The consolidation and restructuring of the Nordic retail food sector offers interesting opportunities for U.S. suppliers in terms of volume and variety of products in demand.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: FI1201
Retail Food Sector Report for Sweden and Finland
Mary Ellen Smith
The consolidation and restructuring of the Nordic retail food sector offers interesting opportunities for
U.S. suppliers in terms of volume and variety of products in demand. Best prospects include tree nuts,
dried fruits, processed fruits and vegetables, organic food and products appealing to the health
conscious. A major impediment to increased U.S. sales is retailers concerns about the possibility of
negative consumer reactions to products containing genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.
SECTION I. MARKET SUMMARY
SWEDEN AND FINLAND
Food retail sales did not perform up to expectations in 2011, largely due to household uncertainty.
Swedish food retail sales rose by 1 percent to US$ 39 billion and Finnish food retail sales were up by 4
percent to US$ 19 billion.
The food retail sector in these markets is predominantly integrated and concentrated. In both Sweden
and Finland, the three largest import/wholesale groups supply over 80 percent of the market.
Restructuring of the Nordic retail food sector continues as pan-Nordic mergers and cooperative
agreements seek to achieve greater efficiencies and economies of scale to fend off other European
competitors. Swedish and Finnish retail chains are meeting the stiff competition through increased
efficiency -- centralizing purchases, forming international alliances and expanding operations within the
Nordic/Baltic region. In these concentrated markets where retailers have such large market share,
growth at home becomes virtually impossible. Looking abroad, in the form of mergers and cooperation
at the international level, has become the only possible path to growth.
The continued weakness and uncertainty in the economic climate in the past few years have resulted in a
more price-oriented grocery retailing landscape. This has encouraged the growth of the discounter
chains. While discount stores currently only account for about 10-13 percent of the retail trade in
Sweden and Finland, volumes have tripled over the last ten years. This has stirred interest among
foreign players to enter the domestically dominated Nordic food retail market. The German hard
discounter Lidl has established a presence both in Sweden and Finland a couple of years ago. The entry
of Lidl has undoubtedly changed the dynamics of food retailing and is putting pressure on the
previously unthreatened Swedish and Finnish grocery conglomerates. Swedish and Finnish retailers are
responding by refocusing their stores to a more price-oriented basis and introducing new private label
items to match Lidl’s low prices. Also, many retailers have opened up their own discount stores.
The trend throughout Europe of fewer but larger players continues. The general trend remains
unchanged in Sweden and Finland, with hypermarkets and large supermarkets increasing sales volumes,
while small and medium-sized stores lag behind. The number of retail outlets continues to decline,
although at a somewhat slower pace.
Swedish and Finnish consumers are gravitating towards fresher, more convenient and more nutritious
foods. High demands are made on food quality, origin and environmental concerns. Consumer interest
in organic food products and locally grown food has been increasing rapidly. The major retailers in
Sweden and Finland are actively promoting organic products and their own organic labels have gained
broad recognition. Also, the retailers are continuously improving the offering of other sustainable
products such as Fair Trade products, Nordic Swan Eco labeled products, Marine Stewardship Council
(MSC) certification and products with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label in order to respond to
the increased demand.
Functional foods are gaining in popularity with significant consumer awareness in the area of food
safety and healthy eating habits. This includes not only products with low fat benefits, but also those
with nutritional advantages, such as added fiber, vitamins and minerals, or ingredients with perceived
disease-preventative qualities. There are many functional food products either on the shelves or under
development, especially in Finland, which has become the “Silicon Valley” of the functional food
industry for Europe. Consumers are willing and able to pay higher prices for food and drink products
that fall into these categories.
The ongoing socio-demographic changes with busier life styles and increasing single-person households
are affecting food retailing to a high degree. Retailers are shifting their product ranges towards an
increasing share of healthier, ready-to-eat foods and home meal replacements. Retailers are facing
stronger competition from fast food chains, lunch restaurants, and other service establishments.
American-style fast food chains, sushi bars and coffee shops are extremely popular in these markets.
During the past decade, sales within the restaurant sector have increased faster than in the retail sector.
Eating out has come to include both weekdays and weekends. Nevertheless, Swedes and Finns still
spend the bulk of their food dollars in retail stores rather than eating out.
