Customers looking for non-organic green grapes at the store in Täby, Stockholm, were surprised to find them stacked up close to bleach, toilet fresheners and washing powders as the new week got under way, alongside a strongly-worded message.
“Hi! We have chosen not to sell ordinary grapes. We have placed these regular grapes here to show how much chemical spray there is on them. You will find only ecological grapes at Hemköp Alléns,” read the note.
The manager of the store, which is part of the nationwide Hemköp supermarket chain but is independently owned, told The Local that he was attempting to “get into the media in a funny way and reach as many people as possible”.
“There are a lot of chemicals in the grapes so why not put these chemicals together with the other chemicals,” said Joakim Skotte.
“They should not be with the other fruits – with the apples and bananas – because there are so many chemicals in the grapes.”
The store's manager Joakim Skotte. Photo: Private
The businessman said he was hoping to encourage other Hemköp outlets to follow suit, as part of an ongoing campaign to promote ecological goods.
His store was also the first in Sweden to sell only organic bananas three years ago, a move which was later adopted by branches of the company nationwide.
“This is statement number two,” said Skotte.
Asked why the supermarket was still selling strong cleaning products, while running a campaign against other kinds of chemical sprays, the 29-year-old said that he was simply trying to tackle one green issue at a time.
“There is so much to do in Swedish stores, so you have to start somewhere. The bananas and the grapes are things that kids are consuming very often, so we start with the kids,” he added.
The father-of-two said he had been inspired by his love for his own children and wanted other kids to benefit from eating products farmed organically, without the use of chemical sprays.
“The kids are not buying this themselves, they have no choice, it is their parents' [choice],” he told The Local.