1963
Ikea branded coffee was the only option at the Burbank, California store when I was there last week. Of course the margins on private label branded foods are might higher for retailers. I'm sure that's what drove the shift. However, I think it will backfire. People outside Sweden are interested in purchasing those specific brands because it's difficult to find them anywhere else.
21:35 October 14, 2011 by graphixperson
22:22 October 14, 2011 by Greenbank
Dear Mr Kamprad,

Do you remember New Coke? This appears to be a faux pas of the same level.

After reading all blogs and talked to a bundle of Ikea-shopping friends you are going to loose!!!

It's the brand names we remember (i.e. Yvonne Lombards "Ah Marabou") not

waxy "No brand" chocolate. It's Kalles kaviar, Findus gurka, Önos svart vinbärsaft

etc. Please reconsider to restore peace in Swedish and foreign homes around

the world.

After being a customer for 60 years in Sweden and USA I have to say Goodbye

if no change happens.
22:50 October 14, 2011 by eurobloke
I simply don't understand why this is big news, I go to IKEA around once a month mainly because it sells coffee much cheaply then even the big supermarkets. They have been certainly from the last few months switching their products to own-labels.

The only snag with this is that some very Swedish products like salmaik fish, and giant knäckbröd have virtually disappeared from the shelves and some items like tunnbröd sometime unobtainable.
07:19 October 15, 2011 by Soft Boiled
Think about all those impulse buys IKEA will be missing out on now. IKEA should be working hard on promoting the image of being "home from home" now it sounds like they only represent only their selves. It does sound greedy and it will probably fall flat on its face. On the bright side...

I guess this is a great opportunity for Hennes now ;)
07:34 October 15, 2011 by bjorkon
C'mon. Heres an opportunity. Anyone fancy setting up a chain of "Swedish Shops" sited next door to Ikeas?
09:31 October 15, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
I would like to add my voice of protest against this move. A big mistake.

Does anyone from IKEA read this? I doubt it, but it is an overwhelming majority against the move.

Ultimately the only thing that will change IKEA's mind is a loss of profit and a really strong backlash against them. People will complain on here, but beyond that I doubt they will do much else. We'll see...
10:03 October 15, 2011 by Mr G
3 kg of lox please..... :)
11:53 October 15, 2011 by Kaethar
There are 400,000 Swedes living abroad. IKEA has now lost them as food customers, at least.
12:44 October 15, 2011 by Beavis
Let me guess someone from SAS management team has moved to IKEA...They coulld have been smarter by keeping the same suppliers but increasing the price and supplying their crapppy cheapo alternative at the same time. Incredibly stupid move
13:08 October 15, 2011 by jack sprat
Obviously the only reason for it is sheer greed and profiteering.

They can now have the various supply companies cutting each others throats for a piece of the pie, knowing that punters will no longer be buying goods on the strength of their brand names.

Little doubt quality will also suffer unless the bigger brand names step into line and join in the free for all..
13:15 October 15, 2011 by Sweyork
We used to go to IKEA to stock up and always brought extra bits while we were there. Now with all the nasty tasting own brand stuff we do not bother going at all. Another customer lost, unless they begin to stock the good stuff again.
16:27 October 15, 2011 by EtoileBrilliant
Wow. People are angry.

About 2 years ago IKEA stopped stocking Svenska Lantchips ("Crisps"). They were about half the price of our local ICA (SEK 11 versus SEK20).

I had always assumed that the supplier had problems with KEA diminishing the brand value and withdrew (or other retailers were complaining). Next visit to IKEA, they sell exactly the same chips in terms of quality and flavor but under their own brand.

Net loss to customer: Zilch.

