Culture, Context and Change
Chapter 5: Confectionery and Food Production
Food and confectionery businesses in Scandinavia are influenced by differences in the countries’ relations to the EU and the effects of this on taxation and competition. Since Norway is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), most processed food is tax free, but there are mutual quotas with no tax or reduced tax as for instance for chocolate. Most food related raw materials are more expensive in Norway than in the EU, with the exception of sugar, condensed milk and butter. However, chocolate and confectionery products are subject to a special tax in the Norwegian consumer market. The prospect of new and growing markets in Eastern Europe and Russia has been recognized by some producers. In all three countries there has been an increasing number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), some of them crossborder both within and outside Scandinavia. Despite these changes, food and confectionery markets are to some extent stabilized by traditionalism in customers’ preferences, tastes and brand recognition. This stability, however, seems to be stronger in Sweden and Norway than in Denmark. The expanding parts of the confectionery and the food industry reflect social changes in the late twentieth century: more leisure, youth with buying power, changed family patterns and tighter schedules have promoted snacks and ready-made foods. The Scandinavians’ spending in restaurants, cafés and so on is increasing. The retail chains have increased their market shares in grocery as well as in petrol stations and kiosks. The producers respond to this strengthened market power with...
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