Sweden’s ‘Christmas gift of the year’ is an electric bike

Sweden's 'Christmas gift of the year' is an electric bike
An electric bike in Stockholm. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
A Swedish retail organization has predicted the Christmas gift of the year that they think will be given to every health-conscious Swede who wants to exercise... but in moderation.

You know when you're grinding up that hill on your way to work and suddenly somebody zooms past you on an electric bike? You're not going to like HUI Research's predicted Christmas gift of the year.

“The electric bicycle reflects the Swedish consumers' increasing climate awareness and willingness to take care of their health as well as the desire to be free, flexible and sometimes comfortable,” wrote the retail group in its traditional presentation on Tuesday.

The criteria for the gift of the year ('årets julklapp') are that it must be trendy, a hot seller and represent the times in which we live. Last year VR glasses claimed the top spot and in 2015 the robotic vacuum cleaner helped keep homes clean during the holiday season.

More than one in ten bikes sold in Sweden today are electric. Between September 2016 and August 2017, a total of 67,500 electric bikes were sold around the country, according to Svensk Cykling.

Stockholm announced earlier this year that its public bike-share scheme is to be replaced with a larger network of high-tech electric hybrid bikes, believed to be the first such hybrid scheme in the world.

2017 marks the 30th consecutive year that HUI Research has published its prediction for the gift most likely to be snapped up from the shelves in the run-up to Christmas.

The tradition began in 1988 when a baking machine was nominated. Previous winners include a cookbook, perfume, mobile phone, acupressure mat and an electronic pet.