And fully 86 percent of respondents said that they had “avoided hoarding” because they did not want to contribute to panic in society.
Harald Throne-Holst, senior researcher at Consumption Research Norway, put the relatively low levels of panic-buying in Norway down to the country's high level of trust in government.
“You can see this high confidence or trust in the government, it’s quite visible throughout our survey,” he told The Local. “It’s an old story. We have found this for many years in all Scandinavian countries.”
The survey of 1,000 Norwegians, which was carried out by Nordstat, found that 85 percent trusted the advice on coronavirus given by the country's authorities, and that 80 percent said they would only buy extra food and other goods “if the authorities recommended it”.
The survey also found a very high trust in the supermarkets, with 45 percent of respondents saying they trusted them, and only 20 percent saying they didn't.
Throne-Holst said that might be why Norway had only been a short burst of panic-buying after which supermarkets had returned to more or less normal
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The survey found that of the 17 percent who said they had bought extra goods in the supermarket, 84 percent had stocked up on dry goods like crisp bread, pasta, flour and biscuits, 41 percent bought toilet paper, 38 percent bought canned goods, 37 percent frozen food, and 34 percent medicines.
Here is a graph from the survey on what people said they had purchased. From left to right: Dry goods, toilet paper, cans, frozen goods, medicines, other food, antibac, chocolate, batteries, water, disposable gloves, books.
“We can see that dry goods are dominant, and the nice thing about this is that one of the concerns about hoarding is that a lot of food might get spoiled when it turns out there's no need for it,” Throne-Holst said. “But dry goods have such longevity that you will probably end up using them in the end”.
He said that the extra purchase of toilet paper was a mystery.
“It may be that it's very visible. You can see it in the stores if someone else has filled a basket with it, so you think 'they're buying toilet paper, maybe it will run out,” he said. “It might be a sort of peer pressure.”