Sweden has a strong tradition of jams and preserves made from local types of berries: bilberries, blackberries, lingonberries and similar. These traditions mean that jams and preserves have a strong, passive connection to Swedish consumers regardless of marketing, with the category recording “natural” growth without any active marketing efforts.
Although most of the category is made up of traditional brands and product types, such as organic honey and raspberry marmalade, this does not indicate a lack of innovation or no space for renewal. Products within sweet spreads do not require large amounts of shelf space or specialised storage units, and are generally easy to pack and display, thus reducing in-store competition.
Continued consumer interest in “natural” products, thematically closely related to generally strong consumer interest in environmental issues, will continue to help drive growth of honey and also nut and seed based spreads. Honey is used as a spread, as an ingredient in baking, for taking with tea and as a topping with some traditional dishes, such as pancakes.
Sweet spreads is highly segmented, with each category in practice constituting an oligopoly with a small number of large players dominating with standard products and much smaller challengers active with budget and premium brands. Jams and preserves, for example, is led by Orkla Foods Sverige’s BoB and Önos Sylt standard brands alongside Björnekulla and ICA, while chocolate spreads is dominated by Ferrero Scandinavia’s Nutella brand.
Among the brands available in Sweden, local clearly trumps global apart from the two categories of nut and seed based spreads and chocolate spreads, where “global” is part of the product concept. Jams and preserves is dominated almost entirely by spreads made from traditional Swedish berries and fruits, and honey remains a category almost exclusively populated by small, domestic companies.
Many of the factors affecting the competitive situation within sweet spreads are generated from outside of the category. For example, the threatened trade war between the US and the EU is likely to have a direct impact on peanut butter, worries about the effects of insecticide on pollinators have a direct effect on honey, whereas health trends related to “superberries” previously had an effect on sales of jams and preserves.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.