A few years ago, the concept of dinner solution deliveries entered the Swedish market. The companies
provide their subscribers with a bag of groceries, with recipes and ingredients for 3-5 five dinners per
week. The aim is to relieve the pressure on families regarding dinner planning and shopping. Also,
there is a strong emphasis on the environmental benefits by reducing the need to drive to the store. This
new Swedish version of online shopping is growing rapidly, especially in Sweden’s larger cities, and
has a turnover of about US$ 225 million today. In addition, some of the companies have made their
service available in other neighboring countries.
Average exchange rate 2011 in Sweden: US$ 1 = SEK 6.496.9
Average exchange rate 2011 in Finland: US$ 1 = EUR 0.7962
Advantages and Challenges Facing U.S. Products in Sweden and Finland
Sophisticated markets. High acceptance of new U.S. products at a price disadvantage
products and concepts. U.S. products are considered compared to competitors based in the
high quality and trendy. European Union.
Growing consumer demand for value-added products,
convenience foods, international/ethnic cuisine,
"functiona l" and organic foods.
High distribution and shipping costs.
Location gives access to a Nordic/Baltic market Strong hesitation with respect to
comprising 25 million consumers. genetically modified products.
High standard of living, well-educated workforce, Trend toward more sustainable
growing incomes. English is widely spoken. certification. Movement toward
reducing the carbon foot print.
SECTION II. ROAD MAP FOR MARKET ENTRY
As stated above, these markets are dominated by only a few import/wholesale/retail groups, and
therefore, U.S. exporters have a relatively easy job of locating potential buyers. However, for the same
reason, it may be difficult to get in the door. Depending on the product and the volume, there are
different ways for American exporters to penetrate these markets:
1. retailers/wholesale groups (large quantities, private label products)
2. specialized importers/distributors (niche and select brand name)
3. agents (products with strong brand names)
Market entry strategies for U.S. food products should include:
1) Market research in order to assess product opportunities and existing competition.
2) Advance calculation of the landed cost of a product in order to make price comparisons vis-a-vis
3) Locating an experienced distributor or independent reliable agent with strategic distribution channels to
advise on import duties, sanitary regulations, and labeling requirements. It is advisable to initiate
personal contact in order to discuss marketing matters such as funding for advertising, slotting
allowance, in-store promotions and tasting events. Suppliers may also want to consider trade fair
participation to raise awareness of their products.
4) Exploration of the purchasing arrangements of the larger retail chains.
Market Structure and Trends
Looming international competition has increased the role of volume dynamics in the Nordic food retail
sector. All major players are seeking to minimize costs by coordinating central purchasing and taking
advantage of economies of scale. Also, Nordic retailers are aggressively promoting the development of
private label product lines.
Sustainability: For the Nordic retailers, sustainable development and environmental issues have been
high on the agenda for quite a number of years and they have managed to convert consumer awareness
into growing sales of sustainable products. Products such as, Fair Trade products, Nordic Swan Eco
labeled products and products with MSC and FSC label are constantly showing increased sales and food
retailers are expanding the range of these products. The retailers are actively working on supplier
requirements for sustainable products and packaging and they all have sustainable supply chain
programs. For Nordic retailers with a high sustainability profile it is most important to work pro-
actively with sustainability issues in order to preserve and improve corporate image and brand.
Store size: Smaller stores continue to lose market share to the larger supermarkets and hypermarkets.
In 2011, half of the Swedish retail food sales of approximately US$ 39 billion went through large
supermarkets and hypermarkets. In Finland, large supermarkets and hypermarkets accounted for about
78% of retail food sales of US$ 19 billion. There were about 6,200 food retail outlets in Sweden in 2011
compared to 13,000 in 1970. In Finland, the number of outlets dropped to 3,964 in 2011, slightly fewer
than previous year.
Discount stores: While discount food stores in Sweden and Finland currently only account for 10-
13%, volumes have tripled over the last ten years. The retail chains have developed discount store
concepts in order to meet the increased competition from European discount chains such as German
Lidl and Danish Netto which entered the Nordic market a few years ago.
Organic Products: Swedish and Finnish consumers’ interest in organics continue to increase and is
gaining market shares on behalf of conventional food products. Food retailers are actively promoting
organic products and are increasing the number of products in their stores. Sweden has among the
highest consumption of organic foods and the three largest retail groups account for about 50% of the
organic market in Sweden. In Finland, the major retailer, S Group, reported a 50% increase in sales of
organic products in 2011 and more than 700 new products were added to the assortment.
