Why customers can expect to pay more at Danish supermarkets

An increase in the price of base foods will make supermarket products more expensive for consumers in Denmark, three major supermarket chains said on Tuesday.

A shopping basket at a supermarket in Denmark, summer 2021. Prices at Danish supermarkets are expected to increase in the near future.
Prices at Danish supermarkets are expected to increase in the near future. Photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

Salling Group, Coop and Lidl all said they expected price hikes in a report by financial newspaper Børsen.

“There are very many suppliers who are warning of price increases on products and we are fighting to keep them as low as possible,” Coop head of press communications Jens Juul Nielsen told Børsen.

“This affects most meat products, flour, coffee and oils and it is particularly caused by bad harvests in several parts of the world supplemented with increased overheads on everything from transport to packaging,” Nielsen said.

The Coop chain includes Danish supermarkets Irma, Fakta and Superbrugsen.

Another supermarket, Lidl, sounded similar alarms over future prices.

“There will be price increases for customers because the situation is unusual due to several combining factors all traced to corona,” Lidl’s head of purchasing Rasmus Pape told Børsen.

Salling, which operates the Føtex and Bilka stores, said in a written comment to the newspaper that it is doing everything in it can to keep prices down, but that the cost of base foods and pressure on supply chains will push up costs for customers.

None of the companies were able to give specifics on the amounts by which prices are likely to go up. That is because the companies’ negotiations with suppliers will determine this and these must therefore be kept under wraps for now, Børsen reports.

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

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Boligstøtte: Who can claim Denmark’s national rent subsidy?

Residents of Denmark can in some cases apply for ‘boligstøtte’ (“housing support”), a reduction on their monthly rent.

Boligstøtte: Who can claim Denmark's national rent subsidy?

What is boligstøtte? 

Boligstøtte is a tax-free sum which people who live in rented housing can – in some cases – qualify for. It provides a subsidy to rent.

The subsidy is available to anyone who rents their home, provided the home meets certain criteria and the household income is under a certain level.

For example, your rental home must have its own kitchen (which would rule out student housing with shared kitchens, termed kollegier in Danish) and you must live permanently in the property.

Homeowners can also be entitled to apply for boligstøtte under certain circumstances. In such cases, the boligstøtte is a loan and not a subsidy, however.

The size of the subsidy – the amount of money you receive each month – depends on the overall income of the household (the total of the incomes of all wage earners at the address), the number of children and adults who live at the address, the amount of rent and the size of the house or apartment.

Boligstøtte is paid out on the first working day of each month.

How do I know if I’m entitled to boligstøtte?

Most people can apply for boligstøtte if they live in rented housing. There are a few living situations that can disqualify you, such as if you live with the owner of the property (including as a tenant) or if you own the property yourself and rent part of it.

You can, however, apply for the subsidy if you live in a property owned by your parents and pay rent to them (known as a forældrekøb – “parent purchase” – in Danish).

You can also apply for boligstøtte if you are sub-letting your house or flat, although the person sub-letting to you might have to change their address in order to avoid their income being taken into account in your application.

People who own their homes can receive bolistøtte (as a subsidy, not as a loan as detailed above) if they receive the state pension folkepension, or disability pension, førtidspension.

How and where do I apply?

You can submit an application via the website at this link. The application platform will ask you to submit a rental contract and other documentation for your claim to be processed.

If you’re applying after moving to a new address, you must have registered your change of address with the national personal registry prior to applying. This can be done here. If you apply within 30 days of moving, the subsidy will be effective from the date you moved in. Otherwise, it will count from the first day of the following month from when you submit your application.

The processing time for the application can be up to seven weeks. You’ll receive a confirmation of your application via your Digital Mail inbox, and you will also receive notification here once the application has been processed.

By how much can I reduce my rent?

This depends on the various factors on which your eligibility is calculated – for some, you will not qualify to receive any subsidy at all.

There are five criteria upon which your eligibility – and the amount you receive – is calculated. They are the income of the household; the savings or fortune of people in the household; number of children and adults living at the address; size of the home (in square metres) and amount of rent paid.

You will receive more money if you have more children. For example, people who live in rented homes and are not receiving the state pension can get up to 1,039 kroner per month if they have no children; up to 3,654 kroner per month if they have 1-3 children; and up to 4,568 kroner per month if they have 4 children or more.

The website has a tool on which you can estimate your boligstøtte here.