Danes world’s second biggest candy eaters

Danes eat more than twice as much candy per year as the average European, largely due to the association of sweets with the Danish concept of 'hygge'.

Danes world’s second biggest candy eaters
This kid is getting ready to hygge. Photo: Colourbox
Denmark may have officially crowned fried pork as its first ever national dish, but it may have just as well chosen a bowlful of candy. 
Danes are so crazy about gummy bears, liquorice and other candies that they eat more of the sweet stuff than everybody in the world except the Finns. 
Zetland media reports that the Danes’ annual consumption of 8.18 kilos of candy per inhabitant is more than twice the European average and second to only Finland on a global scale. 
By 2018, the average Dane is expected to eat 8.51 kilos of candy per year, which will give Denmark the title of the world’s most candy-crazed nation. 
The stats, which come from a 2013 report from Sugar Confectionery Europe, do not include chocolate or chewing gum.
So, what’s the reason behind this massive candy consumption? The one-word answer is hygge
Researchers say that the national psyche has intricately intwined eating a bowlful of candy with the concept of hygge, which basically means having a nice and cozy time. Friday night candy with the kids is such an ingrained concept that it has its own name: fredagsslik (Friday candy) and is ritually practiced in family homes nationwide. 
“It’s socially accepted – among family, friends and colleagues – that it is totally fine, or even almost required, to eat unhealthy when you hygge,” Heidi Boye, a consumer researcher who wrote her PhD on the Danes’ love of candy, told Politiken. 
“If you try to make hygge healthy, it doesn’t feel right. The hygge isn’t quite as good and everyone is scared to be the person who ruins the hygge,” she added. 
Europe’s biggest candy eaters:
Finland: 8.33 kg in 2013, 8.41 projected for 2018
Denmark: 8.18 kg in 2013, 8.51 projected for 2018
Russia: 7.38 kg in 2013, 8.15 projected for 2018
Sweden: 7.31 kg in 2013, 7.68 projected for 2018
European average: 3.91 kg in 2013, 4.13 projected for 2018

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Why coffee could cost more for Danish consumers in 2022

The price of raw coffee beans recently reached its highest level for ten years, media in Scandinavia report, a trend which is likely to impact consumer prices in the region.

A photo of coffee beans in Denmark. Consumers in the country may soon notice a higher cost per cup.
A photo of coffee beans in Denmark. Consumers in the country may soon notice a higher cost per cup. File photo: Mathias Svold/Ritzau Scanpix

Raw coffee currently costs more than at any time in the last decade, Norwegian financial media E24 reported on Tuesday.

A doubling of the cost per kilo during the last year, reported by E24 in the summer, has been followed by further increased in recent months. The current price of 37 Norwegian kroner (28.3 Danish kroner) per kilogram is the highest for a decade, the media writes.

That is in spite of a strengthening of Norway’s currency against the US dollar, according to E24. The Danish krone is also currently strong.

Because raw coffee beans are always traded in dollars, with prices set by the New York Stock Exchange a strong exchange rate should theoretically make the beans cheaper to import to Nordic countries.

“I think we are seeing a new normal when it comes to the industrial market price of coffee,” Ola Brattås, head of imports with Norwegian chain Kaffebrenneriet, told E24.

Higher prices have already made an impression on Danish coffee companies.

Markets for the product are currently uncertain, said Lars Aaen Thøgersen, head of communication and development with Peter Larsen Kaffe.

“It’s been this way for some time. There has been uncertainty around the harvest, particularly in Brazil,” Thøgersen told news wire Ritzau.

Drought in Brazil, linked to illegal rainforest logging and climate change, is reported by E24 as a key factor in coffee prices. The International Coffee Organization’s September 2021 report also mentions weather in Brazil.

That has compounded higher transport costs and general uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic, he added.

Although companies like Peter Larsen can purchase coffee directly from producers and thereby avoid financial markets, they are unable to avoid knock-om effects of high market values, according to Thøgersen.

“When this happens, all supplies around us are affected. So that naturally also affects our situation,” he said.

That means consumers are likely to also feel the effects at some point down the line, the coffee company spokesperson said.

“Consumers can already feel that prices have gone up now, and it will quite likely also be felt further,” he said.

“But it should also be put into perspective, because if you calculate per cup of coffee, a consumer will only notice a few øre (difference in price),” he also noted.

Supermarket chain Coop, which owns the Kvickly, Superbrugsen and Irma stores in Denmark, is currently negotiating 2022 supplier prices. The outcome of those negotiations is not yet known,” head of information Jens Juul Nielsen told Ritzau.

“How this will be felt on store shelves, we can’t yet say,” Nielsen said.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s energy prices hit highest level for nine years