'They're making us so poor': Swedish food prices hit record high

TT/The Local
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'They're making us so poor': Swedish food prices hit record high
Food prices rose again in February and it looks like further prices increases are likely. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish food prices increased more in February than in any single month since at least 2015, the year when food price comparison site Matpriskollen started keeping records.


Matpriskollen said food prices rose 2.5 percent in February compared to January, and 17.8 percent year-on-year.

It highlighted baby food as one of the items that’s increased the most in cost: baby food prices in general went up 10.8 percent in February alone, with gruel or välling – a popular source of food for babies and young children in Sweden – topping the charts at 11.7 percent on average (or 20 percent for some brands).

"We've never seen such high numbers," Matpriskollen's founder Ulf Mazur said.

"The price increase on household goods for the whole of 2021 was 1.1 percent. Now we're seeing double that just in February."


So far this year, counting only January and February, the price of household goods, including food, has gone up by 3.4 percent, which Mazur described as "astonishing".

Over the last 12 months, household goods have risen in price by 15.2 percent, with items in the narrower 'food' category going up by 17.8 percent.

Mazur added that price increases on food are now a real issue for many, particularly those who were already struggling before prices went up.

"Many just can't make it work. It's starting to be an issue politicians need to do something about, especially for single parents. Those who are worse off need to be able to put food on the table."


'Making us so poor'

Even items like pet food, vegetables, snacks and sweets have also seen substantial price increases. When food prices started to increase, Mazur said, it was mainly items grown or produced in the agricultural industry, like dairy or fresh produce, which went up, but now prices are rising across the board.

Everything is more expensive, from packaging to transport to ingredients, as well as all imported produce.

"Prices can't go up any more, they are making us so poor," he said, adding that each percent increase in food prices means an increased cost for consumers of three billion kronor.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like prices will stop rising any time soon. When prices go up, they go up by a large amount. Mazur said that a rise of between 10 to 50 percent on certain food groups isn't unusual, and he believes we can expect this to continue for the foreseeable future.



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