Come on guys, stop whinging until you see what they offer.
20:19 October 15, 2011 by mwebb
There is a point where CHEAP backfires bigtime. This is it!! The IKEA chocolate is cheap and awful. The worst I have ever tried is the replacement for Pagens cinnamon rolls. The IKEA cinnamon rolls are the most godawful pieces of cardboard and sugar ever tasted. Made in China?? Made by slave labor where the slaves ate the good stuff?? YEEEECH!!
23:25 October 15, 2011 by chrises
I used to stop by IKEA a couple of times a month to buy musli, cheese, wasa bread, pickles, etc. and I would often then also buy non-food items. But the way IKEA is going will my visits be less frequent and thus IKEA will loose sales from me.

See also "Bring REAL food back to IKEA SwedeShop" at https://www.facebook.com/groups/62271133184/?id=10150429736723185&notif_t=group_activity
23:46 October 15, 2011 by nightwolf
I'm really surprised by all these people who complain and bitch about something that does not make sense at all. Don't you people dare to try something new? should you always stick to same thing for your entire life? If till now IKEA has sold some specific food brands does it necessarily mean that they should continue to do that for ever? I mean what if for example a new biscuit or cheese has a better quality than those which they used to sell? just because it's not the same as you used to buy does it mean that you should complain about it? and of course you get what you pay for and IKEA food has never been famous for being something fancy or extraordinary. It's always been cheap and simple. that's it!

it's so funny when I read a comment of Kaethar saying:

"There are 400,000 Swedes living abroad. IKEA has now lost them as food customers, at least."

How can you talk in behalf of 400 000 people? if you don't like something does it necessarily mean that they have same taste and opinion as you? or perhaps have you surveyed that 400 000 people?
07:32 October 16, 2011 by Farr
We stopped buying anything but napkins and Swedeshop stuff at IKEA long ago. Then they stopped selling Marabou chocolate - the generic tastes like s.h.i.t.

Now they are going on with killing the rest of the good brands. No more IKEA for us.
15:42 October 16, 2011 by Aigulle Delaz
One of the silliest decisions I have seen in a long time. The selling point of IKEA (in The UK) is the fact that it is a hub for good quality Swedish products that don't come with 'Swedish drink' let's say but is actually made in UK. The products are straight from Sweden and many crave that if they know about Swedish foodstuff and drinks. Once again, silliest decision in a long time !
15:44 October 16, 2011 by Pkuma
This is a spectacularly dumb idea. In Australia, IKEA pretty much represents Sweden. It was a bold move in the first place to have a Swedish produce section at their stores. It exposed people to what there was available in Sweden. While people will still go to IKEA for the furniture etc., they will be really disappointed to see that their favorite food items are no longer there.

Think again, Ingvar!
18:30 October 16, 2011 by Issybelle
I am an American in Boston, who was an exchange student years ago in Sweden. IKEA trips were 90% about the food. Yesterday, my husband suggested we visit the store in Stoughton since we were attending a friend's birthday party 5 minutes away.

There were no Mazarin (of any brand), no Bilar (of any brand), no Kex (of any brand), no Raspberry Boats (of any brand), no Ballerina cookies (of any brand)... no punsch rolls (dammsugarare) and I don't recall seeing princesstarte either. They did have one type of Marabou chocolate (the rolled chocolate) and some Daim.

We did pick up some IKEA pepparkakor, some other IKEA crisps, some knackebrod, one of the hazlenut IKEA bars and a bunch of Daim and Marabou of what was there. And meatballs. All in all, we probably spent 25% of what we normally spend. I only lived in Sweden for a short time and was pretty into those brands (despite growing up 1 hour from Hershey, PA) , so I can't imagine how Swedish expats feel.

Our trips to IKEA are going to seriously dwindle since we're not in the market for furnishings. I think this is a huge mistake.

I was shocked to see that in all, we spent
04:48 October 17, 2011 by JoeSwede
Well... it will be more difficult to recommend IKEA now.

This is like a netfix move...

