Part of the recent spike in interest in food from Sweden stems from food trends agency Food People naming Scandinavian food as the “hottest UK culinary trend of 2011”, the BBC reported.
Shortly thereafter, UK retailers Waitrose and John Lewis started sprinkling Scandinavian foods among their product lines, while Marks and Spencer has even launched its own specialty brand of Swedish cinnamon buns.
The openings of several much-hyped restaurants in London such as Fika, Nordic Bar, and Scandinavian Kitchen, have also helped put Swedish cuisine at the forefront of trendy UK foods.
“I think that culture has an influence too. I was so engrossed in Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ that I tried to read it in the shower,” food blogger Kerstin Rodgers told BBC.
“I fancy the men and like a lot of people I enjoy Swedish design. Now it seems to be Scandinavia’s turn to have a real impact on our cooking. There is a genuine movement in the UK supporting food from the region.”
Swede Jonas Aurell who runs Scandinavian Kitchen in London has seen the effects of the growing popularity of Swedish food among UK residents firsthand.
“I clearly see a huge difference between now and five years ago when we opened,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
Whereas the store’s original customer base consisted mainly of Scandinavians living in London, UK natives are now frequent customers in the store and its associated cafe.
Aurell also cited the trendiness of the “Nordic diet” and reported health benefits as one of the reasons why more Londoners appear interested in food from Sweden and its neighbours in the north.
The development comes amid a concerted push launched in 2008 by the Swedish government to promote Swedish foods as part of a “vision” by rural affairs and agriculture minister Eskil Erlandsson to make Sweden “the new culinary nation in Europe”.