Private Label: Retailers are aggressively promoting their own private label brands through TV
commercials and newspaper ads. Many of them have set a goal of 25 percent market share in each
product segment for their private label products. This is especially true for far-away-imported
products. For some popular categories in retail stores the figure is 50 percent. This development
portends good potential for suppliers with private label capacity. The retail chains’ comprehensive
coverage of the whole country, combined with their vertically integrated structure (often imports,
wholesale and retail trade are carried out within the same company), makes Sweden and Finland an
interesting market for U.S. exporters seeking long-term stable and predictable sales.
Convenience shopping: As the consumers increasingly eat outside their homes, the large retailers find
themselves not only to be competing with each other, but also with the HRI sector. To face this new
competitor, supermarkets have developed deli sections in their stores with either ready-to-eat food
products or partially cooked dishes. Menu suggestions next to the food products are also popular. The
display of products has also become more consumer-oriented. For example, dressings and bread
croutons can be found next to the pre-mixed salads, and coffee cakes may be placed next to the coffee
section. Manufacturers with the capability to supply convenience foods may find interesting
opportunities in this market.
Promotions/Marketing: Direct marketing in the form of newspaper-format advertisements is one of
the most regularly used forms of communication in the Swedish retail market, and almost all the retail
groups use this method as a means of conveying information to consumers. These are sent on a weekly
basis to all the households in the immediate marketing area of the individual stores. The retailers also
invest in advertising, primarily through their newspaper flyers, while producers and manufacturers
spend most of their budgets on television advertising. Retail chains are also promoting their own
private label products aggressively through TV commercials and advertisements.
Internet sales: Even though the computer/IT penetration in the Nordic countries is exceptionally high,
retail food sales on the web have been very limited. The positive outlook that the large retailers had at
the end of 1990’s regarding selling food online changed rather quickly. The major food retail chains all
terminated their internet grocery web sites during 2001-2003 due to few customers and low
profitability. However, it seems that customers have overcome earlier suspicions to online food
purchases and retailers have again started to offer food online.
Dinner Solution Deliveries: A few years ago, the concept of dinner solution deliveries entered the
Swedish market. The companies provide their subscribers with a bag of groceries, with recipes and
ingredients for 3-5 five dinners per week. The aim was to relieve the pressure on families regarding
dinner planning and shopping. Also, there is a strong emphasis on the environmental benefits by
reducing the need to drive to the store. This new Swedish version of online shopping is growing
rapidly, especially in Sweden’s larger cities and has a turnover of about US$ 225 million today. In
addition, some of the companies have made their service available in other neighboring countries. Also,
the major retailers have started to offer similar services.
A. Super stores, supermarkets, hyper markets, discount stores
Sweden - Company Profiles
The Swedish wholesale and retail food market is dominated by three nationwide groups - ICA (49.4%),
Coop (21.4%) and Axfood (15.0%) – while a fourth, Bergendahlsgruppen (7.4%), is mainly active in
Southern Sweden. Together they account for over 90 percent of the food retail market. Each group has
developed a tight integration of purchasing, importing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing. Imports
of foods are either handled by the chains themselves or through specialized importers and agents. In the
process of restructuring, these groups have moved to centralized purchasing and are also engaged in
joint Nordic buying groups.
The ICA Group is one of the Nordic region’s leading grocery retail groups with stores in Sweden,
Norway and the Baltic countries. ICA Sweden is the leading food retail company in Sweden. It is the
principal supplier to ICA retailers, who own and manage their stores as independent businesses. In
2011, sales in the 1,373 ICA stores accounted for 49.4% of Sweden’s retail food sales in 2011.
In 2011, sales of ICA’s organic line “I love Eco” products rose by 23%. Products in the ICA “I love
Eco” brand are certified according to the EU’s organic criteria and sometimes also according to Swedish
organic KRAV regulations. Animal-based ingredients in ICA “I love Eco” products must be approved
according to KRAV, which place more stringent requirements on animal welfare than the EU. ICA’s
aim is to offer a high proportion of eco-labeled, organic and Fair Trade products and to constantly
reinforce environmental awareness in the assortment processes. The range is continually expanding with
environmentally sound products as well as more regional and locally produced alternatives.
COOP represents the cooperative movement in Sweden and operates chains such as Coop Forum, Coop
Extra, Coop Konsum, Coop Nära and Coop Bygg. In Sweden, Coop operates 790 outlets and accounted
for 21.4% of Sweden’s retail food sales in 2011.
