Money For Members

IN NUMBERS: Which parts of Sweden have the cheapest supermarkets?

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
IN NUMBERS: Which parts of Sweden have the cheapest supermarkets?
The average price of a standard list of groceries varied by as much as 400 kronor depending on the supermarket. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Food prices have gone up by 27 percent over the last two years on the same basket of groceries. But prices vary widely depending on the kind of shop you visit.


Each year, members of the Swedish National Pensioners’ Organisation (PRO) carry out a study up and down the country comparing the prices of a set list of common food items in different supermarkets.

In 2023, almost a thousand members collected price information from over 700 supermarkets on the same day, revealing large variations among supermarkets and in different areas of the country.

Although the items reviewed this year were not exactly the same as in previous years, the average price of items which were included in previous studies increased by 27 percent over the last two years.

"These are extreme price increases," PRO spokesperson for consumer issues, Ola Nilsson, told TT newswire.

"Compared to before inflation shot up, there were very small price increases year-on-year."

The prices which went up the most were things like coffee, butter, eggs and fil, a soured milk product similar to yoghurt often eaten by Swedes for breakfast.


"It's maybe a bit extra painful that it's the items which everyone buys which have gone up," Nilsson told TT.

The average price across the country of a standard shopping basket of groceries was 1495,66 kronor, with a difference of over 400 kronor between the cheapest and most expensive supermarkets.

Generally speaking, prices were cheaper in the south of the country, getting more expensive as you move further north (with the exception of Stockholm and Uppsala, which stand out on the map as expensive areas), as you can see in the map below.

"Supermarkets being more expensive in northern Sweden might be due to the fact that there are fewer shops and larger distances between them," Nilsson said. 

Two of the three cheapest small supermarkets were ICA supermarkets in Södra Älvsborg, which is part of Västra Götaland, with ICA Mathyttan in Dalarna rounding out the top three. These supermarkets had a total price of between 1,359 and 1,403 kronor for PRO’s list of 46 different items.

Supermarkets which did not have nine or more of the items on PRO's list were not included in the final result, meaning that all five of the Lidl supermarkets PRO investigated did not make the final cut, as well as a few supermarkets from other chains. For supermarkets where fewer than nine items were missing, the average price across all supermarkets for the item in question was used instead.

The cheapest larger supermarkets were also all ICA supermarkets – ICA Maxi in Kumla, Örebro, came in first place with a total price of 1,279 kronor, second place went to ICA Kvantum City Fristad in Södra Älvsborg (1,304 kronor), and third place went to ICA Maxi in Angered, Gothenburg (1,309 kronor).


Although the average price of a basket of groceries was more expensive in Jämtland, Västerbotten and Norrbotten, none of the most expensive supermarkets were in these areas.

Two of the three most expensive large supermarkets were in Stockholm – ICA Kvantum Tumba in Stockholm county came in first place with a total price of 1,515 kronor, second place went to ICA Kvantum in Skövde, Skaraborg (part of Västra Götaland) (1,508), while third place went to ICA Kvantum Värtan, also in Stockholm (1,486).

The most expensive smaller supermarkets were all Coop supermarkets, with first and third place both going to supermarkets in Kronoberg in Småland.

These were Coop Lenhovda and Coop Älmhult (with an average price of 1,705 kronor and 1,665 kronor, respectively), while Coop Skene in Södra Älvsborg had an average price of 1,671 kronor. This means that people living in Södra Älvsborg can save over 350 kronor on the same basket of groceries just by shopping in a different supermarket.

But I don’t live in Södra Älvsborg. Where’s the cheapest supermarket in my area?

Obviously, this depends where you live, but here are the cheapest supermarkets, both large and small, for Sweden’s major cities.


As you can see, prices were cheaper in all three cities in the larger supermarkets, so it may be worth seeking out one of these to do your weekly shop no matter what part of the country you live in.

Are prices going to start going down this year?

Probably not, according to PRO chair Åsa Lindestam.

"We can't see any signs of things slowing down or going in the other direction," she told TT. "Maybe on a few items. But can you live off macaroni and liver pâté?"

PRO chair Åsa Lindestam and consumer spokesperson Ola Nilsson presenting the organisation's report. Photo: Caisa Rasmussen/TT

According to PRO spokesperson Ola Nilsson, there are clear indications that Sweden's pensioners are doing their best to make their money stretch further, not only by trying to buy less.

"They're looking out more for extra discounts, offers, buying less fruit and vegetables," he told TT.


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John Lane 2024/01/26 08:22
Not a mention of Lidl. Always our first call. However we always buy Swedish meat, eggs and source local products ie honey and yoghurt and paying a premium price. Fika at a konditori is now reserved for very special occasions. Dagens once a week is still a must. We are pensioners by the way, and although originally from UK are now svensk medborgare.

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