The category of edible oils is highly stable, with little room for innovation or change. Barring any large-scale disruptions or shocks, the category is set to be driven primarily by macroeconomic and demographic trends and factors.
Rapeseed is a staple Swedish crop, used both as a stand-alone cooking ingredient (cooking and frying oil) and as an ingredient in many other products, such as margarine. Rapeseed production took a substantial hit in 2015 when the EU introduced a ban on certain insecticides, on which the rapeseed industry depended to maintain profitability.
Although mainly used in salads and as a topping, it is today quite common to see olive oil used for frying as well. Many Swedish consumers buy one mild and cheap olive oil for frying and a stronger more-accentuated one for use as a spice in dressings and salads.
In 2018, edible oils was led by Di Luca & Di Luca, which offered its brand Zeta in stores across the country. Di Luca & Di Luca is a Swedish–Italian company specialised in the Mediterranean diet: its products are instantly recognisable for Swedish consumers and it achieves excellent store shelf space.
The most successful corporate strategies within edible oils remain those of Di Luca & Di Luca and ICA Sverige. Di Luca & Di Luca is strong focused on niche areas, concentrating on a narrow range of products, highlighting the unique story of its brand and providing distinctive product packaging design.
With the category of edible oils being stable bordering on stagnant, Di Luca & Di Luca, the leader, is attempting to diversify its offering by launching new brands – such as Ppura – across several categories, attempting to compete with new types of flavoured oil. Whether this attempt at innovation is successful remains to be seen; it can be expected to sharpen the competition with all other premium players.
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