This is an oppertunity for ordering via the internet.
11:56 October 17, 2011 by DAVID T
However much I hate IKEA and Swedish food I totally understand why they want to do this. It's a privately owned company and they can do what they want - if the customers don't like it they can go elsewhere.
14:46 October 17, 2011 by bira
Ha ha, so food manufactured in Sweden by Abba and others is of questionable quality and their code of conduct is worse than that of the, no doubt, foreign manufactured crap that will be branded as IKEA? Brilliant, do they think we're all idiots? If I can't get my Marabou chocolate from IKEA's food court, I have no reason to ever set foot in their store again.
21:54 October 17, 2011 by Ivan Juric
silly decision, one of the reasons I drive 60km to my local Ikea is for the Swedish food items, my only belief is that the food shelves should be expanded.
22:34 October 17, 2011 by eve82
I will unfortunatley stop buying food there now. The reason why u go there is to buy the brand names that we grew up with and are used to, so now obviously its no point! I really hope their food sales decreases. It's not the fact that I want Ikea chocolate I go there it's because I want marabou chocolate.
23:01 October 17, 2011 by gabeltoon
I am another disappointed customer.I have grown to like the SWEDISH brands sold in the FOOD section.If this decision goes ahead i will be joining the thousands out there who will stop shopping at IKEA.. I stock up every month when i visit the EDINBURGH (SCOTLAND ) store. You should think more about selling SWEDEN and its products to the rest of the world. Where is your pride in SWEDEN and being SWEDISH ??????
23:24 October 17, 2011 by HenryPollard
It's a very short-termist decision.

While they can save a bunch of money and most folk won't notice the difference (the vast majority who shop at Ikea have no particular affiliation to Sweden), it cuts away a small but significant feature which differentiated its shopping experience from any other big warehouse retailer.
09:50 October 18, 2011 by Blackham
I have just tried over the last week or so IKEA branded herring....the jars are not full of fish but liquid and the taste is indifferent.

I used to enjoy Kalles caviar .I have now tried IKEA'S equivalent. It is not as good.I shall have to buy my Swedish treats from shops in London but unfortunately do not go there very often.Hope you take on board these comments Ylva Magnussan. It was the food that got me visiting your store and I usually bought something other than food.

Goodbye IKEA
11:48 October 20, 2011 by sophiesdad
We have tried some of the IKEA own brand foods and the quality and taste is generally poorer, certainly at best different. As with many specific types of food there is usually a range from cheaper to expensive with quality to match. IKEA seem now to be positioning themselves underneath the popular name brands at the lower end and not offering the choice which of course is their perogative. Their calculations behind this change of approach will probably make assumptions based on some loss of business from their current food sales demographic but made up for by higher margins and possibly higher sales at lower prices to those who were not previously food customers. Who knows. For those of us in the UK who will prefer to continue buying the popular swedish food brands we are lucky to have Totally Swedish who now have two shops in the London and Surrey areas plus an online service and also in London there is the excellent Scandinavian Kitchen cafe/store which sells all manner of Swedish and other Scandinavian food goodies and I believe their online service is imminent if not already up and running. As the old saying goes, you pays your money and makes your choice. That's competition.
08:26 October 27, 2011 by sanmic
Butik Hemlängtan in Sweden sells all kinds of Swedish food and candy online.

Visit the store here at



http://www.butik-hemlangtan.se (old store)
22:39 October 28, 2011 by Bjelkie
I'd like to know who the MENTAL GIANTS were who made this absolutely idiotic decision to remove all food items that does not bear the name IKEA. Swedes living outside Sweden crave some of the things they grew up eating and Kalle's caviar, Abba herring, Marabou chocolates are some of those things that bring a smile to our faces when we drive to the local IKEA to pick them up. I am soooooooo very disappointed and actually angry that IKEA has made this decision completely without taking into consideration how their customers feels. The IKEA brand of both chocolate and herring are WAY inferior to the REAL thing. IKEA will most definitely lose a bunch of customers who mainly would drive to the store to pick up some of their treasured treats from home, but at the same time would also pick up some textiles, furniture and or other things from the store, thus adding more revenue to the store. I hope IKEA's management will reconsider their decision, because they have made a HUGE mistake.
09:43 November 3, 2011 by Helenadkins
I was horrifed to find all the brands gone and replaced by uninspiring branded IKEA products instead. Plus, half the usual stuff wasn't even there any more. BUT, I thought I'd give them the benefit of doubt and try their 'salmon spread'. I bought three tubes and it's absolutely disgusting! The chocolate, replacing my beloved Marabou, was cheap and foul, the pepparkakor like bits of cardboard. I'm so disappointed but what it means is that I won't be going to IKEA much any more. I used to go four times a year at least to buy food and often ended up buying much more in terms of furniture etc. I predict those food stores will end up disappearing within a couple of years, because the people they relied on as their customers. The Swedes, half swedes and people who knew the food won't bother. I'll be going to the Swedish shop in London's west end now instead. I just feel sorry for those who can't get to an alternative. Could someone set up a Swedish food delivery service countrywide?
22:30 November 5, 2011 by sanmic
For those who misses the Swedish food at IKEA and also missed my previous post, take a look at our webshop, Butik Hemlängtan.

