Sweden's sweet tooth

Berry flavoured Tweek sweets, pictured with some mixed fresh berries, and a conical flask part-filled with berry juice.

writer icon Emma Egelund     Tweek   |   Culture     🕐 01. Nov. 2018

Year after year, the amount of sweets consumed in Sweden grows. At Halloween, the candy consumption is significantly higher than during the rest of the year.

According to Swedish confectionery company Candyking, 12% of their yearly sales happen over Halloween. The only time Swedes eat more sweets is at Easter. One of the reasons for this may be that in Sweden the Halloween celebrations are spread out, rather than restricted to a single day.

Halloween came from the US to Sweden in the early 90s. Despite knowing that the day itself is 31st October, many Swedish families will wait until the nearest weekend before they go trick-or-treating. When the 31st October falls in the middle of the week, as it has in 2018, heated discussions arise over which weekend is most appropriate. There is confusion amongst Swedes as to when exactly one should celebrate.

Rules and regulations
Waiting for the weekend comes from the already established tradition of only eating sweets on a Saturday. This is a rule in many Swedish households, where they are aiming to be healthier by only indulging once a week.

Despite this self-imposed rule, Swedes make the most of it by consuming very high amounts of candy. On average, Swedes eat more than 15kg of chocolate or sweets per person, per year. According to research published by the Swedish Board of Agriculture, Swedes consume the highest amounts of confectionery per capita in the world. 

Steady sales increase
Swedes continue to spend more money on confectionery. In 2016, the average spent on sweets was approximately 3 000 SEK per person. It is evidently a big part of the average Swede’s life, and grocery list.

At the same time as confectionery consumption has increased, sales of fruit and vegetables have also grown consistently. After confectionary, vegetable sales had the most growth over the past 50 years. This could suggest that the Swedish household is becoming more conscious when it comes to their health, as well as the environment.

Aiming for good health
This is a view shared by Åsa Rosén, the founder of Tweek. “I believe we [Swedes] are quite aware of the need to incorporate health as a natural part of our lives”, she stated.

Tweek is a brand of sweets that have less sugar and are lower in calories. Rosén developed Tweek after she saw an opportunity to please the sweet-craving, health-conscious Swedes.

“The mission with Tweek became to offer a way to be able to indulge in treats that make us happy and still be kind to our bodies”, she explained.

Sweden is often perceived by non-Swedes as a healthy country. Certainly not a country where such high amounts of confectionery consumption would be commonplace. Yet, it seems that the average Swede is interested both in having a healthy lifestyle and enjoying their sweets.

Rosén knows that it is not enough to just be a healthier candy. The healthy option also has to taste fabulous. If it cannot compete on taste, then consumers are not keen to switch from their traditional favourite sweets to a healthier choice. She made it clear - “the feeling of indulgence has to be there”.

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