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Surprise! Norway not priciest place for food in Europe

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Surprise! Norway not priciest place for food in Europe
Filling your cart in a Norwegian supermarket costs 159 percent of the EU average. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix
13:30 CEST+02:00
Norway is Europe's second most expensive country for groceries and far and away the priciest country for booze and tobacco, newly-released figures confirm.
Consumers in Norway pay the second highest prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages in Europe, according to a new comparison from Eurostat. 
 
The Eurostat numbers show that the prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks in Norway were 159 percent of the average price in the EU in 2015. This is second to to only fellow non-EU country Switzerland, where consumers pay 173 percent of the average EU price.
 
 
Norwegian prices have however come a bit closer to the EU average over the past year. In 2014, Norway's food and non-alcoholic beverages cost 166 percent of the average – the highest of all nations.
 
Still, a study released earlier this year showed that the price gap between Norway and the EU has grown significantly over the past two decades
 
Although the nation was second to Switzerland overall in the new Eurostat figures, dairy products cost more in Norway than in any other place in Europe, with consumers paying 175 percent of the EU average for their milk, cheese and egg products. Switzerland took the crown for the most expensive country largely because of its astronomical meat prices – 254 percent of the EU average compared to 157 for Norway. 
 
 
It probably comes as little surprise that Norway also has the highest alcohol and tobacco prices in Europe. Norwegian consumers pay a whopping 250 percent of the EU average price for booze, putting the nation well above runner-up Iceland (226 percent). 
 
When it comes to tobacco products, Norway's prices are 220 percent of the average, edging out smokes in the UK (218 percent) for top place. 
 
When the comparison is confined only to the EU, Norway's Scandinavian neighbour Denmark has the highest food prices at 145 percent of the average. 
 
The cheapest EU country for groceries is Poland, while consumers in Bulgaria can enjoy the union's cheapest alcohol and tobacco prices. 
 
The figures are based on the results of a price survey covering 440 products across Europe, carried out by the European group looking at purchasing power on the continent.  
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