Coop has the largest selection of sustainable foods in Sweden and Coop’s organic private label
“Änglamark” is the leading trademark for organic products in Sweden. Coop’s goal is that sales of
sustainable products will be at least 10% in 2012.
Axfood AB’s retail operations are conducted through the wholly owned Willys, Hemköp and PrisXtra
chains, comprising 314 stores totally. In addition, Axfood collaborates with a large number of
proprietor-run stores that are tied to Axfood through agreements. Wholesale business is conducted
through Dagab and Axfood Närlivs. Axfood had a market share of 15% of Sweden’s retail food sales in
In 2011, sales of organic products in Axfood stores increased by 6.3%. Garant is Axfood’s own organic
brand. Coffee, tea and chocolate are examples of Fair Trade certified products sold under the Aware
private label. The aim of the Aware private label is to offer organic and Fair Trade Certified everyday
foods at a reasonable price. The products are sold in all of Axfood’s store concepts.
BergendahlsGruppen AB is a regional group with a strong base in the Southern part of Sweden.
Bergendahls has a total of 273 outlets (food retail, discount, supermarkets) and a market share of 7.4%.
In 2002, BergendahlsGruppen entered the Stockholm market with Eko Lanna and City Gross outlets.
The City Gross outlets have, in general, a sales area of 7,000-12,000 square meters.
SWEDEN – MAJOR FOOD RETAIL PROFILE
Retailer/Type of Outlet Ownership Sales CY11 No. of Location Mkt Purch/
($ Mill) Outlets Share Agent Type
ICA AB Swedish/ 15,360 1,373 Sweden 49.4 Direct/
-food retail Norwegian/ Norway importer/
-supermarkets Dutch Baltics wholesaler
Coop Swedish 6,404 790 Sweden 21.4 Direct/
-food retail Norway importer/
-gas marts/convenience Denmark wholesaler
Axfood Swedish 5,496 1,016 Sweden 15.0 Direct/
-food retail Norway importer/
-convenience Denmark wholesaler
BergendahlsGruppen Swedish 2,271 273 Southern 7.4 Direct/
-food retail Sweden importer/
-discount stores Stockholm wholesaler
Lidl German 920 158 Finland 3.2 Direct/
-hard discount stores importer/
Netto Danish 614 146 Denmark 2.2 Direct/
-discount stores Sweden importer/
Finland - Company Profiles
A few central wholesalers (S-Group, K-Group, Suomen Lähikauppa) together dominate the food
industry with an aggregate market share of nearly 90%. These chains have closely knit wholesale and
retail arrangements comprising a compact and efficient goods delivery system and a nationwide network
of retail shops as well as department stores and supermarkets. They also have hotel and restaurant
chains and catering services. The centralized system makes distribution economical; purchases from
abroad can be made in viable quantities considering the relatively small size of the market. Almost one-
third of the total wholesale trade in Finland is transacted through these wholesale organizations.
The past few years have been characterized by increasingly intensifying competition in the Finnish food
retail market as the Finnish retail chains responded to the entry of international competitors. Foreign
competition and the enlargement of the EU have made the Finnish food retail trade part of the EU
common market. A number of major mergers and acquisitions have taken place, which have led to
fewer but much larger and more powerful domestic players.
Retailers have reacted to the price competitive market and to the German hard discounter Lidl’s rapid
expansion in Finland by lowering prices of their private label brands and by offering services such as
bakeries, cafeterias, fresh meat and fish service points that aren’t offered by discounters such as Lidl.
Private label products increased their share in all retail chains.
In the past year, the concentration of Finnish food retailers has increased even further due to the
liberalized regulation of extended opening hours of outlets less than 400 square meters. The new law
that came into force in December 2009 has resulted in stronger competitions between retailers in
Finland. Large operators, such as S Group and Kesko have become even more dominant as the new
opening hours benefit supermarkets the most. These developments have prevented new chains from
entering the Finnish market.
The S Group and Suomen Lähikauppa represent the cooperative movement in Finland. The S Group
consists of member-owned regional cooperative societies and their subsidiaries and the Finnish
Cooperative Wholesale Society (SOK). The S Group operates department stores, supermarkets,
hypermarkets, discount grocery stores, service stations, hotels and restaurants, hardware and agricultural
stores as well as several specialty stores. Through its subsidiaries and associated companies, the S
Group also conducts food trade in the Baltic countries and Russia. The S Group’s grocery store chains
have, during recent years, been extremely successful. This success can be measured by a market share
increase from 15.9% in 1990 to 45.2% in 2011.
