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Cost of living: Why food prices in Norway are going up from Friday

Shoppers' food bills in Norway will become more expensive as the prices of groceries in the country's largest supermarkets will be adjusted on Friday. 

Pictured is a supermarket shelf.
Food prices will be more expensive in Norway from Friday. Pictured is a fruit isle. Photo by gemma on Unsplash

Supermarkets in Norway are likely to introduce widescale price rises on July 1st. Each year, supermarkets raise their prices twice, once in February and once in July. 

Shoppers can expect to see “noticeable price increases”, according to a group which owns two supermarket chains in Norway. 

“There is no doubt that there will be price increases, noticeable price increases,” director of business policy and government contact at Norgesgruppen, Bård Gultvedt, told newspaper VG

Why are food prices going up? 

Norgesgruppen owns the supermarket chains Meny and Kiwi. Gultvedt said that suppliers had put their prices up significantly. 

“We have experienced that the suppliers have come to us and asked for abnormally high price increases, and then we have negotiated,” Gultvedt said. 

Producer Orkla has also warned of significant price rises. 

“We are facing the most serious situation I have been in during my 31 years in the Norwegian food industry,” Håkon Mageli, executive VP of Orkla, told VG. 

Mageli pointed to higher raw material prices and a sharp increase in energy costs as to why suppliers and producers are pushing prices up. 

In the longer term, he pointed to fertilizer prices as worrying producers and suppliers. 

READ ALSO: Five essential tips for saving money on food shopping in Norway

How much will prices go up? 

The average family in Norway could end up spending 14,300 kroner more on food shopping this year due to increasing prices. 

Food prices rose by 4.5 percent earlier this year, according to national data agency Statistics Norway. Consumer economist Cecile Tvetendstrand told VG that this corresponded to a family with two adults and two kids spending an extra 7,000 kroner on food annually. 

If food prices increase by another five percent, it would add another 7,300 kroner to the average shopping bill for a family of four. 

However, how much food has risen following supermarket adjustments is currently unclear. 

Analyst Christian Anton Smedshaug from Agri Analyze has said the price for some products would rise between one to three percent, while others will see hikes of more than ten percent. 

Producer Notura has said that the price of meat and eggs will see a high price increase and that, according to an overall assessment from the company, that increases will generally be around five percent across the board.

Rema and Coop Norge SA have both announced that customers should expect rises to rise too. 

Supermarkets asked to take their share of the bill 

Minister of Agriculture Sandra Borch has asked food chains and supermarkets to not pass on all the costs to consumers. 

“It is not me as Minister of Agriculture who sets the price of food. It is set by suppliers and grocery chains. I urge and assume that they do not increase the price of food more than they have to,” Borch told business and financial site E24

The minister said that a record 10.9 billion agricultural package given to farmers to help tackle increased costs and keep farming viable without massively increasing prices was the government’s contribution to curbing food inflation. 

“The government is concerned that food prices should not rise so much. Precisely for this reason, it was important to land an agricultural settlement that is historically high,” she said. 

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ECONOMY

Record high food price rises drive latest inflation figures in Norway 

A sharp rise in food prices in July helped drive inflation in Norway over the last year to levels last seen in the 80s, figures released by Statistics Norway on Wednesday show. 

Record high food price rises drive latest inflation figures in Norway 

Norway’s consumer price index (CPI), which measures inflation, increased by 6.8 percent between last month and July 2021, the latest figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show. 

There has not been higher growth in Norway since 1988. Significant increases in the price of food and fuel helped drive the inflation figures. From June to July, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 7.6 percent.

“A historically high price increase for food and non-alcoholic beverages in July was clearly the most important reason for the rise in the consumer price index in July. We have never previously measured a similar price increase for food from one month to the next in the CPI,” Espen Kristiansen from Statistics Norway said of the figures. 

The previous largest monthly increase in the price of groceries was in July 1981, when prices rose 5.3 percent. Over the last year, food has increased 10.4 percent. 

Part of the explanation for the high increase in food last month was July is one of the two times a year when supermarkets have the opportunity to raise prices across the board following negotiations with suppliers. The other month supermarkets can make wholesale changes to their prices in February. 

Fuel also saw a huge rise of 47.4 percent over the last 12 months, although the cost of petrol fell by 4.1 percent over the last month. The cost of goods and services has also contributed to the CPI rising 6.8 percent during the previous 12 months. 

In a recent analysis, Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) at Oslo Metropolitan University concluded that one in three homes in Norway have worse finances now than they did in January this year.

READ MORE: ‘One in three’ Norwegian homes worse off than at start of 2022

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