Norgesgruppen owns supermarket chains like Kiwi, Meny, and Joker in Norway. There, locally grown fruit and vegetable sales rose by 11% this summer.
Pål Westby heads the Norgesgruppen's fruit and vegetable division. He says, "Growers were uncertain in April and May. They were worried about not selling enough in the summer. I didn't share their concern, and we reassured them. We promised to hold back on importing products. And we did throughout the season. Vegetable sales went very well. We even had a cauliflower and broccoli shortage. There were also insufficient strawberries. But that was due to a smaller strawberry season, not necessarily COVID-19."
Westby thinks this focus on Norwegian products shouldn't be a one-off thing either. Consumers share this view. That's according to a survey Norgesgruppen did - people are more attentive to a product's country of origin. "We're working with (the cooperative) Gartnerhallen en (distributor) Bama. We want to sell more Norwegian fruit and vegetables in the longer term. That's not so easy. We want to cultivate more, but there must be consumer demand. We're now seeing this increase. People say they'd like to eat more Norwegian fruit and vegetables in the future," concludes Pål.
Norwegian tomato sales increased the most this summer.