Nicklas Nilsson, research analyst at Euromonitor International, told FoodNavigator: “Within packaged foods in Norway there is an increasing interest towards both value-pricing, but also for value-added products which is mainly driven by the increasingly apparent health and wellness trend.”
“There are plenty of opportunities for food manufacturers to capitalize on the premiumisation trend,” he said.
Euromonitor data shows that most premium foods have been selling well in Norway in recent months.
However, Nilsson has noticed a shift in the type of premium products consumers are opting for.
He said that they are moving away from the more traditional premium heath products, such as whole-wheat pasta, organic milk and probiotic yoghurt to impulse indulgence goods such as confectionary, ice cream and pastries that promote sustainable sourcing, a trendy image and fresh quality.
“Many impulse and indulgence products such as chocolate confectionary and ice cream have been boosted by the introduction of premium, value-added products,” he said.
“In for example chocolate confectionary, sustainable sourcing has become a key focus issue for most manufacturers,” he continued.
Companies such as Nidar use only UTZ-certified cocoa in its chocolate, while Kraft sources Fairtrade and Rainbow Alliance certified cocoa for its Norwegian offerings.
“In ice cream, several internationally known brands such as Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s have been a huge success with its convenient on-the-go packaging and trendy image, especially within the younger demographic.,” added Nilsson.
However, he said some categories had failed to shed their unhealthy image to seize upon the premium trend.
Canned, preserved and frozen food which were still perceived as less healthy than counterparts of chilled or regularly packaged foods and had struggled to diversify, he said.
How to capitalise
Asked how food companies could profit from the premium trend, Nilsson said: “Most important is to differentiate from the regular brands, either by offering healthier alternatives, natural ingredients, fair trade or other socially responsible benefits, convenient packaging suitable for on-the-go trend or simply promote the product as a trendy must-have alternative.”
Norwegian dairy firm Tine, for example, recently launched a range of premium value-added products, which Nilsson said had been largely successful. He said that it had been mainly domestic players that had made efforts to position products in the premium food space to take on multinationals.