S Group’s grocery stores are the largest sellers of organic products in Finland and in 2011, sales
increased by 50% and more than 700 new organic products were added to the assortment. The S Group
grocery stores carried 83 Fair Trade products, 116 products with the Nordic Swan label (new Swan
labelled products are frequently added o the private label product ranges), 147 EU eco-label products,
25 fish products with MSC certification and 62 products with FSC label.
Kesko OY consists of the parent company Kesko Ltd. and its four subsidiaries of which Kesko Food
Ltd. is the largest. The key businesses of Kesko Food Ltd. are the chain operations of the K-Food stores
in Finland, Kespro’s catering sales to HRI customers and wholesaling and retailing in the Baltic
countries and Russia. The K-food stores are privately owned and buy most of their products from the
Kesko wholesale organization. Centralized purchasing provides a competitive advantage by creating
volume and synergy benefits. Also, Kesko works in cooperation with major European food chains in
AMS (Associated Marketing Service). Kesko continues to expand its operations in the Nordic and
Baltic countries. Total sales of the Kesko-affiliated retailers accounted for 35.3% of retail food sales in
Finland in 2011.
The K-food stores have Finland’s largest selection of Fair Trade products. In 2011, Kesko Food had
222 Fair Trade products in its selection, of which 38 were Pirkka (private label) products. The most
popular Pirkka Fair Trade products are flowers, bananas, coffee, juices, cocoa and chocolate.
Procurement of fish products according to WWF Finland’s fish guide and MSC certified suppliers.
Kesko has sustainability statements on fish and shellfish, timber and palm oil. Country of origin is
indicated on private label products, Finnish Pirkka products always carry the Swan label. In 2011,
Kesko had 1,073 organic products in its selection. These selections are being continuously developed
and expanded on the basis of customers’ preferences. In 2011, 2,072 Pirkka products of which 70 were
organic and 40 Fair Trade products.
Suomen Lähikauppa OY’s current business structure was launched at the beginning of 2009 when
Tradeka Ltd. became Suomen Lähikauppa OY. Suomen Lähikauppa is the result of many mergers and
acquisitions. The latest merger took place in 2005, when Cooperative Tradeka Corporation’s retail
outlets and Wihuri/Ruokamarkkinat Ltd.’s retail chains joined forces to form a new company. The
merger resulted in a strong new player in the Finnish retail sector. Suomen Lähikauppa OY is the third
largest actor in Finland’s food retail industry and a market leader in the neighborhood shop market. In
2011, Suomen Lähikauppa had a market share of 7.8% of Finland’s retail food sales.
Stockmann Group is a Finnish company engaged in grocery retailing through its department stores in
Finland, Russia, Estonia and Latvia. Sales in the seven Stockmann department stores accounted for
1.4% of Finland’s retail food sales in 2011. The grocery department of Stockmann department stores is
known as Stockmann Delicatessen. Stockmann’s food purchasing channels include the company’s own
channel and Tuko Logistics OY.
LIDL, the German hard discounter, entered the Finnish market by simultaneously opening up ten
outlets around the country in August 2002. At the beginning of 2011, Lidl had 140 outlets throughout
Finland and an estimated market share of 6.2%. Lidl’s entry into the Finnish market has undoubtedly
increased competition in the Finnish food retail sector. The low-priced products appeal to the Finnish
consumer; Finnish retailers were not prepared for the price competition set off by Lidl. According to a
market survey, Lidl’s products are priced at about 10-15% below the average Finnish food prices and
about 80% are private label products.
FINLAND – MAJOR FOOD RETAIL PROFILE
Retailer/Type of Outlet Ownership Sales CY11 No. of Location Mkt Purchasing/
($ Mill.) Outlets Share Agent Type
S-Group Finnish 8,639 987 Finland 45.2 Importer/
- hyper-markets Estonia wholesaler
- dept stores Latvia (Inex)
- supermarkets Lithuania
- small shops
- discount stores
Kesko (K-Group) Finnish 6,751 983 Finland 35.3 Importer/
- hyper-markets Sweden wholesaler
- dept stores (hardware) (Kesko Food)
- supermarkets Estonia
- self-service Latvia
- small shops Lithuania
- discount stores Russia
Lähikauppa OY Finnish 1,482 671 Finland 7.8 Importer/
- hyper-markets Russia wholesaler
- dept stores (Tuko Logistics)
- small shops
Lidl German 1,192 140 Finland 6.2 Importer/
- hard discount Sweden wholesaler
Stockmann Group Finnish 268 7 Finland 1.4 Importer/
-department Russia Wholesaler
stores Estonia (Tuko Logistics)
INEX PARTNERS OY is the S-Group’s sourcing and logistics company, a subsidiary of SOK.