We ship Swedish food and candy worldwide: http://www.swedishfoodshop.com
03:35 November 13, 2011 by bcarlson11
Just adding my disappointment at the decision IKEA has made to no longer carry famous/ major food brands. As well said before, the IKEA chocolate is inferior to Marabou brand, Many other products are passable, other are not. Well, it just means less visits to IKEA and buying items through other online retailers (hello Amazon). Sadly, what IKEA is missing here is that coming to IKEA for foods leads to treasure hunting down the aisles, then maybe a stop in the restaurant. Good marketing practices preach that you never want to create a reason for your customers to not want to come to your store. IKEA, guess what you have just done. I certainly hope the lunacy of this decision is quickly realized and undone as quickly as possible.
01:53 December 9, 2011 by Anna Quigley
IKEA has turned off it's own people... how could a Swedish company do this to it's own countrymen and women? I am so disgusted with this 'branding' big company mumbo jumbo; I am not sure I want to go back to IKEA. I did purchase some of the company logo fakes to test-taste... AWFUL! It does Sweden a big disservice. All for a buck? Really? Not Swedish at all!

IKEA fix it now! Get our wonderful Swedish food back on your shelves. No one will buy your brand-name garbage.
03:35 December 9, 2011 by p1800 E-72
Terrible mistake. The administration don,t know what they are doing. Their business will be negatively affected.

I am a Swedish/American that usually shops at the Swedish Foodmarket. Very disappointing.
13:06 December 18, 2011 by reel life
TO NIGHTWOLF who quoted:

"I'm really surprised by all these people who complain and bitch about something that does not make sense at all. Don't you people dare to try something new? should you always stick to same thing for your entire life? If till now IKEA has sold some specific food brands does it necessarily mean that they should continue to do that for ever? I mean what if for example a new biscuit or cheese has a better quality than those which they used to sell? just because it's not the same as you used to buy does it mean that you should complain about it? and of course you get what you pay for and IKEA food has never been famous for being something fancy or extraordinary. It's always been cheap and simple. that's it!"

...You just don't 'get it'.

I am not Swedish AT ALL and even "I" can tell the difference between the quality of the original brands and the cheap crap Ikea is trying to pass off! One major example is the substitute for Marabou chocolates. Marabou is some of the best chocolate I have ever had (and I've tried chocolates from around the world). However the cheap substitute Ikea is trying to pass off on consumers is awful. If I want crappy 'waxy' chocolate at cheap prices, I'll buy Hersheys! In fact, we just went to Ikea yesterday, bought some "new" food items, and all but one was awful. My husband swore he would never go back to Ikea again (and he was always pro-Ikea, always looking forward to visiting. But this last time, because of the food change, he was so disgusted and disappointed in Ikea, that it left a 'bad taste' for him and he never wants to go back). It was obvious to him and myself that Ikea chose profit over quality, no matter what bull they try to PR on the public. They just lost $Thousands from us, since we were planning to buy a kitchen from them in the next few months...BUT NOT NOW! If they "cheaped out" on the foods, then what else are they "cheaping out" on? We simply can't trust them now!
06:58 December 21, 2011 by khs
This was plain greed from Ikea trying to squeeze more profits providing generic brands, in most cases not even produced in Scandinavia. Some might buy the bluff but we from Nordic countries should point out time after time that Ikea is selling fake Nordic food.

