Insects and plants in different forms – this is what happened in Finnish grocery stores in 2017

February 7, 2018

Grocery shopping is an inseparable part of our everyday lives. We visit the grocery store almost every day and buy the same products almost every time, or at least it might feel like it. That is why it’s hard to see what kind of changes have happened in the way we do our grocery shopping and the way we eat. In this post, I sum up a few of the biggest changes in the Finnish shopping basket in 2017.

The oat milk revolution

When Oatly started the oat milk revolution a few years ago some might have thought that calling it a revolution is an exaggeration. But the year 2017 showed that it wasn’t. In Finland, the selection of plant-based milk products has exploded. Even Finland’s biggest dairy company Valio is introducing their own plant-based product range. If that is not a revolution, I don’t know what is.

Eating insects

Insects are said to be the food of the future. In Finland, the future started in September of 2017 when The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry unexpectedly announced that insects are allowed to be sold as food. Studies have shown that Finns are relatively very open to the idea of eating insects. That’s why it is not a surprise that when Fazer introduced the world’s first insect-based bread for Finnish consumers, the bread was sold out quickly!

Flexitarianism – the new normal

2016 was a big year for Finnish plant-based food innovations, such as Pulled Oats and Härkis. Some were worried that they are only shooting stars that will disappear as quickly as they appeared. 2017 showed this fear to be wrong. It is justified to say that in 2017 Pulled Oats and Härkis became essential parts of the Finnish everyday diet.

Accepting ready-made food

The image of convenience food has changed a lot during the last couple of years. Eating convenience food has been accepted as a part of everyday life, instead of something to feel bad about. There is a lot of variety to choose from, and new products that are suitable for different diets are constantly entering the market. Still, classics are strong; year after year liver casserole is the most popular convenience food in Finland.

Innovative packaging

Packaging is an essential part of the product. In the beginning of 2017, the Finnish meat and food company Atria introduced a new vacuum pack for minced meat which uses over 50 per cent less packaging material compared to traditional minced meat packages. Looking forward to seeing more environmental-friendly and efficient packaging innovations in 2018!

It is interesting to see what kind of changes next year will bring to the Finnish grocery stores. Undoubtedly one of the biggest topics and most visible changes will be seen in the alcohol section due to the new alcohol law. But how much it will affect the consumption habits, is yet to be seen.

Roosa Luukkanen, Junior Insight Specialist, Kuudes Helsinki