KESKO FOOD is responsible for the purchasing, logistics and chain management of the K-food
TUKU LOGISTICS is a purchasing and logistics company in charge of grocery purchasing for
Suomen Lähikauppa and Stockmann.
B. Convenience Stores, Gas Marts, Kiosks
The convenience sector offers more limited opportunities for the U.S. exporter, but certain products
could sell well via such outlets. Most of the convenience stores belong to established retail chains, and
the same large wholesalers/retailers are suppliers to the convenience sector. Gas marts are either
affiliated with gasoline companies or with the large retail food distribution groups. New-to-market
exporters should target this sector in the same way as described under the entry strategy section for
Convenience stores have been in a continued decline in Sweden and Finland for the last couple of
years, mostly due to tough competition from gas marts and the fact that supermarkets have
progressively increased their opening hours to equal those of the convenience stores. However, several
of the large retail chains have started a network of convenience stores with a large range of ready-made-
meals as a complement to their larger outlets, and thus, can push prices down. This of course means
that the large operators are becoming even more dominant. These stores are especially popular in larger
cities, where time-pressured lifestyles predominate.
In 2009, Finland’s small convenience stores, such as R-kioski, lost its competitive advantage of long
opening hours due to the liberalized regulation of extended opening hours for outlets less than 400
square meters. The law came into force at the end of 2009 and its effects could be seen in 2010. R-
kioski has chosen to concentrate in busy locations and by increasing products such as deli food. In
2011, grocery sales in convenience stores reached US$ 4,031 million in Sweden and US$ 4,880 million
Sales through Gas marts, which saw rapid growth throughout the 1990s, have begun to slow down.
The emergence of discount outlets with long opening hours, low prices and locations close to main
roads has increased competition. In the past few years, there has been a large close-down of smaller gas
stations and stations have had to leave their contract with the gasoline companies. In 2011, about a
hundred gas marts disappeared from the Swedish market, when Shell Select gas marts were transformed
into 7-Eleven shops. Fast food is the fastest growing section in gas marts. The major food retailers
have recognized this trend and have focused on expanding the range of products available. In 2011,
total sales of grocery products in gas marts amounted to US$ 1,210 million in Sweden and US$ 251
million in Finland.
Kiosks offer limited items such as snacks, sweets, cigarettes and magazines. The Rautakirja R-Kioski
is Finland’s leading kiosk chain and convenience outlet concept, where kiosks still have about 3% of
total grocery sales. In recent years, R-Kioski has moved to selling more convenience products and
enlarging the kiosks to fit changing customer needs. The chain comprises over 600 R-Kiosks in Finland
and is also active in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia and the Ukraine. In
Finland, grocery sales in kiosks reached US$ 337 million in 2011.
SWEDEN - MAJOR GAS MARTS AND CONVENIENCE STORES
Retailer Name/ Outlet 2011 No. of Purchasing Agent
Type Ownership/ Grocery Outlets Location Type
Statoil/ICA Express, gas Statoil/ICA 558 303 Sweden Wholesaler/
mart (Norwegian/ Norway importer
Swedish) Denmark (ICA)
OK/Q8, gas mart Swedish/ 530 380 Nationwide Wholesaler/
Preem, gas mart Saudi/ 120 107 Nationwide Wholesaler/
Pressbyran, Reitan 437 321 Sweden Wholesaler/
Convenience Servicehandel Norway importer
(Sweden) Latvia (Reitan)
Tempo Axfood 278 131 Nationwide Wholesaler/
Handlar’n, Axfood 242 227 Nationwide Wholesaler/
Convenience (Swedish) importer
Direkten, Axfood 150 300 Nationwide Wholesaler/
Convenience (Swedish) importer
NäraDej Menigo 145 154 Nationwide Wholesaler/
Convenience Foodservice importer
(Swedish) (Menigo Foodservice)
FINLAND – MAJOR GAS MARTS AND CONVENIENCE STORES
Retailer Name/ Outlet 2011 Grocery No. of Purchasing Agent
Type Ownership/ Sales Outlets Location Type
Partnership (US$ million)
ABC, gas marts S-Group 287 109 Nationwide Wholesaler/
Neste Quick Shop, gas
marts Neste 195 300 Nationwide Wholesaler/
gas marts Shell Finland 102 200 Nationwide Wholesaler/
Esso Snack Esso Finland 71 70 Nationwide Wholesaler/
& Shop, gas marts Importer
R-Kioski, Reitan 337 652 Finland Wholesaler/
kiosk Servicehandel Estonia Importer
Siwa, convenience store Finnish
Suomen 756 553 Nationwide Wholesaler/
K-Market, convenience Finnish
store Kesko 2.2 487 Nationwide Wholesaler/
C. Traditional Markets - Small Independent Grocery Stores
The small "gourmet food" grocery stores offer limited possibilities for U.S. exporters. These stores are
usually located in larger cities and sometimes carry a wide range of imported products, but they tend to
buy in very small quantities.