Anyway, another good reason not to take a trip to Ikea so that will actually save us money.
18:14 December 21, 2011 by Jorgen Andersson
Check out your local World Market (or Cost Plus); they sell Julmust...and it's way tastier than Nygards that Ikea used to sell. I've "used" them as my yearly Julmust provider for 2 years now and I keep telling them to import more now when Ikea won't. Unfortunatelly, the market in my town don't have a cold or freezer section for all the other yummies (sill, skinka, ost, räkost, etc.).

If you don't have a local butcher who can cure a ham the swedish way, there is a web shop in Kansas that will ship you a swedish ham. I placed an order last week and I will post something here about the overal experience...so far; it's not cheap. The taste better be there :)

God Jul!!!
17:25 January 2, 2012 by Good Going IKEA
Good Going IKEA. Now you have just encouraged more Swedish lovers in California to visit Nordic House, Stockholm Cafe and Olssons Market more often to buy the real brands from Sweden. We like the idea of supporting small family owned businesses too. We care about good quality, fine foods- espcially those from Sweden! Our mind to make a modest income is always paired with loving to share Sweden with Americans or keeping our Swedish heritage alive. Stockholm Bakery and Cafe in Kingsburg.
12:41 January 14, 2012 by fdikea
Why ruin a good name Ikea.Greed and more greed !

One more way of making more money!As if Ikea was not profitable enough already. I sincerely hope this decision will be reversed. I have been buying swedish food at Ikea australia for years but this version of old blå vita konsum produkter is a sad thing to see and taste. A sad day for all of us who used to look upon Ikea as a good representative of Sweden
08:06 May 2, 2012 by tallkott
What a disappointment! IKEA's claim that they will be better able to control quality by using their own brands is ridiculous. The old established brands were perfectly fine and loved by most Swedes. Inferior quality is what IKEA is offering now. I first noticed that the cloudberry jam contained much less berries and more jelly than before. Next the same thing happened to the lingonberry jam. Then the cloudberry jam disappeared from the shelves. We purchased the new shrimps which tasted quite unpleasant compared to the delicious Greenland shrimps previously offered. No more Gene's tunnbröd, no more Kalles, no more Abbas... We used to be regular customers at Chicago's IKEA stores, but now there is hardly any reason to shop there.
12:46 June 20, 2012 by DIAC
Bad news for all Swedish food lovers. We used to go to Ikea in Melbourne regularly to stock up. Not any more and that means we also don't end up buying all of the other small items we find when we walk round the main store. Of course we also don't have luch or coffees in the restaurant.

Seems a very short sighted idea.
17:02 December 5, 2012 by Sawayo
We are so used to companies and their claims to make decisions on behalf of the consumer. Yes, IKEA has taken the soul out of thier company by choosing to replace authentic Swedish food products with the IKEA name brand. Shame on IKEA! Two thumbs down, but look on the bright side IKEA you'll be a great generic brand one day.
20:53 May 3, 2013 by BjornMerinder
I really think this is a terrible decision. I often went to Ikea to buy tons of food - Kalles, Marabou, Sill, Bilar, Pytti Panna etc. I have not been there for a long time. I did try the "brown" plain chocolate (terrible!!) and I tried the fake kaviar -- I threw it away - it was so bad. I am not going back there again!!
08:30 May 5, 2013 by pgadams
Tonight my husband opened a bag of Ikea shrimp and dumped them in a strainer to rinse them under cold water. He noticed something very strange...there was a small scary looking fish in the bag! The fish was slightly bigger than the shrimp but looked very strange. My husband has purchased many bags of shrimp over the years but says he will no longer be purchasing them from Ikea. It's obvious the quality control has gone downhill.
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One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
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Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
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