SECTION III. COMPETITION
European Union (EU) member states provide the main competition to U.S. consumer-oriented food
imports. EU-origin products have a natural advantage in many product categories simply because they
enter Sweden and Finland duty free, while American exporters have to face the EU’s external duty/tariff
structure as well as non-tariff barriers to trade (e.g. beef hormone ban, sanitary restrictions on poultry
and GMO policies).
A. Sweden’s Imports of Consumer-Oriented Agricultural Products, 2009-2011
Country Import 2009 Import 2010 Import 2011 Market
Sweden ($1,000) ($1,000) ($1,000) Share
Denmark 1,448,157 1,472,154 1,664,946 18
Netherlands 1,242,979 1,331,023 1,520,173 17
Germany 1,085,169 1,107,151 1,301,905 14
Italy 461,697 453,339 538,420 6
France 418,842 383,606 460,552 5
Spain 347,190 394,201 426,599 5
Belgium 338,270 341,805 380,211 4
Ireland 250,324 242,247 330,891 4
Finland 201,963 264,539 296,661 3
Poland 201,963 225,340 245,775 3
United Kingdom 198,255 203,512 230,509 3
United States 117,831 132,845 156,760 2
Norway 88,658 109,295 106,313 1
South Africa 99,596 101,475 105,270 1
Austria 69,303 70,472 94,812 1
Other 948,646 998,650 1,165,068 13
World 7,564,553 7,831,654 9,024,865 100
Source: Global Trade Atlas
Note: Imports from the U.S. are understated due to transit trade via other EU countries such as the
Netherlands and Germany.
B. Finland’s Imports of Consumer-Oriented Agricultural Products, 2009- 2011
Country Import 2009 Import 2010 Import 2011 Market
Finland ($1,000) ($1,000) ($1,000) Share
Sweden 570,532 580,712 664,652 17
Germany 543,272 545,153 651,803 17
Netherlands 533,244 542,520 649,504 16
Denmark 257,066 243,482 279,896 7
France 224,262 220,397 274,235 7
Spain 185,084 190,879 195,588 5
Belgium 179,539 182,344 190,738 5
Italy 127,533 126,873 148,689 4
Estonia 70,740 89,799 124,276 3
Poland 86,562 97,629 113,718 3
United Kingdom 64,318 73,320 87,899 2
Chile 44,435 42,970 46,108 1
Switzerland 33,645 33,396 37,922 1
Austria 23,345 28,788 32,550 1
United States 22,240 23,210 24,400 1
Other 341,340 349,605 416,876 10
World 3,318,525 3,371,077 3,938,854 100
Source: Global Trade Atlas
Note: Imports from the U.S. are understated due to transit trade via other EU countries such as the
Netherlands and Germany.
SECTION IV. BEST PRODUCT PROSPECTS
A. Products Present in the Markets Which Have Good Sales Potential
Processed Fruits & Vegetables
Fish and Seafood
Rice (most U.S. rice currently packaged in other European countries)
B. Products Not Present in Significant Quantities but Which Have Good Sales Potential
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Niche Market/Specialty Food Products
C. Products Not Present Because they Face Significant Barriers
Poultry (sanitary restrictions)
SECTION V. POST CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Foreign Agricultural Service
American Embassy, The Hague
SECTION VI. OTHER RELEVANT REPORTS
SW1106 Exporter Guide http://www.fas.usda.gov